Ruin Lizards. No, that’s not an instruction. Ruins are where these Italian Wall Lizards live. In Italy there are civilisations’ worth of ruins to choose from. Etruscan? Check. Ancient Roman? Check. Modern Roman? Certainly.
This one is enjoying the dryness and the heat of the sparse limestone meadows of Matera in the south of Italy.
I found out previously that they know no difference between natural rocks and ruined buildings; or even the modern pavements, gardens and squares:
This one is playing a dangerous game. In looking for food it’s putting itself at risk of becoming meal for something else; possibly a Lesser Kestrel:
Their skin patterns are so variable that every one I see looks nothing like the photographs on the Internet or the illustrations in the books. I was convinced that they must be a different species. When I say I was convinced, I mean that I convinced myself. Other people said “It’s a Wall Lizard.”:
This one’s back is a very verdant green; the colour of fresh grass:
The green is nothing like the black, brown and yellow one here:
I decide to get a little closer using stealth. It’s a pleasure to share space with a creature so alien:
I check the back of my camera, look back, and it’s gone.