This page is for wildlife that I've photographed in the wild whilst holidaying in Cyprus.

Lizards
There are 11 species of lizard found on the Island of Cyprus:  LINK 1

1) Starred Agama.  2) Meditteranean Chameleon.  3) Troodos Lizard.  4) Shreiber's Spiny-Footed Lizard.  5) Snake-Eyed Lizard.  6)  Budak's Snake-Eyed Skink.  
7) Occelated Skink.  8) Spotted Skink.  9) Striped Skink.  10) Turkish Gecko.  11) Kotschy's Gecko.


Kotschy's Gecko   (Mediodactylus kotschyi)

The Kotschy's Gecko is a small-sized lizard growing up to 10cm in length including its tail. They are found across Southern Europe and the Middle East.




These tiny geckos are usually found hiding under rocks during the daytime. They emerge late afternoon / early evening to catch the last of the sunshine before setting off to hunt insect prey once it gets dark.





Kotschy's Gecko's are quick to drop their tail as a distraction to potential predators to enable them evade capture. 







Kotschy's Gecko sitting on my thumb to show size.






Kotschy's Gecko basking on a stone wall at sunset.







Kotschy's Gecko soaking up the late-afternoon sun on a stone wall.





Kotschy's Gecko soaking up the late-afternoon sun on a stone wall - wide angle iphone photo.






Troodos Lizard basking by the side of a hotel swimming pool.
Troodos Lizard  (Phoenicolacerta troodica)
There are three species of lizard from the Family Lacertidae in Cyprus. These are the Troodos Lizard, Schreiber's Fringe-Fingered Lizard, and the Snake-Eyed Lizard. The Troodos Lizard is a small species with a maximum body-length of 10cm and a long tail that can reach a further 15cm. This is a common species found across the island in all types of habitat. Breeding occurs in both spring and summer and eggs are laid in clutches of 2-8.



Troodos Lizard basking by the side of a hotel swimming pool.






Spiny-Footed Lizard (Acanthodactylus schreiberi) hunting in the afternoon.

Schreiber's Fringe-Fingered Lizard  /  Spiny-Footed Lizard (Acanthodactylus schreiberi)
The Schreiber's Fringe-Fingered Lizard is found mainly near the coast living in sand-dune areas. This species is in rapid decline and classed as "Globally Endangered" due to habitat loss and disturbance. They have a body-length of up to 90mm and females usually only lay one clutch of eggs each season ranging from 1-4 eggs.





Schreiber's Fringe-Fingered Lizard (Acanthodactylus schreiberi) basking in the afternoon sun.


LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3




Snake-Eyed Lizard basking on a stone wall.
Snake-Eyed Lizard  (Ophisops elegans)
The Snaked-Eyed Lizard is the third, final and smallest lizard from the Family Lacertidae, to be found in Cyprus. They are also the most common lizard on the island. This lizard is small and slender with a narrow pointed snout. As with other Ophisops Sp this lizard does not possess separate eyelids and therefore cannot close its eyes. Instead it has a transparent "eye scale" that covers the eye.



Snake-Eyed Lizard basking on rocks.







Starred Agama  /  Sling-Tailed Agama  /  Spiny Lizard  (Laudakia stellio cypriaca)
The largest lizard found on the Island of Cyprus, growing to an impressive length of 35cm or more including tail. Locally they are known as Kourkoutas. There are over 300 species of Agama found across the world but Laudakia stellio is the only species to be found in Europe. There are many sub-species of Laudakia stellio in Europe though. 

The Starred Agama is usually grey / brown in colour. Younger, smaller specimens have more obvious patterns and markings, but larger specimens, especially males, can display a range of colours and several I saw had bright orange colours on their head and chest.



Large Starred Agama basking

When disturbed the Starred Agama is as quick to disappear up a tree as it is to dart under rocks for cover. They are extremely fast runners for stocky robust lizards too.




Despite being nervous and initially running for cover, this Starred Agama was still curious enough to return and watch me photographing it.







Striped Skink basking in late afternoon sun.

Striped Skink  (Trachylepis vittata, previously Mabuya vittata)
A medium-sized lizard growing up to 25cm in length, including tail. Found across Cyprus from coastal areas to the top of the Troodos mountain peaks. Reproduction occurs in Spring and summer and females lay 3-6 eggs. Also known as the Bridled Maybuya or Bridled Skink.    LINK 1

This specimen was photographed basking on large rocks with dense vegetation immediately behind, situated 30 metres from the coast in Paphos.


