Thursday, 1 September 2011

Italian Wall Lizard (Podarcis sicula)

Back in the UK after two weeks in the glorious sunshine of Lake Garda in Italy, I thought I'd share the only wildlife I caught during my stay. Very much a family holiday, I took almost a complete break from the camera, but these lizards were too good to resist. The light in the 100ยบ plus heat was amazing and the lizards were common around the hotel in which we were staying. But small, skittish and very quick on their feet, they were tricky to capture. Even the slightest movement would see them scuttle off into the nearest undergrowth. Early in the morning, however, patience was often rewarded. The last two images are particularly interesting – the lizards seemed to tolerate frequent visits by these black ants which would crawl on to the lizards' backs at the tail end and then make their way to the head. Here, they would focus their attention on the reptiles' eyeballs, from which I'm assuming they gathered small amounts of moisture. Certainly the ants would have been an easy meal, so does this sound feasible or is there some other symbiotic relationship at play, I wonder.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/640th sec, f/10, 400mm at ISO 500
Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/500th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 500

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/400th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 500

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/1,600th sec, f/7, 400mm at ISO 500
Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/1,600th sec, f/7, 400mm at ISO 500


Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/1,600th sec, f/7, 400mm at ISO 500

6 comments:

  1. Hi Tim, welcome back! The Lizards are beautiful aren't they? They are very slow in the morning, just like me...

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  2. Fabulous images Tim, that is quite amazing how those ants do that. I must admit I didn't see them anywhere near the Wall Lizards in Tuscany, perhaps they are more tolerant further
    up the country.

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  3. Wow,what amazing images Tim,love the last two shots.
    The Ants seem to be cleaning the Lizard.
    John.

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  4. Absolutely love the fourth one with the lizard peering up above the wall.

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