Anatololacerta anatolica aegaea Eiselt & Schmidtler, 1987 ♂
Common names: Anatolian Rock Lizard [En], Lézard d’Anatolie [Fr], Anatolische Eidechse [De], Σαύρα της Σάμου, Σαμιώτικη Σαύρα [Gr], Anadolu Kaya Kertenkelesi [Tu]
IUCN Status: LC (Least Concern)
Dilek Peninsula, Güzelçamlı, AYDIN ● Turkey
Description: Anatololacerta genus includes more closely related three species which are mainly endemic to Anatolia. They are small-sized lizards up to about 75 mm from snout to vent; adult males often larger than females; head and body not very strongly depressed.
They possess the following features found only in a minority of other lacertid lizards:
Often five upper labial scales in front of subocular plate, masseteric scale frequently small or absent, preanal scale relatively small and bordered by more than one row of smaller scales, broad pale dorsolateral stripes often present, hemipenial lobes relatively long with large outer sulcal lips on lobes. Other more widely distributed features include head and body not strongly depressed, seven premaxillary teeth in adults, usual number of presacral vertebrae in males 26, inscriptional ribs frequently absent, tail brightly coloured in hatchlings; hemipenial microornamentation of crown-shaped tubercles. Scaling and colour-pattern characteristics are changed according to species and subspecies.
Species and subspecies included to this genus and their distribution areas are follows:
1. Anatololacerta anatolica with 2 subspecies:
- A. a. anatolica – NW Anatolia.
- A. a. aegaea – Samos island (Greece) and the nearby continental Samsundagh mountain range (i.e. Dilek Penninsula), Turkey.
2. Anatololacerta oertzeni with 5 subspecies:
- A. o. oertzeni – Ikaria island (Greece)
- A. o. pelesgiana - Rhodos and adjacent small islands (Greece), SW Anotolia south of Menderes river, and easthward to Fethiye.
- A. o. finikensis – coastal SW Anatolia between Kaş and Finike.
- A. o. ibrahimi – coastal S Anatolia between Antalya and Gülnar, and isolated group NE and E of Adana.
- A. o. budaki – mountainous regions from Central Lykia to Eastern Menderes valley.
3. Anatololacerta danfordi with 2 subspecies:
- A. d. danfordi – Cilician Taurus.
- A. d. bileki – from Burdur in Central Anatolia via Beysehir down to coastal Silifke.
For Anatololacerta anatolica, the gular region and anterior parts of the belly in adults (sometimes whole belly) are brick-red to whitish. Vertebral zone on the back is light brown with irregularly dispersed small black spots and white flecks. There are fairly broad and unspotted dorsolateral (supraciliar) stripes separating vertebral and lateral bands. Outer one or two longitudinal rows of ventral plates have generally dark spots. It has significantly narrower pileus (head width) and numerous (nearly ever more than 15) enlarged marginal plates. In nominate race the supraciliar stripes are resolved in white flecks, whereas it is a continuous white stripe in A. a. aegaea. Also the later one has typically lower gular scale numbers and longer first supratemporal scale compare to nominate race. Vertebral zone darker as well.
Biology : It feeds on mainly insects, rarely other small invertebrates. Males bite flank of females during copulation and a female lays 3–8 eggs.
Habitat: It inhabits rock areas and loose stone walls in forested or wooded areas not much removed from water and frequently are seen while they are climbing on rock exposures and their anthropogenic equivalents. It is associated with rocky areas in open woodland. It can also occur in degraded forest that has been grazed by cattle.
Distribution: Anatololacerta are known from the Western and SW Turkey and some neighbouring Aegean islands including Samos, Ikaria and Rhodes.
Anatololacerta anatolica aegaea is distributed on Samos island (Greece) and the nearby continental Samsundagh mountain range (i.e. Dilek Penninsula), Turkey.
The other subspecies is Anatololacerta anatolica anatolica is distributed in NW Anatolia.
Göçmen B. (Unpub. results). The results of herpetological trips.
Budak A. & Göçmen B., 2005. Herpetology. Ege Üniversitesi Fen Fakültesi Kitaplar Serisi, No. 194, Ege Üniversitesi Basimevi, Bornova-Izmir, 226 pp [2nd Edition, 2008].
Baran I. & Atatür M. K., 1998. Turkish Herpetofauna (Amphibians & Reptiles). Ministry of Environment, Ankara. 214 pp.
Arnold E. N., Arribas O. & Carranza S., 2007. Systematics of the Palaearctic and Oriental lizard tribe Lacertini (Squamata Lacertidae Lacertinae), with descriptions of eight new genera. Zootaxa 1430: 1-86.
Eiselt J. & Schmidtler J. F., 1986. Der Lacerta danfordi-Komplex. Spixiana, 9 (3): 289-328.
IUCN Red List