Discover New Species of Lizard With a Row of Fake Eyes

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: September 7, 2023
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Specialists discovered a vividly colored lizard and its friends while scouring a region of Georgia near a mountain lake. According to the researchers, the lizards were discovered hiding between the rocks. 

After collecting 23 specimens, scientists recognized they had found a new species of rock lizard called Darevskia arribasi, also known as Arribas’ rock lizard. According to photographs they took while in Georgia, female Arribas rock lizards are brown with black and brown spots running along their backs. 

Males have back areas of black and are a vivid, nearly neon green color. They have what appears to be a row of faux eyes, likely for protection in the wild. According to studies, the boulders in alpine woodlands and pastures are home to the Arribas rock lizards. 

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Common Types of Rock Lizards

Kenyan Rock Agama (Agama lionotus) lying on stone. Tsavo West National Park, Kenya.

Lizards love basking on a warm rock in the sun.

©drasa/iStock via Getty Images

Technically, a rock lizard includes nearly every lizard species. Since lizards have cold blood, they often warm themselves by basking on warm boulders. Additionally, lizards frequently hide out in cracks in the rock and consume plants that sprout on rocks. 

The term “rock lizards” refers to a particular category of lizard species that are found all over the world. Here are a handful of the more common types of rock lizards you may be familiar with. 

The California Rock Lizard

Banded Rock Lizard On Granite Bolder.

Banded Rock Lizards eat ants, beetles, and spiders!

©SB-CA-Hiker/iStock via Getty Images

The eastern dunes of California, are home to the California rock lizard, also referred to as the banded rock lizard. This small lizard narrows itself along big boulders to effortlessly go around their pronounced curves when moving from one location to another. 

According to reports, these lizards are curious and let humans get sufficiently close to observe them well. These rock lizards hide in a fissure when they are disturbed for protection.

Mearns’ Rock Lizard

Closeup shot of a baja blue rock lizard on a stone

Baja blue rock lizards have vivid coloring all around their body. 

©Wirestock/iStock via Getty Images

Although it inhabits closer to the Mexican border, the Mearn’s rock lizard is extremely similar to California rock lizards. Rockier locations in Baja, CA as well as Mexico’s west coast are home to Baja blue rock lizards

With their brightly colored blue heads, reddish-orange eye rings, golden necks with blue markings, and gray backs and tails, these lizards are easily identifiable. 

Aran Rock Lizard

Lizard on a rock

Aran Rock Lizards are usually less than three inches long.

©NataliaCatalina/iStock via Getty Images

Another common type is the Aran Rock Lizard. These critters live near mountains on the border between France and Spain. Aran Rock Lizards are quite small, only growing to roughly seven inches long.

Their tails take up a third of their body length! These lizards have deep brown heads with a lighter shade of brown along their backs. The abdomen of an Aran Rock Lizard can be green or yellow. 

Unlike other rock lizards, this species is critically endangered

The photo featured at the top of this post is © ArtMediaFactory/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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