TheCommon Wall Lizard(Podarcis muralis) is a species of lizard endemic to most of Europe, with introduced populations in southern Britain, and also in North America, where it is called the 'European Wall Lizard. The Common Wall lizard can grow up to about 20 centimetres in length.
The wall lizard is a small, thin lizard with tiny scales, with a color pattern that varies greatly. It usually has a brownish or greyish coloration, and ocassionally may have a small amount of green as well. In some individuals the row of spots along their back may form a line, while others may have a reticulated pattern with dark spots on the side and scattered white spots that can be blue in the shoulder region. The tail is brown, grey or rust in colour, and may have light bars on the sides. The lizard, like many lizards, have the ability to deliberately drop their tail in order to escape predators. The tail will eventually grow back, but it will be shorter than the original and colored differently. On their belly, they have 6 rows of large rectangular scales that can be reddish, pinkish, or orange coloured. Common wall lizards may also have dark markings on the throat.
The Common Wall lizard prefers rocky environments, and especially urban settings where it can scurry between rock, debris, rubble, and buildings, thus earning it's name the Wall Lizard.
Their natural habitat spans mainland Europe, including central Spain, southern Belgium, and the Netherlands. Introduced species have appeared in southern Britain, and also in North America, where it is referred to as the European Wall Lizard, or the "Lazarus Lizard".
In the 1950s, this lizard was introduced to the United States in Cincinnati, Ohio, by a boy who was a member of the family that owned the 'Lazarus Department Store' chain (Now absorbed into Macy's). After returning from a vacation, he released 10 of the reptiles near his Cincinnati home . The species thrived and reproduced exponentially, annually increasing its distribution range, and thrived so well, that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources considered it as a native (although introduced) species.
The Common wall lizard was also introduced to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada in 1970 when a dozen individuals were released into the wild from a small private zoo