Mauereidechse (Podarcis muralis) CC BY-SA 3.0 Manfred Heyde (

European wall lizard


The European wall lizard reaches a total length of 25 cm. It is slender and often appears relatively flattened in the dorsal region due to its body length. The collar is usually smooth-edged, and the dorsal scales are slightly keeled. The tail can reach twice the snout-vent length. Dorsal coloration is light to medium brown or gray, sometimes greenish. An irregular blackish mottling, sometimes forming a reticulated pattern, is conspicuous. The underparts are very variably colored, ranging from whitish to yellowish to red and from unspotted to heavily spotted or spotted. Depending on their origin, the animals can vary greatly in body coloration and pattern of markings, making them sometimes difficult to identify.


The European wall lizard inhabits a wide range of biotopes. Preferably, the animals are found on areas exposed to the southeast or southwest. In these biotopes there is an optimal utilization of the morning and afternoon sun, respectively.

The lizards that live in the cavities of the walls use this shelter both for protection against the cold at night and for protection against the extremely high temperatures during the midday heat in midsummer. In general, rocks and walls with evenly distributed open joints and crevices are favorable. On the one hand, the animals prefer wall surfaces with a variety of vegetation, which attract abundant insects, and on the other hand, they prefer unvegetated areas to bask in the sun. Low wall vegetation can be compensated by adjacent natural vegetation at the base of the wall. An influence of the wall height on the colonization by the lizards is not known. European wall lizards living at castle ruins in principle use the entire wall surface. The same applies to the colonization of rock walls and scree surfaces. As a typical synanthropic species, the European wall lizard can also be found in vineyards, on railroad and road embankments, and on buildings in settlements and cities. Occasionally, the species also occurs on open, vertical rock surfaces of quarries.

The text is a translation of an excerpt from Wikipedia ( On wikipedia the text is available under a „Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike“ licence. Status: 26 May 2021