Reptilia: LACERTILIA (Lizards)

Croatia is home to a fairly diverse array of lizards but the fact time was limited and the main target species were snakes, or the Olm, meant that any lizards encountered were really a by-catch extra.


Anguis gracea - Balkan slow worm
There are currently four species of slow worms recognised (Gvoždík et al 2010*) with the Balkan population being assigned to the species Anguis graeca. Most of Europe is inhabited by the Common slow worm (A. fragilis) while eastern Europe and Asia-Minor is home to the Eastern slow worm (A. colchica). The Peloponnese islands of Cephalonia and Zakynthos and the neighbouring mainland are inhabited by the Cephalonian slow worm (A. cephallonicus). All four species are relatively small, fossorial predators of soft-bodied invertebrates.

The single specimen of Balkan slow worm encountered was a stump-tailed adult found crossing a path near the semi-agricultural Balkan adder at Velika Gorica, southeast of Zagreb.

Balkan slow worm,
Anguis graeca

Stump-tailed adult from near Verika Gorica, Turopolji, southeast of Zagreb


* Gvoždík, Jandik, Lymberakris, Jablonski & Moravec 2010 Slow worm, Anguis fragilis (Reptiia: Anguidae) as a species complex: Genetic structure relveals deep divergences. Molecular Phylogenetic and Evolution. 55(2): 460-172.


A number of small lacertids were seen at the western Medvednica site which may have been Common wall lizards (Podarcis muralis) but they evaded capture and were not positively identified.

Lacerta viridis viridis - Eastern green lizard
Eastern green lizards (Lacerta viridis viridis) are widely distributed in eastern Europe with a second subspecies (L. v. meridionalis) occuring to the southeast in Greece and Bulgaria. Adult males were sighted in the vegetation at the western Medvednica location and juveniles were found around the outskirts of a series of small puddles created by rainfilled track ruts.

Eastern green lizard,
Lacerta viridis viridis

adult male from western Medvednica, northwest of Zagreb
Eastern green lizard,
Lacerta viridis viridis

juvenile from western Medvednica, northwest of Zagreb