The La Palma lizard

5 May 2015


"barbazul or barba azul, lagarto"


Western Canary Island Lizard

Gallotia galloti palmae


These endemics are sun worshippers and like to be treated to snacks by hikers - the male "lagartos" have the typical blue beard.


The home of the Western Canary lizard Gallotia galloti are the islands of La Palma and Tenerife


The subspecies Gallotia galloti palmae has evolved on La Palma from this endemic Canarian species.

Adult males are strong and up to 25 cm long.

Their back is grey-black, partly brightly spotted.

Their nickname bluebeard "barba azul" comes from their striking blue throat pouches.


The males also show some blue spots on their sides.

The females are smaller.

Their backs are brownish, with light longitudinal stripes and dark and light spots.

They lay 3-6 eggs in warm sandy soil between April and July, from which the young brownish lizards hatch after 40-70 days.

Their colouring is perfect camouflage for the animals on the dark volcanic rock and among dry scrub.

The "little dragons" live all over the island, preferring open, stony terrain


In pine forests they scurry along sunlit paths, they dislike dense laurel forest.

Stone walls of gardens and vineyards are among their favourite places.

Unfortunately, the reptiles feed not only on small insects and leaves, flowers and fruits of wild plants.

Their appetite for grapes, tomatoes, etc. earns them the enmity of some farmers who still try to kill them with poison.

Trusting in "bribes

Quite different at the resting places of the hikers.


There you will find lizards that are already waiting for their treats and are "hand-tame".

But be careful, the little animals can also bite hard if they feel threatened.

In the cooler areas of La Palma, the lizards hibernate, but when the first rays of sunlight warm the earth, they are suddenly back.

For minutes they remain still on dark stones to warm up their bodies.

At the height of summer, they scurry around briskly, alternately lifting their feet in the air as they sunbathe, as if to refresh themselves.

Rating and Comments

Your rating

Please comment your rating!

Please enter your email address

Note: You may withdraw your consent at any time for the future by sending an e-mail to

Please find detailed information about the handling of user data in our data protection declaration.

  • Visitor Visitor

    Danke für die schnelle und kurze Erklärung zu unseren kleinen „Mitbewohnern“.