Full name: Ophisops elegans (Menetries, 1832)

Endemic subspecies O. e. schlueteri (Bӧttger, 1880)


This family includes 312 species spread throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. It is the first lizard family described and the morphology of its representatives is considered as the most “typical” form of lizards. Lacertids are fast lizards with well-formed limbs and head. They forage during the day and nearly all of them lay eggs except limited number of species that breed active juveniles. In Cyprus, this family is represented by three species; these are the Schreiber’s fringe-toad lizard, the Snake-eyed lizard and the Troodos lizard.


Small-sized lizard with a body that does not exceed 6cm in length and a tail usually twice as long as the body. Light to dark brown body color on the dorsal surface of which four pale longwise white strikes are visible. The ventral surface of the body is white to pale white while the neck appears yellow-green shade. During the breeding season, those colors are more intense while blue coloration can also be occur on males. The eyes of the species are not covered by eyelids like other lizards but by transparent flake like snakes, while the scales of the neck do not form the characteristic collar found in other species of this family.


It can be found in a wide variety of habitats with rich sunlight such as scrublands, dry arid lands, cultivation areas, gardens and residential areas. It occurs from the coast to an altitude of 1.700 meters.

It feeds mainly on small arthropods such as spiders, beetles, orthoptera and hymenoptera.


Reproduction starts during spring and can continue until autumn. The females can lay more than two time in the season ovipositing 1-5 eggs each time.

Global distribution: North Africa, the Balkans, the Aegean islands, Turkey, Cyprus, Middle East to Pakistan.


Status: Common


Special protection:
• Protected by European Directive 92/43/EC (Annex IV)
• Protected by the Cyprus Law 153 (I) 2003 (Annex III)
• Protected by the Bern Convention (Annex II)

About Us



Herpetological Society of Cyprus (HSC) was established in 1990 with the aim of promoting, studying and conserving Cyprus’ herpetofauna. As part of its work, HSC fulfill presentations, educational seminars, studies and researches, along with other activities that relates with informing and educating the public about reptiles Cyprus.

Contact Details
           Address:   Herpetological Society,
                            P.O box 61435,
                            Paphos, Cyprus
           Tel:          +357 26 967600
           Fax:         +357 26 967007
           Email: HerpetSocietyCy@gmail.com


Powered by Connect Multimedia and Computers.