Timon lepidus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Lacertidae

Scientific Name: Timon lepidus
Species Authority: (Daudin, 1802)
Common Name(s):
English Ocellated Lizard
French Lezard ocelle
Spanish Lagarto Ocelado, Lagarto Ocelado
Lacerta lepidus Daudin, 1802
Taxonomic Notes: This species was described as Lacerta, but it is now placed in the genus Timon (Mayer and Bischoff 1996; Fu 1998, 2000; Harris et al. 1998; Harris and Carretero 2003), though Montori and Llorente (2005) and Sindaco and Jeremčenko (2008) retain it in Lacerta. It consists of a number of distinct genetic lineages of uncertain taxonomic status. Paulo (2001) suggested that the subspecies Timon l. nevadensis is a distinct species, but other lines of evidence are more indicative of subspecific status (Mateo et al., 1996; Mateo and López-Jurado 1994).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Juan M. Pleguezuelos, Paulo Sá-Sousa, Valentin Pérez-Mellado, Rafael Marquez, Marc Cheylan, Claudia Corti, Iñigo Martínez-Solano
Reviewer(s): Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Reptile Assessment)
Listed as Near Threatened because this species is probably in significant decline (but probably at a rate of less than 30% over ten years), probably mainly because of widespread habitat loss through much of its range, thus making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2006 Near Threatened (NT)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is widely found in Portugal and Spain; it is found as isolated populations in southern, south-central and western France (north to Oleron Island), and in extreme northwestern Italy. It also occurs on some Atlantic islands along the Spanish and Portuguese coasts. It is present on a few Mediterranean islands. It ranges from sea level up to 2,500m asl. The subspecies T.l. oteroi is endemic to Salvora Island in northwestern Spain.
Countries occurrence:
France; Italy; Portugal; Spain
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2500
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Although it has been recorded at densities of up to 50 individuals per hectare, populations appear to be strongly declining in many parts of its range. Some insular populations as well as Italian ones are close to extinction. The subspecies T.l. oteroi numbers fewer than 10,000 individuals.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found in open and dry areas of woodland, scrubland, olive groves, vineyards, meadows, arable areas and sandy or rocky sites. It is generally present in areas that have refuges such as bushes, stone walls, rabbit burrows and other holes. The females lay clutches of five to twenty two eggs.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is generally declining because of ongoing habitat loss, pesticide pollution and poisoning. Predators might also be eating this species more, due to the decline of rabbits. Also reduced livestock grazing might be reducing open areas suitable for this species. Current attempts to revive the former tradition of eating this species would also be very detrimental.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Further studies are needed in order to understand the recent population declines of this species better. It is listed on Annex III of the Bern Convention and is present in a number of protected areas, though it has nearly disappeared from a number of these.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Marginal  
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
suitability: Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability: Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
suitability: Suitable  
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:Yes
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Future    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.3. Other ecosystem modifications
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.2. Problematic native species
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

9. Pollution -> 9.3. Agricultural & forestry effluents -> 9.3.4. Type Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Andreu, A., Bea, A., Braña, F., Galán, P., López-Jurado, L.F., Pérez-Mellado, V., Pleguezuelos, J.M. and Salvador, A. 1998. Fauna Ibérica. Reptiles. 10: 1-705.

Arnold, E.N. 2003. Reptiles and amphibians of Europe. Princeton University Press., Princeton and Oxford.

Bannert, H. 1994. Bericht über Freiland-Haltung und erfolgreiche Nachzucht im Freien von Lacerta lepida in Österreich. Die Eidechse: 8-9.

Bischoff, W. 1982. Zur Frage der taxonomischen Stellung europäischer und nordwestafrikanischer Perleidechsen (Sauria, Lacertidae, Lacerta lepida-Gruppe). Amphibia-Reptilia: 357-367.

Bischoff, W., Cheylan, M. and Böhme, W. 1984. Lacerta lepida - Perleidechse. In: Böhme, W. (ed.), Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien Europas, Band 2/I., Echsen II (Lacerta)., pp. 181-210. Aula-Verlag., Wiesbaden.

Busack, S.D. 1987. Morphological and biochemical differentiation in Spanish and Moroccan populations of the lizard, Lacerta lepida. J. Herpetol.: 277-284.

Castroviejo, J. and Mateo, J.A. 1998. Una nueva subespecie de Lacerta lepida Daudin, 1802 (Sauria, Lacertidae) para la Isla de Salvora (Espana). Publ. Asoc. Amigos de Donana: 1-21.

Fu, J. 1998. Toward the phylogeny of the family Lacertidae: implications from mitochondrial DNA 12S and 16S gene sequences (Reptilia: Squamata). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 9: 118-130.

