Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species occurs in Malta where it is found on the islands of Malta, Gozo, Filfola, Selmunett Islands (=Saint Pauls Islands) and the General's Rock (=Fungus Rock), and on the Italian islands of Linosa and Lampione. It has been introduced to the island of Lampedusa, Italy (Claudia Corti pers. comm.).
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Continent: Europe
Distribution: Malta Archipelago, Filfla Island (= Filfola), south of Malta, Fungus Island (= General's Island), west of Gozo, Selmunett Island (= San Paul) off the northern coast of Malta,  Italy, Pelagian Islands (Linosa and Lampione), Gozo and Kemmuna (= Comino)
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Source: The Reptile Database

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is found in scrubland, rocky areas, traditionally cultivated land and gardens. It lives in seabird colonies in some places. It is an egg-laying species.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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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
2009

Assessor/s
Claudia Corti, Valentin Pérez-Mellado, Roberto Sindaco, Antonio Romano

Reviewer/s
Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Reptile Assessment)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern because, although its Extent of Occurrence is much less than 5,000 km2, it is common, adaptable, and does not appear to be in decline.

History
  • 2006
    Least Concern
    (IUCN 2006)
  • 2006
    Least Concern
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Population

Population
This species is abundant in most places, and their populations are generally stable.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
Certain populations, such as the one on Lampione Island, might be intrinsically threatened because they are confined to small islands. But in general the species does not face any significant overall threats.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed on Annex II of the Bern Convention and on Annex IV of the EC Habitats Directive. It occurs in a few protected areas.
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Wikipedia

Filfola Lizard

The filfola lizard or Maltese wall lizard (Podarcis filfolensis) is a species of lizard in the Lacertidae family. It is found in Italy and Malta. Its natural habitats are Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, rocky areas, rocky shores, arable land, pastureland, and rural gardens.

The Filfla Lizard in Malta[edit]

In the Maltese Islands, there are four subspecies of the Maltese Wall Lizard. All four subspecies are endemic to the Maltese Islands.

Podarcis filfolensis ssp. maltensis[edit]

Podarcis filfolensis ssp. maltensis male from Gozo

This subspecies is found on the three main islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. It is normally greenish and sometimes speckled.[1]

Podarcis filfolensis ssp. filfolensis[edit]

Podarcis filfolensis ssp. filfolensis female

This subspecies is endemic to the islet of Filfla just off the coast of Malta. It is the largest of the four subspecies and is blackish with bluish spots.[1]

Podarcis filfolensis ssp. kieselbachi[edit]

Podarcis filfolensis ssp. kieselbachi male

This subspecies is endemic to Selmunett, otherwise known as St.Paul's Islands. Its colours vary greatly e.g. brown, grey, etc. with an orange belly and small black spots. The population became extinct in 2005.[1]

Podarcis filfolensis ssp. generalensis[edit]

Podarcis filfolensis ssp. generalensis male

This subspecies is endemic to Fungus Rock (west coast of Gozo). It has a reddish belly and blue-like flanks.[1]

Other subspecies[edit]

P. filfolensis ssp. laurentimulleri

A fifth subspecies is thought to exist on the island of Cominotto/Kemunett [1] and another subspecies, Podarcis filfolensis ssp. laurentimulleri, occurs on the Italian islands of Linosa and Lampione.[2]

Features and behaviour[edit]

Unlike the males, who have bright colours, young lizards and females have somewhat dull coloration (brownish).[1]

Males show territorial behaviour. When other males enter its territory, it puffs up and raises its head. A similar behaviour is seen when they attract females. Mating takes place in spring. One or two eggs are laid shortly after, and finally hatch between June and mid-August.[1]

See also[edit]

References and sources[edit]

Savona-Ventura C. Taxonomical status of the Maltese wall lizard (Podarcis filfolensis BEDRIAGA 1876). Central Mediterranean Naturalist 2001, 3(3):89-95

Savona-Ventura C. The herpetofauna of Comino and satellite islets with a note on the colouration of Podarcis filfolensis. Animalia 1983; 10(1/3):87-93

Savona-Ventura C. The Natural History of St. Paul's Islands - Reptiles and Mammals. Potamon 1983; 11:32-34

Savona-Ventura C. Reptiles and amphibians in Maltese ecology. Potamon 1979; 1(2):14-16

SCIBERRAS, A. (2005) Observation on the endangered population of the Maltese wall lizard of Selmunett island (Podarcis filfolensis kieselbachi).Unpublished work, presented to the chamber of young scientists of Malta at 4- 10th April, winning the contest 1st place and leading to the Belgian Science expo on 26 April to 1st May.

SCIBERRAS, A. (2007) Lizards At Id-Dwejra. Dwejra Heritage Park Gozo pgs.28-33. Dwejra Management Board.

SCIBERRAS, A. & SCHEMBRI,P.J. (2008) Conservation Status of St Paul`s Island Wall Lizard (Podarcis filfolensis kieselbachi).Herpetological Bulletin-Number 105 pgs.28-34.

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Wildlife of the Maltese Islands, BirdLife Malta and Nature Trust, 1995
  2. ^ Nature in Gozo, BirdLife Malta, 2007
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