Agamas on the up!

Around 1915 the Starred Agama (Laudakia stellio) was introduced to Corfu Town, the origin of these large lizards is unknown but it was speculated they arrived via trading ships from the Cyclades islands where this species is common. Needless to say they have established themselves very well in the town, along the walls of the two Venetian fortresses as well as the rural gardens and parks. In recent decades the lizard was even sighted quite some distance from Corfu town, such as tourist resorts several miles further south, and I myself could find a number of Agamas far inland in October 2004. I do not believe these lizards pose a real threat to the native reptiles and are in fact a nice addition to the wildlife of Corfu. Last week, whilst stopping at a cafe in Corfu Town I saw plenty of Agamas all around the cafe area, on the trees, walls and even under the tables! Last time I was searching for this lizard in Corfu Town five years ago I only found the odd animal, but they are clearly establishing themselves in great numbers now around the town, not such a bad thing in my opinion! Here are a few photos of some of the not so shy lizards that are now getting quite used to tourists watching and photographing them.

Starred Agama (Laudakia stellio)

Starred Agama (Laudakia stellio)

Starred Agama (Laudakia stellio)

Starred Agama (Laudakia stellio)

Old Venetian Fortress in Corfu Town, now alive with Agamas

Old Venetian Fortress in Corfu Town, now alive with Agamas

By Matt Wilson

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