Budak's Snake-Eyed Skink  (Ablepharus budaki)

Budak's Snake-Eyed Skink  (Ablepharus budaki)
Found under a small rock besides the main road running through Paphos Town. The Budak's Snake-Eyed Skink is a small common species growing to a maximum of 12cm in length including tail. Reproduction occurs in Spring and summer and females lay 2-4 eggs.



Spiders

Pantropical Jumping Spider   (Plexippus paykulli)
A Large Jumping Spider with a typical body-length of around 10mm, however the specimen pictured above was particularly large at 12mm.





Pantropical Jumping Spider   (Plexippus paykulli)






Pantropical Jumping Spider   (Plexippus paykulli)






Jumping Spider   (Macaroeris cf flavicomis)  
A Small Jumping Spider with a body-length of around 7mm.






Jumping Spider   (Macaroeris cf flavicomis)  






False Widow Spider   (Steatoda paykulliana)

Steatoda paykulliana have a body-length of around 15mm and a leg-span of up to 35mm.

Steatoda paykulliana is a new species to the UK from the Mediterranean, that usually finds its way to the UK in amongst grapes and other fruit. At the moment this species is confined to areas around Plymouth and Tilbury Docks in Essex in the UK.



False Widow Spider   (Steatoda paykulliana)

This female specimen is unusually skinny due to it having just produced and egg-sac, which it was guarding when I found it under a large rock. These spiders can have a red, yellow or white band around the abdomen.

LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3    LINK 4



Female Lobed Argiope Orb Weaver  -  Argiope lobata
Lobed Argiope Orb Weaver    (Argiope lobata)
The Lobed Argiope is a large Orb-Weaver found across Africa, Southern Europe and Asia. The female's body-length can be up to 25mm and its leg-span over 50mm. Its bite to humans may be painful but is not considered harmful.



Female Lobed Argiope Orb Weaver  -  Argiope lobata






Male Lobed Argiope Orb Weaver  -  Argiope lobata

This male Lobed Argiope Orb Weaver was photographed in-situ basking on a white pillar next to our hotel swimming pool. As with many spiders the male is far smaller and less impressive than the female.





Stone Huntsman Spider  (Eusparassus walckenaeri)
A large spider usually found under stones in dry areas. Females have a body-length of around 25mm and a leg-span of over 50mm.





Other Wildlife








Swallowtail Butterfly  (Papilio machaon)
In the UK the Swallowtail is the largest and one of the rarest of butterflies. The British Swallowtail is a sub-species and is found only in the Norfolk Broads feeding on its sole larval plant, the Milk-Parsley. In Cyprus the Swallowtail is far less of a fussy eater as a caterpillar and they can be found on a variety of plants. Adults can grow to an impressive length of 93mm.




Swallowtail Butterfly







Common Blue Butterfly (Polyommatus Icarus)

The Common Blue is found right across Cyprus as well as the UK, with the exception of Ireland. It is a small butterfly with a wingspan of 29-36mm and can be seen from the start of Spring to the end of Autumn.





Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly   (Libellula vibrans)






Gonocleonus sp. - A Mediterranean genus of Weevil with many species.






A large Robber Fly with a body-length of around 35-40mm.







Mediterranean Slant-Faced / Cone-Headed Grasshopper  / Nosed Grasshopper (Acrida ungarica)
A medium / large grasshopper usually found in dry, grassy areas, sand dunes and areas where vegetation is sparse at low levels. Colour can be varying shades of green or brown. Found across Central and Southern Europe, but disappearing due to tourism and development in coastal areas. Their body-shape and colour gives great camouflage on the dry grass and vegetation which they usually reside on. There are sub-species of this grasshopper. Adults grow to a length of: Males 25-40mm, Females 41-73mm.    LINK 1    LINK 2




This is an unidentified female cricket (possibly from the orthopteran family Rhaphidophoridae) with a leg-span of around 60-70mm. It was spotted high on wall by the ceiling of an out-building.






A Praying Mantis with a total length of around 3", which came wandering into a Karaoke bar one night.






Carpenter Ant with a body-length of over 20mm!





Carpenter Ant with one cent euro coin to show size.







Pelicans at Paphos Harbour






Pelicans at Paphos Harbour






Pelicans at Paphos Harbour






Pelicans at Paphos Harbour






Feral Cat
Cyprus has an estimated population of anywhere from 100,000 - 1500,000 feral cats roaming the island. These cats can carry diseases and are considered as pests by many local people. One way to visually indicate that a cat is a domestic or spayed cat as opposed to a feral cat, is to clip one of the ears. This should offer some protection when the feral cats are culled.





For reptile & amphibian enquiries contact the Herpetological Society of Cyprus:  herpetsocietycy@gmail.com





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