10 May 2018

Small-spotted Lizard - Tanoumah

The Small-spotted lizard Mesalina guttulatais a small, slim lizard with a long, narrow snout and a light brown-grey body. As its common name suggests, the upperparts of this species are covered in conspicuous light and dark spots, which sometimes form a lined pattern. The underparts of the small-spotted lizard are whitish. The limbs of the small-spotted lizard are relatively robust, and the toes are long and thin. The small-spotted lizard has a very long, slender, banded tail, which measures around twice the length of the head and body and is blue in juveniles. The female small-spotted lizard has a proportionately longer body and slightly smaller head than the male. The small-spotted lizard has a widespread distribution that extends across North Africa, through the Middle East and into Asia, as far as Pakistan and India. It occurs in rocky and gravel-covered habitats on hillsides, mountains and small rocky wadis. It is a cautious and elusive species that is able to survive in extreme desert conditions. They are active during the day, particularly in the morning and has a diverse diet which includes a range of invertebrates, such as ants, beetles and spiders. An elusive species, the small-spotted lizard remains secretive, hiding under rocks and remaining close to the ground when it is active.
Small-spotted lizard