Podarcis is a genus of lizards. Its members look very similar to lizards of the genus Lacerta, to which they were considered to belong until the 1970s. While similar externally and ecologically, Podarcis form a distinct group differing from Lacerta by the construction of the skull and the hemipenis, and by the processes of the caudal vertebrae. They are commonly known as wall lizards. They are native to Europe and northern Africa, and most species are restricted to the Mediterranean region. The Italian wall lizard and the common wall lizard have been introduced to North America.