Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Medium-sized lizard, largest with a SVL of 284 mm; average tail/SVL = 1.3. Similar to L. s. brachydactyla; differs as follows: Mid-back longitudinal band of enlarged scales is more heterogeneous, composed of large scales surrounded by much smaller ones; spiny rosettes on flanks less well developed; tail proportionately shorter; dorsal coloration pale olive-gray, with whitish dorsal spots, less contrasting even in breeding males; tail bars less conspicuous.

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Distribution

Range Description

This species ranges from Greece and Turkey (with a northern range limit in Anatolia of 39ºN; reports from further north are in error - Almog et al. 2005) to Syria, Lebanon, northwestern Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, northern and western Jordan, Israel and northern Egypt (and introduced west of the Nile). In Greece it is found in northern mainland (mainly in Kentriki Makedonia) where it was possibly introduced, and on the islands of Corfu in the Ionian Islands, the Cyclades (Mykonos, Rhineia, Delos, Paros, Despotiko, Antiparos), Naxos and eastern Aegean islands, and islands close to the Turkish mainland (Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Ikaria and Rhodes). It is also present in Cyprus, where it is represented by the endemic subspecies S. stellio cypriaca, and it has been introduced to Malta (Arnold 2003). It occurs from sea level up to 1,900 m asl.
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Distribution in Egypt

Northeast Sinai, and the environs of Alexandria, west to Burg El Arab. Specimens from Ras El Hekma, collected in 1951 appears to be from an isolated population; none were found at that locality during several visits in the 1990s. The species was introduced to Giza and the Delta Barrages (north of Cairo) in the late 1800s and early 1900s (Flower 1933), and apparently also at Kom Oshim. The Giza population has become extinct; the status of the other two introduced populations is not clear, but they are likely to have disappeared as well. In North Sinai it is dis­tributed in a narrow band from El Arish to Rafah, extending inland some 15 km along Wadi El Arish.

It is likely that the only populations of L. s. stellio naturally occur­ring in Egypt are those of northeast Sinai. The Alexandria population was probably introduced (from Greece) in ancient times, when maritime- transport across the Mediterranean was prevalent. The isolated nature of the Alexandria population and its limited disjunct distribution indicate that it is unlikely that the species colonized this territory by natural means. The taxon appar­ently has excellent colonization capacity. A similar (but reversed) scenario is proposed for an isolated population of Chamaeleo africanus found recently in Greece (Bohme et al. 1998).

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Global Distribution

Southeast Europe, Asia Minor, the Levant, and northeast Egypt.

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Continent: Africa Near-East Europe
Distribution: Greece (incl. Lesbos, Paros, Antiparos, Despotiko, Kalymnos, Paxos, Corfu = Corfou, Chios, Samos, Agathonisi, Delos, Mikro Rhematiaris, Mykonos, Naxos, Rhineia, Tinos, Chalki, Kastelorizo, Kos, Leros, Nisyros, Patmos, Rhodos, Symi, Telendos, Tilos, Fourni, Ikaria, Thimena, Syrni, C Macedonia), Turkey,  Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Jordan, Israel  brachydactyla: N Saudi Arabia, S Israel, Sinai, Jordan.
Type locality: Jebel Lussan at the border between Israel and Sinai, south-south-west of Beer-Sheba.  cypriaca: Cyprus  daani: Saloniki, islands in the Aegian Sea (Antiparos, Despotiko, Naxos, Paros, Samos, Thimena, Syrni, Chalki, Kalymnos, Kastelorizo, Kos, Leros, Nisyros, Rhodos, Symi, Telendos, Tilos, Lesbos, Chios, Fourni, Ikaria); Turkey (W and SW Turkey), Macedonia.  picea: SW Syria, S Lebanon, N Israel, NW Jordan.
Type locality: Black Lava Desert of Transjordania.  salehi: Israel (Sinai)  stellio: Cyclades (Mikro Rhematiaris, Rhineia, Mykonos Islands, Delos, Paros, Antiparos, Naxos), Sporades, Rhodos, Ionian Islands (Korfu); Turkey (central, south and southeast Turkey); Jordan.
Type locality: Delos, Aegypto, Africa. Restricted to Delos Island, Greece by MERTENS & MÜLLER 1928. Restricted to Nissí Dílos (= Delos island), Greece, by neotype designation.  vulgaris: N Egypt. Terra typica restricta: Unter-Ägypten (MERTENS & WERMUTH 1960).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This is a diurnal species that is found in a variety of Mediterranean, arid and semi-arid habitats, always in rocky areas. Populations are often present in rocky mountainous and coastal regions. It can be found on rocks, trees, buildings and other habitats that it can climb on. The females lay from three to 12 eggs per clutch (Disi 2002). In north Sinai it can be found in cultivated areas such as orchards (S. Baha El Din pers. comm.). This lizard is largely herbivorous (Parker 1935).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Well-vegetated rocky areas.It is found in two different situations: in the environs of Alexandria it inhabits coastal ridges and cliffs near the Mediterranean, as well as some ruins; in North Sinai it has adapted to cultivation and orchards with large trees, where it climbs on buildings (even inhabited ones) and trees.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Behaviour

