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Indiana DNR encourages public to track sightings of common wall lizards

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Posted at 3:05 PM, Sep 01, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is encouraging the public to track sightings of common wall lizards that have been spotted in southeastern Indiana.

DNR Fish & Wildlife biologists recently found 20 to 35 wall lizards living in a rock-lined embankment that borders the Ohio River in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Since this discovery, additional wall lizard colonies have been located in southeast Indiana by DNR and members of the public.

Common wall lizards are not native to North America. According to DNR, the species are generally harmless, but there is some concern that common wall lizards may out compete native species for food and shelter, like five-lined skinks (Indiana’s most widespread and abundant lizard.)

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Common wall lizards may out compete native species for food and shelter, like five-lined skinks (Indiana’s most widespread and abundant lizard.)

According to DNR, more research is needed to determine the extent of colonization of common wall lizards in southeast Indiana.

The department is asking for the public to report sighting of wall lizards, by emailing photos to HerpSurveys@dnr.IN.gov.

History of Common Wall Lizard

Common wall lizard is a European species that became established in Cincinnati during the early 1950s after several were intentionally released.

The non-native species was colonized in much of the Cincinatti area, including parts of northern Kentucky and has expanded into areas of southwest Ohio. According to Indiana DNR, the lizards have been approaching the Indiana border in recent years.

Common wall lizards are approximately 5½ to 8 inches in length as adults and usually have a brown or gray back with mottling or spotting on the sides. Some of them have a reticulated pattern on their back.

This species tends to thrive in urban and suburban areas where they inhabit stone walls, rubble heaps, degraded building infrastructure, rocky hillsides, and shoreline areas like that of the Ohio River.

Find out more about common wall lizards at this link.