RAUK - Archived Forum - Bristol Wall Lizards

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Bristol Wall Lizards:

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kevinb
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Joined: 18 Mar 2009
No. of posts: 61


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Posted: 18 Mar 2009

Hi everybody here are some pics from today


Suzi
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Joined: 06 Apr 2005
No. of posts: 860


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Posted: 18 Mar 2009
Nice pix. Such an obliging lizard to photograph compared to common lizards for example.
Suz
tim hamlett
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Joined: 17 Dec 2006
No. of posts: 572


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Posted: 18 Mar 2009

hi

great pics. how many did you see?

tim


kevinb
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Joined: 18 Mar 2009
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Posted: 18 Mar 2009
only 4, maybe it is early in the season for them yet.
st rick
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Joined: 26 Apr 2006
No. of posts: 141


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Posted: 18 Mar 2009
Fascinating, I must check these out the next time I'm in town.  I am taking it that these are from the original, city-centre site?
kevinb
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Joined: 18 Mar 2009
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Posted: 19 Mar 2009
yes they are and I also saw lots of Frog spawn and small tadpoles in the pond there and also a male Smooth newt
robpilley
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Joined: 21 Aug 2005
No. of posts: 7


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Posted: 19 Apr 2009

Hi Kevin

I was up at the muralis location today in Bristol, despite it being still and sunny (17 degrees C) I only saw a single adult male. I expected to see far more! I visit the gardens quite a bit and know the lizards have been there for a long time. The male I saw was in a totally new location within the gardens today so Im happy to assume that they are found throughout the gardens and walls.

The animals I have seen are very much like those of northern Italy/ Tuscany- green backed males and greenish yellow females.

Let me know if you see any more. The male today was fairly dull so i assume he wasnt in breeding dress yet.

Rob


Rob Heathcote
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Joined: 25 Mar 2009
No. of posts: 3


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Posted: 20 May 2009

Hi there

Does anyone know the actual status of the Bristol walls; when was the last survey done?

I also went a few weeks ago, and could only find five. There didn't really seem to be any suitable egg incubation areas where these adults were, which may explain the apparent decline. Has anyone ever seen juveniles?

Cheers,

Rob


Department of Zoology
University of Oxford
robpilley
Member
Joined: 21 Aug 2005
No. of posts: 7


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Posted: 20 May 2009

Hi there Rob

I saw a juvenile female last summer, looked like an animal born in 2007 judging by her size. I assume they must lay their eggs in the flowerbeds/ rockery or at the base of that big wall within the gardens. There is also a spot in the southern part of the garden where there is a raised mound with a bench on it, behind it is an old broken down wall which is south facing. this is where I saw the young female. On a sunny day this wall and surrounding flowerbed/ margin does get very warm as its south facing and I imagine it is an ideal egg cooking spot.

I live just outside of Bristol and have kept a colony of wall lizards in my own garden enclsoures for a couple of years (Roman nigriventris, not related to the Tuscan animals you can see in Bristol) and last year, even with our terrible summer, I still saw babies born outside.

Rob


Rob Heathcote
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Joined: 25 Mar 2009
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Posted: 20 May 2009

Hi Rob,

Thanks very much for this. Interesting to hear that there are some juveniles kicking about.... Maybe an indicator they have quite a way to go range-wise if you were seeing neonates after last year's summer!

Have you noticed any decline in the University garden's numbers over the past couple of years?

Cheers,

Rob


Department of Zoology
University of Oxford
snakey
Member
Joined: 14 Sep 2007
No. of posts: 30


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Posted: 20 May 2009
rob, (both robs) looking at the green male in the first pic they look exactly the same colour morph as the shoreham-by-sea animals. as for it being too early in the season for them, i find this doubtful. i've seen them basking at shoreham in february (in some numbers) at only 9 or 10 celsius. i have a colony of these in an outdoor viv and i believe they are the hardiest reptiles i've ever kept.
robpilley
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Joined: 21 Aug 2005
No. of posts: 7


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Posted: 21 May 2009

Hiya,

I agree the animals at the Bristol colony are similar to a lot of the green backed forms in the UK .ie shoreham, ventnor etc. These are Tuscan derived animals from north west Italy, as you head further south the animals get darker and the green less extensive (more spotting as opposed to being green backed). These latter animals are what were formerly described as true nigriventris, as opposed to the northern tuscan animals which were called bruggemanni.

To my mind none of the english colonies are derived from the southern nigriventris and more likely to be a mix of the northern tuscan green backed animals and ssp. maculiventris mixes (many of which were imported in great numbers during the late 70's).

Rob


snakey
Member
Joined: 14 Sep 2007
No. of posts: 30


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Posted: 21 May 2009
yes, you explained this to me once before rob. i'm phil from manchester. my son and i came down to purchase some l.bililineata and p. sicula a couple of years ago. i think i uploaded some pics of the shoreham lizards to you. i remember the late 70s very well. every petshop i knew was full of italian grass snakes ( with the odd dice snake thrown in). 50p each they were exactly the same price as spur thighed tortoises, and like a typical pillock of a kid i chose the grass snakes. i think they were n.n.natrix and had stripes. curiously there was talk a year or two ago of a colony of striped grasssnakes in the rotherham area of south yorkshire, i wonder if these could be a relic population of escaped pets
kevinb
Senior Member
Joined: 18 Mar 2009
No. of posts: 61


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Posted: 17 Jun 2009
I went back here a week or so ago and saw no lizards at all, it may have been because it was a very hot day but a good search revealed nothing. Plenty of tadpoles in the pond and a few Smooth newts.
Rob Heathcote
Member
Joined: 25 Mar 2009
No. of posts: 3


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Posted: 09 Jul 2009

Thanks for this Kevinb. I'll be paying a visit some time soon as well to re-check. It doesn't look great for the long term survival of the colony. Unfortunately there aren't enough lizards to really find out where they came from through a genetic analysis, so their exact origin may remain a mystery.

Does anyone ever remember there being a large number here at all?

Cheers,

Rob


Department of Zoology
University of Oxford
Paul Ford
Senior Member
Joined: 06 Sep 2006
No. of posts: 124


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Posted: 26 Jul 2009

I finally got round to taking a look on Friday (I work less than half a mile away from this site) and saw two wall lizards. One was off like a shot but I did manage to snap this one

PS Thanks to Kev whose directions took me straight to this log


- Bristol Wall Lizards

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