This group is a group of animals that have evolved for about 350 million years. The success of this group and which has enabled it to survive and adapt to a multitude of terrestrial environments is the fact that half do not need water to spawn.

They are classified in: saurs, snakes and turtles.

In the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands is the largest European contingent of reptiles. The Canary Islands, by contrast, provide very few representatives, while most of them are endemic character.

  • Shingles blind (Blanusa cinereus), Iberian endemism, belongs to the family of amphisbaenids. It is distributed almost the entire peninsula except North Galicia, Cantabrian Mountains and Pyrenees.
  • On the contrary, the solution (Anguis fragilis), the only species Iberian family of angles, is most abundant population in the area just missing the previous species. It looks much like the snakes, as it has no end. Next to this species are the skinks: kittiwakes (Chalcides chialcides), Hispanic (Ch. bedriagai) and canary (Ch. viridanus).
  • Three-toed skink lives on the Peninsula in areas with abundant vegetation, while the Hispanic frequents sandy areas except the north and northwest, the Canarian skink lives in all except the Canary island of La Palma.
  • The chameleon (Chamaeleo Chamaeleo), is striking feature the ability to change the color of their skin mimicry and when he suffers an attack. Its range is very small limited to certain points of Cadiz and Malaga.
  • The common gecko (Tarentola mauritanica), similar to the chameleon changes color but not so sharp, it can mimic the color of the surface in the living and the ambient brightness. It lives throughout the Peninsula except in the north: Galicia, Cantabrian Mountains and parts of Pyrenees also lives and is very abundant in the Balearic Islands and the Canaries.
  • The gecko lives in coastal cliffs and rocks along the coastline. Inhabits the Mediterranean coast from the south to Gerona and in the Balearic Islands, which abound.
  • In the Canary Islands experienced a kind of gecko, the perinquen (Tarentola delalandü), endemic to the Canary and Cape Verde.


Lizards in Spain are well represented with 20 species, four of which live in the Canaries.


  • The lizard (Lacerta lepida), which can reach a length exceeding 60 cm, lives across the peninsula except the north and northwest.
  • The dark green lizard (Lacerta schreiberi), smaller than the previous species, lives in the western half of the peninsula and penetrated to the east by the Central System, the Cantabrian mountains and some mountains in Extremadura; habitat focuses on areas with abundant vegetation and usually near or next to areas with water.
  • The green lizard (Laceria viridis), smaller than the previous ones, is located in the Pyrenees and the Cantabrian coast, and penetrates the Iberian to Burgos and Soria.
  • The sand lizard (Laceria agilis) live in some high mountain areas. In the Canary Islands is known as lizards all representatives of indigenous and character of lacertid lizards endemic to the places they inhabit.
  • Haria Lizard (Gacerta atlantica) lives in the drier islands of the archipelago, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and adjacent islets.
  • El Hierro Giant Lizard (Gacerta, Simonyi), which for eighty years is considered extinct but recently new specimens were found, it can reach one meter in length.
  • The Lizard Canary (Laceria stehlini) look more like his counterpart but smaller extinct.
  • The lizard blight (Laceria galloti), endemic to the western Canary Islands: Tenerife, Gomera, La Palma, Hierro, prefers dry, sunny places and avoid the area of laurel. You can live to over 3,000 m
  • Mountain lizard (Lacerta monticola), Iberian endemic species that inhabits the high mountains of the Pyrenees, Cantabrian Mountains, the Central System and Montes de Leon and Galicia even reaches coastal areas.
  • The lizard peat (Lacerta vivipara) is found in wetland areas, peatlands and other wet environments in the Cantabrian mountains, Pyrenees me mountains of the Basque Country
  • Morocco Lizard (Lacerta perspicillata), lives in the vicinity of the seaports of the island of Menorca and is located exclusively in Europe
  • Iberian lizard (Podarcis hispanica) lives in the Iberian Peninsula and even reached some islands of the Mediterranean-lizard (Podarcis muralis), located in rocks, cliffs, scree, etc. .. It prefers moist and cool in the northern half of the peninsula. bocage lizard (Podarcis pityensis) northwest of the peninsula.
  • The lizard shoot or lagarüja of Lilfford (Podarcis lilfordi). This species is not native to the island of Ma-Llorca, which has been artificially introduced. The lizard Lilfford is de Mallorca, Menorca.
  • Lizard of Valverde (Algyroides marchi) only in some areas of Sierra de Cazorla, Segura and Alcaraz, and lives in scree near areas of forest in wet environments.
  • The red-tailed lizard (Acanthodactylus erythrurus), who lives across the Iberian peninsula except for the northern third, has a preference for sandy soils with sparse vegetation. The long-tailed lizard (P. algirus) and the gray lizard (P. hispanicus), which differ in size, as the first almost doubles in length Cinderella. Its range covers the entire peninsula except the humid north. Are typical species of oaks and scrub