Fu, J. 2000. Toward the phylogeny of the family Lacertidae: why 4,708 base pairs of mtDNA sequences cannot draw the picture. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 71: 203-217.

Funke, O. 1999. Standorttreue bei Timon lepidus lepidus. Die Eidechse: 63.

Galan, P. Anfibios y reptiles del parque nacional de las islas atlanticas de Galicia: faunistica, biologia y conservacion. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, Madrid.

Hahne, A. 1994. Urlaubsbekanntschaften mit Perleidechsen in Portugal. Die Eidechse: 11-12.

Harris, D.J. and Carretero, M.A. 2003. Comments on the taxonomic value of (sub)genera within the family Lacertidae (Reptilia). Amphibia-Reptilia 24: 119-122.

Harris, D.J., Arnold, E.N. and Thomas, R.H. 1998. Relationships of lacertid lizards (Reptilia: Lacertidae) estimated from mitochondrial DNA sequences and morphology. Proceedings of the Royal Society London, Series B 265: 1939-1948.

IUCN. 2009. European Species on the IUCN Red List. Available at: (Accessed: 22 June 2009).

Malkmus, R. 1982. Beitrag zur Verbreitung der Amphibien und Reptilien in Portugal. Salamandra: 218-299.

Malkmus, R. 1990. Herpetofaunistische Daten aus Nordostportugal. Salamandra: 165-176.

Malkmus, R. 2004. Amphibians and reptiles of Portugal, Madeira and the Azores-archipelago. A.R.G. Gantner Verlag K.G., Ruggell (Germany).

Mateo, J.A. 2004. Lagarto ocelado - Lacerta lepida. In: Carrascal, L.M. and Salvador, A. (eds), Enciclopedia Virtual de los Vertebrados Españoles., Museo Nacional de Ciencas Naturales, Madrid.

Mateo, J.A. and López-Jurado, L.F. 1994. Variaciones en el color de los lagartos ocelados; aproximación a la distribución de Lacerta lepida nevadensis Buscholz 1963. Revista española de Herpetología: 29-35.

Mateo, J.A., López-Jurado, L.F. and Guillaume, C.P. 1996. Proteic and morphological variations in ocellated lizards (Lacertidae): A complex of species across the Strait of Gibraltar. Comptes Rendus de L Academie Des Sciences Serie III - Sciences de La Vie - Life Sciences: 737-746.

Mayer, W. and Bischoff, W. 1996. Beiträge zur taxonomischen Revision der Gattung Lacerta (Reptilia: Lacertidae). Teil 1: Zootoca, Omanosaura, Timon und Teira als eigenständige Gattungen. Salamandra 32(3): 163-170.

Montori, A. and Llorente, G.A. 2005. Lista patrón actualizada de la Herpetofauna española. Conclusiones de nomenclatura y taxonomía para las especies de anfibios y reptiles de España. Asociación Española de Herpetología, Barcelona.

Odierna, G., Olmo, W., Capriglione, T. and Caputo, V. 1990. Karyological differences between Lacerta lepida and Lacerta pater. J. Herpetol.: 97-99.

Paulo, O.F. 2001. The Phylogeography of Reptiles of the Iberian Peninsula. PhD Thesis, University of London, London.

Paulo, O.S., Pinheiro, J., Miraldo, A., Bruford, M.W., Jordan, W.C. and Nichols, R.A. 2008. The role of vicariance vs. dispersal in shaping genetic patterns in ocellated lizard species in the western Mediterranean. Molecular Ecology 17(6): 1535-1551.

Pfau, J. 1988. Beitrag zur Verbreitung der Herpetofauna in der Niederalgarve (Portugal). Salamandra: 258-275.

Pleguezuelos, J.M., Márquez, R. and Lizana, M. 2002. Atlas y Libro Rojo de los Anfibios y Reptiles de España. Dirección General de la Conservación de la naturaleza-Associación Herpetológica Española., Madrid.

Sindaco, R. and Jeremčenko, V.K. 2008. The Reptiles of the Western Palearctic. 1. Annotated Checklist and Distributional atlas of the turtles, crocodiles, amphisbaenians and lizards of Europe, North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy).

Sindaco, R., Doria, G., Razzetti, E. and Bernini, F. 2006. Atlas of Italian Amphibians and Reptiles\\Atlante Degli Anfibi E Dei Rettili D'Italia. Societas Herpetologica Italica - Edizioni Polistampa, Firenze.

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Citation: Juan M. Pleguezuelos, Paulo Sá-Sousa, Valentin Pérez-Mellado, Rafael Marquez, Marc Cheylan, Claudia Corti, Iñigo Martínez-Solano. 2009. Timon lepidus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T61583A12498949. . Downloaded on 25 November 2015.
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