Podarcis sicula sanctistephani


Kingdom Animalia

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Phylum Chordata
Class Reptilia
Order Squamata
Family Lacertidae
Genus Podarcis
Species Podarcis sicula
Subspecies Podarcis sicula sanctistephani
Authority (Mertens, 1926)
English Name Santo Stefano Lizard
Dutch Name Santo Stefano Hagedis
Italian Name Lucertola di Santo Stefano, Lucertola dell'isola di Santo Stefano
Portuguese Name Lagarto-de-santo-stefano
Characteristics This subspecies was distinguished by larger markings (Hellmich, 1962).
Range & Habitat The Santo Stefano Lizard was endemic on Santo Stefano, a small island (less than 500 metre in diameter) located two kilometres east from the nearby island of Ventotene. Santo Stefano is located in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the west coast of Italy, and part of the Pontine Islands. (Day, 1981; Wikipedia contributors, 2008)

Images: the left-hand photo shows the island of Santo Stefano as seen from Ventotene, see also Wikimedia Commons. The right-hand map shows the location of Santo Stefano (the red coloured island east of Ventotene). The map is adapted by Peter Maas from a map created by Norman Einstein for Wikimedia Commons. Both images have been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

History & Population It became extinct in 1965 (Day, 1981).
Extinction Causes This subspecies' extinction was probably caused by feral cats and a snake species. These animals destroyed almost the whole population and any survivors seem to have interbred with an introduced subspecies. An epidemic of an unknown pathogen that followed wiped out the majority of the population and contributed to this subspecies' extinction. (Day, 1981)
Museum Specimens Do you know museum specimens? Contact this website.
Relatives The surviving subspecies of the Italian Wall Lizard or Ruin Lizard (Podarcis sicula) are the closest living relatives of the Santo Stefano lizard.

Image: An Italian Wall Lizard (Podarcis sicula campestris) resting on a dry branch near Urbino, Italy. Photographed by Florian Prischl in 25 July 2007. This image has been released under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Licence. A full resolution version of this image can be found at Wikimedia Commons.

Links Santo Stefano Lizard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


(Complete website)

Day, D. (1981). The Doomsday Book of Animals, Ebury Press, London.

Hellmich, W. (1962). Reptiles and Amphibians of Europe, Blandford Press, London.

Wikipedia contributors (2008). "Santo Stefano Island," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Santo_Stefano_Island&oldid=261443465 (accessed January 2, 2009).

Last updated: 2nd January 2009.

This page is a part of The Extinction Website. 2000-2009.