Pyrenean Rock lizard, Iberolacerta bonnali
(Lantz, 1927)

History and origin
The Pyrenean rock lizard was first described by Lantz in 1927, the scientific name of this species is Iberolacerta bonnali, formally Lacerta monticola bonnali. Iberolacerta from Latin meaning 'Iberia' and 'lizard'. Bonnali - Lantz stated in his description: "It is with pleasure that I dedicate this species to Mr de Bonnal...".

Pyrenean Rock lizard - © Jan van der Voort
Pyrenean Rock lizard, Iberolacerta bonnali - © Jan van der Voort

Characteristics
This species of Iberolacerta is the most widespread geographically.

Description
=Size=
The eggs are about 14 x 9 mm. They measure 20 to 25 mm long at hatch. They can grow up to around 60 mm long, their tail being twice the length of that, making an adult size of up to 180 mm long.
=Morphology=
They are small and robust. They have short but fat limbs, a pointed head and long toes. Their tail is up to twice as long as their body. They have small rough scales.
=Patterns & colours=
They are dark gray or brownish gray on their back and their sides are darker, their head is also darker. They usually have light scales scattered over the back and tail. Their belly is light yellow or cream in colour.

Geographical range
Found in Spain found from El Portalé (Huesca) pass to Bonaigua (Lerida) and in France around Lac Bleu de Bigorre.

Subspecies
None described.

Sexual differences
None.

Seasonal variations
None.

Diet
They feed on insects.

Defensive habits
Unknown.

Reproduction
Breeding occurs when they wake up from hibernation in spring, a week after, they are all looking for each other and mating begins. After only a few weeks about 3 to 10 eggs, they are laid in rock crevices. The eggs incubate for around 4 to 5 weeks before hatching.

Sexual maturity, life span
The average life span for Iberolacerta bonnali is unknown. They reach their sexual maturity in around two years.

Habits
They are active by day. They only have a small period of activity where they are found, only appearing from hibernation when the snow melts. they are more common on limestone rocks then that of granite ones. They bask a lot in the sun to stay warm but seem to avoid the hottest hours, retreating under stones, in vegetation or down burrows, this is thought to be due to the high ultra violet sun rays in the high mountains.

Habitat
They are found under 600 meters. They inhabit meadows, cultivated land, light woods, scrub land on hills... The males territory may be up to 2 hectares.

Predators
Their biggest threat is from birds when they are young. As adults the only real dangers are fire and man.