7 Common LIZARDS found in Tunisia! (ID GUIDE)

Do you want to learn about the different kinds of lizards in Tunisia?

Types of lizards in Tunisia

If so, you’ve come to the right place! In the article below, I have listed the lizards you can expect to see. For each species, you’ll find out how to identify that lizard correctly, along with pictures and interesting facts!

7 Lizards That Live IN Tunisia:

#1. Nile Monitor

  • Varanus niloticus

Types of lizards in Tunisia

How to identify:

  • Length: Between 47 – 86 inches (119 to 218 cm).
  • Lifespan: Between 10 and 20 Years.
  • Nile Monitors have prominent skin patterns; both males and females are grey/brown on top and have green/yellow barring on their tails. Both sexes have large, greenish-yellow spots on their backs, and their underside and throats are creamy-yellow.

Nile Monitors are one of the largest and most spectacular lizards to observe in Tunisia.

Look for them roaming near a permanent water source near woodlands, scrubs, evergreen thickets, mangroves, and swamps. Nile Monitors feed on frogs, toads, rodents, small turtles, birds, eggs, insects, and fish.

Luckily, the Nile Monitor is a lizard, not a human; otherwise, society would frown upon its polygamous behavior. Both males and females mate with several other partners.

After mating, the female takes a break from the males and makes a suitable nest in termite borrows or digs a hole near water where she lays up to 60 eggs. The female is patient during the incubation process, which lasts six to nine months. The baby monitors dig their way to freedom, or the female digs them out, and after three to four years, they are ready to mate themselves.

#2. Andalusian Wall Lizard

  • Podarcis vaucheri

Types of lizards in Tunisia

How to identify:

  • The head is flat and covered with black spots, and it has a white or pale orange belly with black spots on the sides.
  • The male is larger than the female and has a more robust head.

The Andalusian Wall Lizard prefers living near pastureland, rocky areas, rural gardens, forests, and shrubby vegetation, but it also appears in some urban areas. This small lizard mainly feeds on insects, ants, and spiders.

The Andalusian Wall Lizard has a self-regulatory temperature system, making it adaptable and active in various climates, including areas with snow. They are diurnal and seek hard surfaces like stone walls and rocks to bask in the sun to regulate their temperature.

#3. Bosc’s Fringe-toed Lizard

  • Acanthodactylus boskianus

Types of lizards in Tunisia

How to identify:

  • They have five dark longitudinal stripes, and the middle stripe subdivides at the neck with an olive-grey dorsal.
  • The males are larger than females. The female’s tail underside becomes red through the breeding period.

Bosc’s Fringe-toed Lizards are extremely active hunters in Tunisia and mainly feed on insects.

When the breeding season arrives, the males set out to secure a female, and she is very particular with whom she mates. Chemicals exude from femoral glands and play a role in sex recognition, courtship, and communication. Males with larger heads are the thing that makes a Bosc’s Fringe-toed Lizard female’s heartbeat faster.

Once the male secures a female, he is extremely territorial and will often discourage other males through aggression.

#4. Common Wall Gecko (Moorish Gecko)

  • Tarentola mauritanica

  • Adults grow up to 15 cm (6 in) long.
  • They have spiny skin and variable coloring, which allows them to blend in with rocky terrain.
  • Their shape is typical of a gecko, with a large head, thin abdomen, and prominent, large toes.

Common Wall Geckos are frequently spotted lizards in Tunisia.

These nocturnal lizards are known to be comfortable around people, and can easily scale the walls of your home, thus their common name. However, don’t be frightened if you see one inside! It won’t do you any harm, and it may eat a few pesky insects for you.

Common Wall Geckos, which are also called Moorish Geckos, have been introduced to many parts of the world via exotic plant shipments and the pet trade. While they don’t usually do serious damage as an invasive species, they can impact some plant life with their appetite.

#5. Common Chameleon

  • Chamaeleo chamaeleon

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 20-40 cm (8-16 in) long.
  • Colors vary from yellow/brown to dark brown, with two light-colored lines along their sides.
  • Females are significantly larger than males.

The Common Chameleon is one of the most well-known lizards in Tunisia!

Their camouflaging ability is well-known, as is the incredible length of their tongues. One lesser-known talent is the speed with which it catches its prey. The Common Chameleon uses its tongue to rapidly extend and catch insects on the sticky end. 

Despite its quick tongue, the Common Chameleon is one of the slowest lizard species in the world. They must capitalize on their camouflage skills to avoid predators and catch prey.

One of the ways it goes undetected is to remain incredibly still for long periods. The Common Chameleon has two or three toes on each foot to help it balance, climb, and hold on to branches. To improve its stability, this reptile also uses its prehensile tail to improve its balance.

#6. Large Psammodromus

  • Psammodromus algirus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 17-30 cm (7-12 in) long.
  • Their coloring is brown on the back, with darker sides and a lighter belly.
  • Males’ throats become orange during the mating season.

Large Psammodromus might not be the largest lizard in Tunisia, but they are intimidating!

They’re known for their incredible speed, eyesight, and hearing, which they use to hunt grasshoppers, flies, spiders, and ants. Although this species is a great hunter, it also uses camouflage to ambush prey that gets too close.

By Carlos Bartolomé via Wikipedia

These fearsome animals are no more gentle during mating than they are while hunting. The male grips the female around the throat to mate, and although it doesn’t hurt the female, it is quite violent-looking. The red-eyed hatchlings emerge between August and October.

Unsurprisingly, males are fierce fighters when defending their territory and if a predator attacks them. They won’t hesitate to bite viciously, and they make a high squeaky sound to scare the attacker.

#7. Mediterranean House Gecko

  • Hemidactylus turcicus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 3.8-6.3 cm (1.5-2.5 in) long.
  • The pupils are vertical, and the eyes are large and round with immovable eyelids.
  • This species has two color phases for camouflage.
    • Pale phase: the coloring is light pink to pale yellow or white with brown or gray blotches.
    • Dark phase: the coloring darkens to gray or brown, obscuring the blotches on the back.

This lizard is found around people in Tunisia.

Mediterranean House Geckos are nocturnal, but this won’t stop you from being able to find them. They’re considered an “urbanized” species, which means they’re just as happy to live inside your house as they are in the wild!

By Osado – Own work, Public Domain, Via Wikipedia

They eat insects attracted to lights and are commonly found on walls, ceilings, and window screens in homes. Outside, look for them in rock crevices or cracked tree trunks.

In addition to being comfortable around humans, Mediterranean House Geckos are a vocal species. The mating call of males is a series of clicks, and they make a squeaking noise if threatened.

Do you want to learn MORE about animals in Tunisia?

Check out these ID Guides!

Which of these lizards in Tunisia is your favorite?

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