When disturbed it runs into rock crevices or climb up high on trees.

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 6 years (captivity)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Laudakia stellio

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
Amr, Z.S.S., Al Johany, A.M.H., Akarsu, F., Üzüm, N., Kumlutaş, Y., Baha El Din, S., Lymberakis, P., Hraoui-Bloquet, S., Ugurtas, I.H., Werner, Y.L., Disi, A.M., Tok, V., Sevinç, M., Sadek, R., Crochet, P.-A., Kaska, Y., Avci, A. & Yeniyurt, C.

Reviewer/s
Cox, N.A. & Bowles, P.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
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Status in Egypt

Heavily collected by commercial animal dealers. The decline and disappearance of some local popu­lations is probably due to commercial collection. Loss of introduced populations is of little ecological consequence

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Least Concern

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Population

Population
It is generally a very common species. In Egypt the species is declining. The populations in mainland Greece were probably introduced after 1500. It is a common species in Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
There generally appear to be no major threats to this widespread species. In Egypt it is threatened by overcollection for the pet trade and habitat loss in some areas through coastal development (S. Baha El Din pers. comm.).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It is present in many protected areas. It is protected by national legislation in Israel. In Egypt, there is a need for further research into the impacts of harvesting on this species. Regulation and monitoring of the trade in this species in Egypt may be needed.
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Wikipedia

Stellagama

Stellagama is a monotypic genus of agamid lizards containing the single species Stellagama stellio.[1][2] Common names for the species include stellion, hardim, hardun, star lizard, painted dragon, starred agama, sling-tailed agama and roughtail rock agama. It is found in Greece, Southwest Asia, and Northeast Africa.

Total length is up to 35 centimetres (14 in) or slightly longer.[3] Like many agamids, stellions can change color to express their moods. They bask on stone walls, rocks, and trees. They are usually found in rocky habitats, and are quite shy, being very ready to dive into cracks to hide from potential predators.

The name "stellion" comes from Latin stellio, stēlio (stelliōn-, stēliōn-), which referred to any spotted lizard, from stella, star.

There are many subspecies, and S. stellio is likely a species complex.[2] More research will be done, and this species may yet be split into several.[1]

Gallery[edit]

Stellion

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Baig, K. J., et al. (2012). A morphology-based taxonomic revision of Laudakia Gray, 1845 (Squamata: Agamidae). Vertebrate Zoology 62(2) 213-60.
  2. ^ a b Amr, Z. S. S., et al. 2012. Stellagma stellio. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2.
  3. ^ http://www.bayramgocmen.com/album/picture.php?/1002/category/345
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