This page is for wildlife that I've photographed in the wild whilst holidaying in Spain.
Moorish Gecko - Crocodile Gecko (Tarentola mauritanica )
The Moorish Gecko is an average sized lizard growing up to 6-7 inches in length including its tail and is found in Northern Africa and throughout the Mediterranean. One of the most obvious characteristics of this gecko and the reason behind it being known as the Crocodile Gecko are the rows of tubercular scales that run down its back, sides and tail. This is a strong and heavily built gecko with a large and pointed head. Their colour can vary from grey - yellow - beige - reddish brown.
Although originally found in dry and rocky areas the Moorish Gecko is also a common visitor to towns and cities and can often be found at night on walls near street lighting where it hunts insects and moths attracted by the light. These geckos are not fussy eaters and will consume anything that they can catch and eat including their own young.
During the heat of the day the Moorish Gecko usually hides in cracks in rocks and walls but they can sometimes be found basking openly. As the sun begins to fade they emerge and begin hunting. The female can lay eggs 4-6 times a year during the breeding season but the number of eggs laid at any one time is normally just 1 or 2.
The young Moorish Geckos are often very colourful and they can even have dark lateral striping but this soon fades as the gecko matures.
The young Moorish Geckos can vary a great deal in temperament. Some will sit quite happily on your hand whilst others (including this one pictured above) will readily bite anything placed in front of them!
Photographed on Calahonda Beech, in Spain, this Moorish Gecko was one of many found within the rock piles on the beech.
Shading from the 40 degree midday sun there were several Moorish Geckos hiding in the gaps of this beach wall at La Cala de Mijas Beach, Spain.
Mediterranean House Gecko - Turkish Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
The Mediterranean House Gecko or the Turkish Gecko as they are also known, can grow up to six inches in length including the tail but they are usually 4-5. They are nocturnal and feed on insects. The Turkish Gecko is slender in build and their colour is usually pink - orange or brown and their skin can be semi-translucent. These can be found emerging high on walls at dusk or hidden beneath rocks on the ground during the day as was the case with this very small example.
The Mediterranean Geckos are smaller and more delicate than the Moorish Geckos. They share similar habitat and are most commonly found preying on moths and other small insects around external lights on houses and walls. They have successfully spread to many countries throughout the world because of their rapid breeding and good resistance to pesticides. This makes them one of the few species that could be increasing in numbers. Females can lay lay eggs several times a year and males can be sexually mature at just six months old. Eggs are usually laid in pairs often in communal egg-laying sites. The males can be quite vocal at night calling out to establish territories.
These small delicate looking lizards are actually quite robust and are found across most of Spain. They have a body length of up to 6cm and a tail that is usually double their body length. Colour and patterning can vary considerably. I found many basking all through the day on rocky walls and cliffs in Southern Spain.
The Perez's Frog is the Common Frog of Spain and is found right across Spain, France and Portugal. It is even found on a couple of sites here in the UK (Sheppy in Kent & Newdigate in Surrey). It has many names including the Western Mediterranean Green Frog, the Iberian Frog, and the Iberian Water Frog. The colouration and patterning of this frog can vary so greatly that it can easily be confused with other species. Adults can grow up to 100mm in length.
The tadpoles of the Perez's Frog are quite large and can reach 70mm in length before metamorphose. Even once the frog has matured is is almost never found far from water. In the wild the Perez's Frog usually has a lifespan of around 10 years and they reach sexual maturity in their second year.
These are fair sized beetles that grow to around 30mm in length. This beetle belongs to the group of beetles known as the Tenebrionidae (Darkling Beetles). I found many of these in small groups during my stay in Spain. Some were out in the midday sun whilst others were under refugia.
Mediterranean Slant-faced Grasshopper
Usually growing up to 75mm in length but sometimes up to 100mm this stick-like grasshopper has excellent camouflage in the dried grass that it is commonly found in. They can also be found in varies shades of green as well as this straw-coloured example.
The Epaulet Skimmer Dragonfly
Geranium Bronze Butterfly
The Geranium Bronze is a small butterfly with a wingspan of just 15-27mm. Originally from South Africa but the Geranium Bronze has now spread across much of Europe. It has even reached the UK where it was first seen in 1997 and is believed to have been accidentally imported into the country on Geranium plants in the nursery trade.