Fun Italian Wall Lizard Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Feb 29, 2024 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
There are some very interesting Italian wall lizard facts to learn.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.5 Min

The Italian wall lizard, scientific name Podarcis sicula, is a reptile mostly found in urban areas because it gives them the advantage of having various places to hide. In some parts of their distribution, it has been found to be highly invasive and harmful to the habitat of other lizards due to hybridization, displacement, competition, and sympatric congeners. It adapts to any kind of environment and ecosystem very quickly and threatens the existing populations of other species of lizards there. These lizards are also very excellent climbers and can be found atop buildings, up to several feet. They often climb up to bask in the sunlight better which they love. They can be sometimes confused with the common wall lizard but can be distinguished due to their color pattern.

If you want to learn more about this lizard, read on. For more relatable content, check out these Texas horned lizard facts and lava lizard facts for kids.

 

Italian Wall Lizard Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Italian wall lizard?

The Italian wall lizard (Podarcis sicula/Podarcis siculus), is a lizard belonging to the family of Lacertidae lizards.

What class of animal does an Italian wall lizard belong to?

The Italian wall lizard belongs to the class Reptilia.

How many Italian wall lizards are there in the world?

The modern population size of Italian wall lizards (Podarcis sicula/Podarcis siculus) is considered to be quite large and their population trend is increasing according to the IUCN Red List. However, the exact population range of these reptiles is not documented.

Where does an Italian wall lizard live?

The Italian wall lizard is the most abundantly found lizard species population in its habitats in southern Italy. Apart from the Italian peninsula or Italy, it can be found in other Mediterranean Basin countries like Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia, France, and Herzegovina. Its rapid evolution has also made its populations popular in Turkey, Canada, Spain, and the USA. The Italian wall lizard US range consists of huge populations in New York City, Greenwich, Boston, Topeka, San Pedro, California, and Los Angeles.

What is an Italian wall lizard's habitat?

The Italian wall lizard habitat (Podarcis siculus/Podarcis sicula) ranges from lush grasses, shrubs, and rock walls to human-dominated landscapes, and wooden fences. These wall lizards are considered habitat generalists because of their ability to adapt to a number of ecosystems. Complex habitat areas like shrubs and trees are its favorite but they are also known to live in landscapes dominated by humans, especially the walls. These reptiles have a population found in a wide range of habitats in Italy, and also in places like San Pedro, Topeka, New York, and beyond.

Who do Italian wall lizards live with?

Italian wall lizards live mostly alone or with other insects that may inhabit your house. This often makes them prey to feral cats.

How long does an Italian wall lizard live?

The lifespan of this species in the wildlife is around 10 years if they are not eaten by snakes and birds, but they have been known to survive for 13 years in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

The Italian wall lizards breed in early to mid-summer months like June or July. The Italian wall lizard reproduction and mating habits are not known properly. The females lay eggs in several clutches if the conditions are favorable or else just one clutch. The Italian wall lizard life cycle as an egg is only five to seven weeks after which the eggs hatch and the juveniles are born. They are approximately 1.5 in (3.8 cm) in length. They resemble the adults in form, pattern, and coloration. The males reach sexual maturity after one year whereas the females reach the same in two years.

What is their conservation status?

Their conservation status is Least Concern according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN Red List.

Italian Wall Lizard Fun Facts

What do Italian wall lizards look like?

The color of these reptiles or lizards is tan or brown and they have green contrasts running across their back, head, and tail. There are often contrasts of different colors on the side as well. The stripes of green on the back are usually poorly defined and are present along each side on the back. As the stripe goes down the back it becomes darker and irregular. There are small black or brown blotches on the sides and the back. In the spring, males get a reddish tinge that can be seen under the throat, jaw, front legs, and cheek. The undersides of these lizards are white or cream in color. The tail of this lizard is brown and males have more vivid color patterns than females. The size of both males and females in this species is the same.

Contrasts of different colors on the side as well

How cute are they?

These animals cannot be considered cute as they are very dangerous and intimidating to look at.

How do they communicate?

There is no exact knowledge about the communication of Italian wall lizards. However, lizards in general sometimes communicate with the help of tactile cues.

How big is an Italian wall lizard?

Italian wall lizards can be as long as 5.5-9.5 in (14-24.1 cm). The average fully grown adult has a body length of 3.5 in (8.9 cm) but because the tail of this lizard is twice the size of its body length, the total length of the lizard increases immensely. They are much smaller than a common wall lizard which is 7.8 in (19.8 cm) in length. They are nearly 11 times smaller than a monitor lizard.

How fast can an Italian wall lizard move?

The lizard can move pretty fast to catch its prey or to run from its prey and hide, but the exact speed of this species is unknown. The speed of the frilled lizard is recorded to be about 30 mph (48.3 kph).

How much does an Italian wall lizard weigh?

The weight of this species of lizard is very low but exact numbers are still unknown.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The name of males and females of this species are the same, P. siculus.

What would you call a baby Italian wall lizard?

The Italian wall lizard babies are known as hatchlings.

What do they eat?

The Italian wall lizard diet consists of invertebrates like beetles, grasshoppers, and caterpillars. Some populations of this species have also been known to eat flower parts and plant leaves.

Are they dangerous?

These reptiles are not particularly dangerous to humans, but they are very aggressive to other alien species of lizards and sometimes even to their own kind.

Would they make a good pet?

Italian wall lizards as pets look cool but since they usually like to hide and pretty much do nothing, and Italian wall lizard care is expensive and tiring, they would not make as good pets as other animals would.

Did you know...

The Italian wall lizards are very very good at hiding and often have a hiding place near to the place they are inhabiting or sunbathing at.

These reptiles have very muscular and strong hind legs which help them in running.

P. siculus has been shown in researches and studies to have detailed behavioral and morphological changes, which is indicative of rapid evolution in these reptile species. This means this species evolved quickly from living on just the Mediterranean islands to extend to other regions rapidly.

How did the Italian wall lizard evolve?

Five adult pairs of Italian wall lizards were moved by biologists in 1971 from their native home in Pod Kopiste to Pod Mrcaru Island. This shift made in the environment of these small lizards led to large-scale and rapid evolutionary changes such as the development of the cecal valve. This made Italian wall lizard evolution possible in a short time span, showing their rapid adaptive potential.

How to catch an Italian wall lizard

You'll need a noose to catch an Italian wall lizard. If you move extremely slowly you will be able to slip the noose at the neck of the lizard and gently but quickly catch it in the process. This lizard is easier to catch if you can find it sunbathing rather than in its habitat.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles from our eastern diamondback rattlesnake facts and sand lizard facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Italian lizard lizard coloring pages.

Italian Wall Lizard Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Insects, invertebrates, beetles, grasshoppers, caterpillars

What Type of Animal were they?

Omnivore

Average Litter Size?

N/A

How Much Did They Weigh?

N/A

What habitat Do they Live In?

lush grasses, shrubby vegetation, rock walls, human-dominated landscapes, wooden fences

Where Do They Live?

italian peninsula and the usa

How Long Were They?

Body and tail - 5.5-9.5 in (14-24.1 cm)

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Class

Reptilia

Genus

Podarcis

Family

Lacertidae

Scientific Name

Podarcis siculus or Podarcis sicula

What Do They Look Like?

Tan/brown, green back

Skin Type

Scales

What Are Their Main Threats?

birds, snakes, feral cats, humans

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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