The prehistoric looking Agama lizard
can grow to well over 30cm.
Lizards In Cyprus.
The most striking and largest of the lizards of Cyprus is the Agama, Agama stellio (or Stellio stellio). This is a large, prehistoric looking lizard that lives mainly on trees and stone walls and can reach a length of well over 30cm.

In Europe it is only found in small colonies in Greece
Look for Kotschy's Gecko under rocks and stones, not inside houses
The Spiny- footed Lizard is agile but has suffered from losing many of its habitats in the coastal zone
The Troodos Rock Lizard can, in fact, be found all the way down th the sea.
and the Greek islands and in profusion practically everywhere in Cyprus. It is often seen basking in the sun quite motionless until disturbed, when it dashes to the safety of its hide. Chameleons are fairly common in Cyprus but difficult to spot as they are slow moving and often hide in trees. They are usually seen, painfully slowly, crossing roads, which take a toll on these animals.
The Turkish Gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus, is probably the most often seen reptile in Cyprus, or at least it was until the replacement of houses with blocks of flats, as it often inhabits the inside of houses. It is nocturnal, mainly feeding on insects. Kotschy's Gecko, Cyrtopodion kotschyi, is a similar animal which is commonly found, living under rocks and stones. It is not found inside houses and can easily be distinguished from the Turkish Gecko because of its toes, which do not have the adhesive pads of the Turkish Gecko.

There are also four skinks in Cyprus. Skinks are lizards with large shiny scales and usually a relatively thick body and small limbs. The rarest of these skinks is Schneider's Lizard, Eumeces schneideri, a large fat skink with a yellow longitudinal stripe on the side of the body. It lives in dry stony areas and is a very shy animal, not easily seen. Agricultural and land use practices may have contributed to the demise of this lowland species. The others are the Ocellated Skink Chalcides ocellatus; the small, bronze coloured Snake-eyed Skink, Ablepharus kitaibelii, and the more lizard-like Mabuya vittata.

Of the three 'real' lizards, the most common is the Snake eyed Lizard which can be seen practically everywhere on the island. The Spiny-footed Lizard, Acanthodactylus schreiberi, is mainly a coastal species usually living in sand-dune areas. It is a very agile lizard, living mainly in burrows, but has suffered most from the changes in land use practices in the coastal zone as it lost many of its habitats. The Troodos Rock Lizard, Lacerta leavis troodica, is an endemic lizard which is usually found in humid, rocky, well vegetated areas. It can be found both in Troodos and, in suitable habitats, all the way down to the sea.

[INLINE] to:
Living links with the island's dawn
| Frogs | Snakes | Lizards | Turtles By Andreas Demetropoulos
Snakes Of Cyprus | Snakes Of Cyprus | Snake Species in Cyprus | Reptiles of Cyprus.By Antonis L. Antoniou


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