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Wildlife in Italy: Ocellated Lizard

Wildlife in Italy: Ocellated Lizard



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Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Reptiles
Order: Squamata
suborders: Sauri
Family: lizards
Kind: Timon
Species: T. lepidus

The ocellated lizard is widespread in France and the Iberian Peninsula. In Italy it can be observed in Liguria. It lives in warm and sunny environments, preferably rocky, olive groves, dry stone walls.

Distinctive characters

It is a very large chestnut horse, it can reach a length of 60 cm including the tail. The livery has very bright colors: green or brown on the back with dark spots. On the sides and sometimes on the back (according to the subspecies), it has bright green or blue ocelli, bordered with black. The young specimens and the females have a less lively coloring than the males.

Biology

It feeds on insects, larvae, caterpillars, eggs, nestlings, small reptiles and small mammals.
It is preyed on by mammals, birds of prey and other reptiles, from which it defends itself by biting, scratching and whipping with its tail.
During the mating season, males compete for the female. During mating, the male grasps the female with the mouth, on the back or on the side, sometimes leaving the sign of the bite. The female lays 15-20 eggs in a crevice or hole dug in the ground and does not provide parental care to newborns, who are already autonomous at birth.

Ocellated Lizard - Timon lepidus (photo Luigi Sebastiani www.birds.it)

Ocellated Lizard - Timon lepidus (photo Dario Ottonelli www-3.unipv.it)

curated by Ivana Stella


Video: Cobra vs. Mongoose. National Geographic (August 2022).