Non-poisonous snakes

  • Montpellier snake (Malpolon monspessulanus) lives in the Iberian Peninsula except for the Cantabrian coast and parts of the Pyrenees, it prefers sunny exposures, and is often found on trees, where he spends much of his time and where stalks its prey . The snake feeds on lizards bastard, lizards, small snakes, chickens, small birds and rodents
  • Aesculapius's snake (Elaphe longissima), lives in the Pyrenees and in some parts of the Cantabrian mountains, usually in dry and shows arboreal.
  • Ladder snake (Elaphe scalaris), which distinguishes it from the rest by having in the back two bands brown along its entire length, inhabits open areas with brush and enclaves stony, preferably in exhibitions rather sunny, as the previous species, has a certain penchant for climbing trees, where they captured many prisoners. Located in the peninsula except in the northern third of the peninsula, and Menorca.
  • The European Colonel (Coronella austriaca), also known as northern snake, inhabits the northern half from the sea level to about 1,500 m above sea level.
  • The Southern Colonel (Coronella girondica) or Southern smooth snake is abundant in the southern half, though, with scarce representation, reaches the Cantabrian coast.
  • The viper snake (Natrix maura) is similar to the snake but has no power to inject venom. It lives in damp places and banks across the peninsula and Balearic islands.
  • The grass snake (Natrix natrix), also lives in wetlands and is located in the peninsula, but not in the islands.
  • The horseshoe snake and verdiamarilla belong to the genera Coluber, C. hippocrepis and C. veridiflavus respectively. The first inhabits dry areas of mainland Spain and the Mediterranean, where more abundant, while the second is located in Catalonia and Aragon Pyrenees area, especially in places with lush vegetation.

Marine aquatic species

  • Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is the rarest (famil. Dermochélidos) lives mainly offshore. Currently not breed on the Spanish coast but is sporadic in both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) (famil. chelon) lives in shallow water and quiet and located in both the Mediterranean and Atlantic coast.
  • The hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) (famil. chelon) is very rare, since he lives in the waters affected by warm ocean currents
  • Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), although native to the coasts of North America, can be found on our Atlantic coasts brought by the currents.
  • The green turtle (Chelonia midas) feeds exclusively on live plants and those marine areas where food is abundant. Its size and weight is one of the turtles captured by fishermen, appears sporadically in das Spanish coast. Freshwater aquatic species of freshwater turtles (famil. Emida), better known as turtles, are small.
  • The terrapin or Mediterranean (Clemmys caspia) live practically across the Iberian peninsula, except the north and is located in rivers, streams, reservoirs or ponds The European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) lives in the Iberian Peninsula and the islands of Mallorca and Menorca, prefers fast-flowing waters and is somewhat larger than the leper.


The tortoises are characterized by the highly domed carapace and belong to the family of the Testudines.

  • The Mediterranean tortoise (Testudo hermanni) inhabits the islands of Mallorca and Menorca in areas of abundant vegetation and the hedges that separate the cultivated areas, and so on. Also located in the Levante area.
  • La mora turtle (Testudo graeca) was distributed along the Mediterranean coast, but currently is restricted to the Coto Donana, Cadiz, Malaga and Almeria.


Endareged species
Special interest42

Table 1. Endangered Species. Source: Spanish Catalogue of Endangered Species