There are approximately 12 species and sub-species within the genus Algyroides (1). Of these, there are five which are found throughout the Mediterranean such as in Spain and Greece. It can be easily confused within the Ionian Islands with other similar species, such as the Greek Algyroides (Algyroides moreoticus) (2).
Adults have a snout-vent length of up to seven centimetres, with tails twice the length. Females are generally smaller than males (2). Back scales are large and keeled, with smaller scales on the flanks. Usually a dark grey-brown to red-brown, with black spots scattered on their body (2). During the mating season male Algyroides nigropunctatus have a bright blue throat and orange-red belly (3). They are excellent climbers (3).
They usually mate in April (3). The females then lay two to six eggs in May and possibly another clutch in late summer. Eggs will hatch after a five to seven week incubation period (2). Algyroides nigropunctatus are a diurnal species (3).
They live in Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, rocky areas, arable land, pastureland, plantations, rural gardens, and urban areas (4). Can be found up to 700 m above sea level, and in the southern regions up to 1200 m (2) .It is most often found in shaded or semi-shaded areas, although animals can be observed basking on rocks and tree trunks. During the hottest part of the day they will shelter from the sun (3).
This species is found along the eastern Adriatic coast, from north-east Italy, into Western Slovenia, Croatia, Albania, Bosnia and western Greece (2). It is also found on some of the Croatian Adriatic islands and the Ionian islands (with the exception of Zakynthos) (4).
IUCN Red List = Least Concern (5) It is threatened by habitat loss.
Listed under Appendix II of BERN Convention (6).
Description written by Sheridan Willis (2009)
(1) ZipcodeZoo (2009) [online] Available: http://zipcodezoo.com/Key/Animalia/Algyroides_genus.asp [date accessed: 23/06/2009]
(2) N. Arnold and D. Ovenden, Reptiles and Amphibians, 3rd ed. London, Collins, 2004
(3) Cyber Lizard (2005) Algyroides [online] Available: http://www.cyberlizard.plus.com/lacertids_algyroides.htm#algyroidesmoreoticus [date accessed: 12/05/2009]
(4) Mongabay (2006) [online] Available: http://biodiversity.mongabay.com/animals/a/Algyroides_nigropunctatus.html [date accessed: 18/06/2009]
(5) IUCN (2008) IUCN Red List [online] Available:
http://iucnredlist.org [date accessed: 18/06/2009]
(6) Europe, C.o., 2002. Convention on the conservation of European wildlife and natural habitats: Bern Convention. [Online] Available at: http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/FR/Treaties/Html/104-2.htm [Accessed 23 July 2009].