#visitlesvos

Reptiles

The island of Lesvos is exceptionally interesting for its great number of reptile species. At least 21 have been recorded out of a total of 76 recorded in Greece.

There are two land tortoise species: the Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca) and the marginated tortoise (Testudo marginata). This latter tortoise was imported into the island and is seen only in very low numbers and isolated spots. There are two water turtle species in Lesvos: the Balkan pond turtle (Mauremys rivulata) and the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis). Both live in fresh water wetlands, such as lakes, marshes, ponds, canals, lake, reservoirs, etc.

There are twelve snake species living in Lesvos, of which only one is venomous: the Ottoman viper (Vipera xanthina) which is common in the east Aegean islands and Eastern Thrace in Greece. There are also other snake species on the island, such as javelin sand snake (Eryx jaculus), the Caspian whipsnake (Dolichophis caspius orlafiatis” in the local dialect), the ring-headed dwarf snake (Eirenis modestus), the European cat snake (Telescopus fallax), the slender whipsnake (Platyceps najadum), the eastern Montpellier snake (Malpolon insignitus) and the European blind snake (Xerotyphlops vermicularis).

Of the eight lizard species, the starred agama (Agama stelio) is very important. Other lizard species include: The European legless lizard (Pseudopus apodus), the star lizard (Stellagama stellio), the European copper shink (Ablepharus kitaibelii), the Mediterranean house gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus), Kotschy’s gecko (Mediodactylus kotschyi). In recent years a few small populations of the common wall gecko (Tarentola mauritanica) have been recorded, a gecko subspecies originating from Africa.