Two sightings of Northern Italian Fence Lizards in Green-Wood this summer.
I first became aware of this introduced species when a picture of an American Kestrel carrying one of the lizards made the rounds of the birding crowd years ago. The lizards seem to have gotten here via the animal slave — oh, sorry, I meant pet — trade.
I saw my first ones in a Queens cemetery, where Houdini is supposedly buried (hey, he got out of everything else, right?). They are a regular sight at the NYBG in the Bronx.
A couple of years ago, a very trustworthy source (Reader, I married her) spotted one on the edge of Green-Wood. But I hadn’t seen one in the scales in Brooklyn myself until this summer.

3 Responses to “Lizards!”

  1. 1 Ellen October 12, 2019 at 8:26 am

    I would love see one of these lizards.
    Wise choice to marry someone who spots interesting wildlife! You can’t go wrong. 🙂

  2. 2 Maggie October 6, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    I found your blog by searching lizard and Green Wood! Out there last weekend collecting honey (they have cemetery hives) and I had to take a walk around. The first thing I see — between the crypts and the bee-friendly plantings — was an adorable tiny lizard. Never ever seen one in the city.

    • 3 mthew October 6, 2020 at 8:01 pm

      They really seem to be taking to the place well. A species native to the Mediterranean region, they were originally bought over for the pet trade. Some escaped further out on Long Island decades back, and they’ve been expanding in range since. Supposed to have used the gravel-strewn railroad lines. NYBG’s Native Garden is another good place to find them.

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