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Menorca’s Reptiles and Amphibians

For many wildlife enthusiasts, a holiday to Menorca is an excellent chance to see some of the island’s famously diverse migratory bird life. But as you’re scanning the skies and treetops for avian life, don’t forget to look down at the ground for Menorca’s crawling and slithering residents. Here are some of the species of reptiles and amphibians you can expect to see if you’re out and about on this naturally rich island.

Mediterranean tree frog

Mediterranean tree frogWith its vivid green hue, the Mediterranean tree frog blends in perfectly among trees and grasses. Equipped with long limbs and adhesive discs on its fingers and toes, this amphibian is skilled at leaping and climbing. Though it may be hard to spot because of its colour, you will be able to identify it by its deep, slow croaking.

Lilford’s wall lizard

Lilford’s wall lizardEndemic to the Balearic Islands, this greenish-brown lizard is sadly on the decline due to habitat loss, making it all the more special if you’re able to spot one. Only three inches long but with a stout and rounded body, this lizard is actually quite tame and easy to approach should you stumble across one. It gets it name from Thomas Powys, 4th Baron Lilford, a British ornithologist who studied the animals of the Balearic Islands.

Turkish gecko

Moorish & Turkish geckosDon’t be surprised if you come across one of these species of geckos sunning itself in your garden or on the outside wall of your villa – both these diminutive reptiles thrive in human-inhabited environments. The Moorish gecko is robust, about 15 cm long, with a slightly spiny, armoured appearance due to its bumpy brownish-grey skin. The Turkish gecko (also called the Mediterranean gecko) is of similar size but with a purplish hue and lidless eyes that set it apart. Expect to see one or both of these geckos on your holiday!

Hermann’s tortoise

Hermann’s tortoiseThe best time to spot this slow-footed shell-encased reptile is early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun begins to wane. The midday sun is too hot for Hermann’s tortoise, which takes refuge in its bushy shelter in between foraging for leaves, flowers, and fruits. On the small size relative to other tortoises, this species can reach up to 28 cm in length and live up to 30 years.

Though Menorca’s reptile and amphibian life may not be as prominent as its famous birds, there are many species here that will definitely be new to British visitors. Be sure to keep an eye out for the many Menorcan residents that might be right under your nose in the grounds of your rental villa!

 

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