Lebanon Lizard

Phoenicolacerta laevis

سحلية لبنان

Picture resource: By Zeynel Cebeci (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Status: Uncommon

The Lebanon lizard belongs to the Lacertidae family in the Squamata order (suborder Sauria). A very common lizard, one of many belonging to the Lacertidae family that are present in Palestine. The adult length is up to 25.5 cm (body + tail). Males are larger than females. A colorful agile diurnal lizard. Its back is brown or greenish grey and sometimes has brown dots. At each side of the body there is a brown stripe, at times with blue dots. The head underside is usually green or turquoise. The tail is very long (two thirds of the total length) and it is detachable. The head scales are larger than the back scales. The legs are fitted to run and climb. The fingers are long and at their tips are tooth saw like, which enable climbing steep surfaces (such as trees). Mating season is between March and May. In the summer the female lays 2-5 eggs in clutches, which hatch during fall. The head of males is larger and wider than females. During the mating season, the head underside coloration of males, generally increases, which makes it easy to distinguish between males and females. The diet includes arthropods, which are actively hunted. It inhibits the Middle East and Turkey. 

Conservation status: Least Concern. 

In Palestine: it can be found in a variety of Mediterranean habitats.

Sites: Beitillu, Umm at-Tut, Wadi Al-Quff nature reserves