Wildlife in Italy: Lizard of Malta

Wildlife in Italy: Lizard of Malta

Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Reptiles
Order: Squamata
suborders: Sauri
Family: lizards
Kind: Podarcis
Species: P. filfolensis

With its five subspecies, the Malta lizard (Podarcis filfolensis) is widespread in the Linosa and Lampione islands, in Italy, and in the Calipsee islands (Malta, Filfola, Fungus Rock, Gozo, San Paolo islands), which form the archipelago of the Republic of Malta. It prefers sunny environments, dry stone walls, rocks and forest clearings. It is preyed on by small mammals, birds of prey, snakes. When captured, it implements the autotomy strategy: contracts the muscles to detach the tail to escape the predator, over time the tail will grow back.

Distinctive characters

The Malta lizard is one of the smallest saurians, in fact it reaches a maximum of 20 cm in length including the tail. The dorsal livery is brown with green or yellow roundish specks, according to the subspecies and the geographical area. The ventral region is whitish in color.


It feeds on insects, larvae, caterpillars, small crustaceans and molluscs. The female lays about ten eggs in a ravine or a hole dug in the ground and does not provide parental care to newborns, who are already autonomous at birth.

Lizard of Malta - Podarcis filfolensis (photo Lars Bergendorf

Lizard of Malta - Podarcis filfolensis (photo Lars Bergendorf

curated by Ivana Stella

Video: HERPING IN MALTA - Algerian whip snake, chameleons, lizards and more! (January 2022).