Armenian Lizard


Darevskia armeniaca

Darevskia armeniaca, commonly known as the Armenian lizard or the Armenian rock lizard, is a parthenogenetic (unisexually breeding) species (or form) of Darevskia, a genus of lizards belonging to the family Lacertidae, the wall lizards. Darevskia armeniaca is native to the Armenian Highland.

Range Description:

This species is present in the Caucasus region, where it has been recorded from northeastern Turkey (Vilayets Trabzon, Ardahan and Kars), northwestern Armenia, western Azerbaijan and southern Georgia. It has been introduced to northern Ukraine. It is found up to 2,500m asl (Turkey).

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Armenia ; Azerbaijan; Georgia; Turkey



Habitat and Ecology:

This is a montane species that is found in rocky areas, and high steppes, where lives among herbaceous vegetation. It is sometimes common in ruins and on the walls of buildings. This is a parthenogenic species; three or four eggs are laid in a clutch (Baran and Atatur, 1998) in middle of June – early the July. Large females can to lay second clutches. The incubation period of eggs lasts about 55 days, and the young hatch at the end of July to the beginning of August. Animals emerge after hibernation from the end of March to the beginning of May (in depending on altitude of habitat). It reaches maximum size by about the fourth year.

Major Threat(s):

There are no overall major threats to the species, however some subpopulations are locally threatened by overgrazing of their habitat by domestic livestock (cattle) and the associated habitat destruction. The species is adaptable to some habitat change and populations can be found living on churches and similar old buildings.

Conservation Actions:

This species occurs in a number of national parks and nature reserves (including Khosrov National Park and Sevan Lake National Park [both Armenia]).

Darevskia armeniaca

Scientific classification
Kingdom:  Animalia
Phylum:  Chordata
Subphylum:  Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order:   Squamata
Suborder: Sauria
Family:  Lacertidae
Subfamily:  Lacertinae
Genus:  Darevskia
Species:  D. armeniaca

Binomial name
Darevskia armeniaca
(Méhelÿ, 1909)