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Iberian Emerald Lizard

Just one hundred meters into my cycling training today I saw an "Iberian emerald lizard" or Schreiber's lizard. The lizard was scurrying along in the ditch by the road and then up the bank and into the bushes. Clearly it had got a fright when it saw me.

At first thought I thought the lizard was a chameleon (a chameleon moving much faster than I'd ever seen one move before!), but as I approached, I saw it was a large, bright green lizard. Iberian emerald lizard Iberian emerald lizard

The specimens I saw were far brighter green than lizard in the picture above. As far as I'm aware this lizard is endemic to Iberia. Interestingly this area (Lagoa, Algarve) doesn't appear in the distribution maps for this lizard. The lizard's normal habitat is northern Iberia and it likes damp climates, so it's unusual to find it here... Maybe it is due to the wetter weather of recent years that we now have these lizards here. You can read more about the Iberian emerald lizard here: http://www.arkive.org/schreibers-green-lizard/lacerta-schreiberi/

I'd only ever seen these maybe twice before and then only a glimpse, before they'd hide away. This week I've seen a total of three, so they're obviously here to stay. One of the lizard's I saw was dead on the road unfortunately.


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