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Anatololacerta anatolica anatolica / Anadolu Kaya Kertenkelesi / Anatolian Rock Lizard

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Anatololacerta anatolica anatolica / Anadolu Kaya Kertenkelesi / Anatolian Rock Lizard

Anatololacerta anatolica anatolica / Anadolu Kaya Kertenkelesi / Anatolian Rock Lizard [Adult Male / Erişkin Erkek] from Saklı Vadi, Sındırgı, Balıkesir.


Anatololacerta (Anatolian Rock Lizards) genus includes more closely related three species which are mainly endemic to Anatolia. They are known from the Western and SW Turkey and some neighbouring Aegean islands including Samos, Ikaria and Rhodes. 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 inhabit 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. Feeds on mainly insects, rarely other small invertebrates. Males bite flank of females during copulation and a female lays 3–8 eggs.

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 characteristis are changed according to species and subspecies. A brief summary is as follows:

Scaling. Rostral separated from frontonasal scale; row of supraciliary granules complete; outer edge of parietal scale reaching lateral border of parietal table only posteriorly. Two postnasal scales; no contact between the supranasal and anterior loreal scales above nostril; often five upper labial scales in front of subocular; first upper temporal scale large; masseteric scale frequently small or absent. Dorsal body scales small and smooth, about 50–65 in a transverse row at mid-body. Collar smooth-edged; six or eight longitudinal rows of ventral scales; preanal scale very small, bordered by two or more semicircles of small subequal scales and separated from the vent by other smaller scales; scales under toes tubercular; caudal scale whorls subequal in length.

Colouring. More or less striated or banded, frequently with pale fairly broad dorsolateral stripes separating vertebral and lateral bands that may be reticulate, particularly in males. Background colour light bluish green to light brown with scattered small black spots and white flecks. No blue ocelli in shoulder region. Underside usually whitish or bluish, but throat often reddish especially in males and subadults; chin and throat often with dark spots; blue spots present on outer row of ventral scales; tail bright green-blue in hatchlings.

Species and subspecies included to this genus and their distribution areas are follows:

1. Anatololacerta anatolica (Anatolian Rock Lizard) [in Turk. Anadolu Kaya Kertenkelesi] (2 subspecies)

(a) A. a. anatolica - NW Anatolia.

(b) A. a. aegaea - Samos island (Greece) and the nearby continental Samsundagh mountain range (i.e. Dilek Penninsula), Turkey.

2. Anatololacerta oertzeni (Oertzen’s Lizard ) [in Turk. Örtzen Kertenkelesi] (5 subspecies)

(a) A. o. oertzeni - Ikaria island (Greece)

(b) A. o. pelesgiana - Rhodos and adjacent small islands (Greece), SW Anotolia south of Menderes river, and easthward to Fethiye.

(c) A. o. finikensis - coastal SW Anatolia between Kaş and Finike.

(d) A. o. ibrahimi - coastal S Anatolia between Antalya and Gülnar, and isolated group NE and E of Adana.

(e) A. o. budaki - mountainous regions from Central Lykia to Eastern Menderes valley.

3. Anatololacerta danfordi (Danford’s Rock Lizard) [in Turk. Toros Kertenkelesi] (2 subspecies)

(a) A. d. danfordi - Cilician Taurus.

(a) A. d. bileki - from Burdur in Central Anatolia via Beysehir down to coastal Silifke.



Short Description of Anatololacerta anatolica (Anatolian Rock Lizard) [in Turk. Anadolu Kaya Kertenkelesi]

Gular region and anterior parts of the belly in adults (sometimes whole belly) are brick-red to whitish. Vertebrale 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 numerious (nearly ever more than 15) enlarged marginal plates.
In nominate race the supraciliar stripes are resolved in white flecks, whereas it is generally form 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.


References: 1. Göçmen, B. (Unpub. results). The results of herpetological trips. 2. Budak, A. & Göçmen, B. (2005). Herpetology. Ege Üniversitesi Fen Fakültesi Kitaplar Serisi, No. 194, Ege Üniversitesi Basimevi, Bornova-Izmir, 226 pp [2nd Edition, 2008]. 3. 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. 4. Eiselt, J. & Schmidtler, J. F. (1986). Der Lacerta danfordi-Komplex. Spixiana, 9 (3): 289-328.


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Author Bayram GÖÇMEN
Created on Friday 28 May 2010
Posted on Sunday 06 January 2013
Tags Balıkesir, TURKEY / TÜRKİYE
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