Ocellated Lizard

Timon lepidus

''Timon lepidus'' is a species of wall lizard known as the Ocellated Lizard.

The Ocellated Lizard is one of the largest members of its family. The adult is 30 to 60 centimetres long and may reach up to 90 centimetres. About two thirds of its length is tail. Newly hatched young are 4 to 5 centimetres long, excluding tail.

This reptile is found in various wild and cultivated habitats from sea level up to 2100 metres in southern Spain. It is rare at higher altitudes. It pefers dry bushy areas, such as open woodland and scrub, old olive groves and vineyards, and is sometimes found on more open rocky or sandy areas. It can occasionally seen basking on roadsides. The lizard usually stays on the ground, but climbs well on rocks and in trees. It can dig holes and sometimes uses abandoned rabbit burrows.

This is a robust lizard with a serrated collar. The male has a characteristic broad head. It has thick strong legs, with long curved claws. The dorsal background colour is usually green but sometimes grey or brownish especially on head and tail. This is overlaid with black stippling that may form a bold pattern of interconnected rosettes. The underside is yellowish or greenish. The male is brighter in colour than the female and has blue spots on its flanks; there are fewer or none in the female. Young are green, grey, or brown, with yellowish or white, often black-edged, spots all over.

The Ocellated Lizard feeds mainly on large insects, especially beetles, and also robs birds’ nests and occasionally takes reptiles, frogs, and small mammals. It also eats fruit and other plant matter, especially in dry areas.

Breeding occurs in late spring or early summer. Males are territorial in spring and fight in the breeding season. The female lays up to 22 eggs in June and July about 3 months after mating, hiding them under stones and logs or in leaf litter or in loose damp soil. It tends to lay fewer, larger eggs in dry areas. The eggs hatch in 8–14 weeks. The lizard is sexually mature at two years of age.