Discover Menorca’s Amphibious and Reptilian Wildlife

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The Mediterranean island of Menorca has much to offer its visitors. Great weather, fantastic beaches, good food, friendly people and a whole range of different eco-systems that support many different species of wildlife. For this reason, it is one of the favourite summer vacation locations for those who want to have a good time but also explore the wonders of Mother Nature.

There are two facets of Menorcan wildlife that attract particular attention and both are at opposite ends of the scale – birds in the sky and reptiles and amphibians down on the ground or in the water.

This article is for the reptile and amphibian lovers (or Herpetologists to give them their scientific name) and we’ll give you just a brief introduction to some of the species you can expect to find while exploring the undergrowth and the streams on your summer vacation.

What You Can Find

All together there are 13 species of reptiles and amphibians on Menorca. These are:

1. Stripeless (Mediterranean) Tree Frog.
2. Green Toad.
3. Hermann’s Tortoise.
4. European Pond Terrapin.
5. Red-eared Slider.
6. Moorish Gecko.
7. Turkish Gecko.
8. Italian Wall Lizard.
9. Lilford’s Wall Lizard.
10. Moroccan Rock Lizard.
11. Algerian False Smooth Snake.
12. Ladder Snake.
13. Viperine Snake.

Rather than describe all of the species we’ll limit ourselves to just three species that are prevalent across the island and that you should be able to find and identify (relatively) easily during your summer vacation.

The Stripeless (Mediterranean) Tree Frog

You need to look in wet areas to find this bright green frog. Many can be found in the marshes at Son Bou and in the wetlands around Barranc de Binigaus. The frogs’ colour lets it blend in with the surrounding vegetation, so you may have to look hard to see it. If you hear a loud but long and slow croak, then you’re in the vicinity of a Tree Frog. With long legs and suckers on its toes, this frog is an excellent climber and can jump long distances. So approach it carefully as it will easily jump out of sight.

Lilford’s Wall Lizard

This greenish-brown lizard is native to the Balearic Islands. While it’s only about three inches long, it has a large, round body which makes it stand out from its surroundings. Lilford’s Lizard (named after Thomas Powys, the Baron of Lilford, a British ornithologist who studied the animals of Menorca and the neighbouring islands) isn’t easily frightened and, if you’re careful and approach it quietly and without sudden movements, you should be able to get close up to it. On a less positive note, the Lilford’s Wall Lizard is, thanks to increasing encroachment into its natural habitats, on the decline.

Moorish & Turkish geckos

Two for the price of one! These tiny lizards thrive in urban environments. In fact, during your summer vacation you’re bound to find them sunning themselves on the wall or on a bush in your villa’s courtyard. If you’re in the area of the beautiful beach and creek of Vall d’Algaiarens, you could be lucky enough to see specimens of both, basking on the rocks or running across the sand. The two geckos are similar in size, around 15 – 17cm. The Moorish Gecko looks stronger and more powerful, mainly due to bumpy brown/grey skin that resembles ancient armour. The Turkish Gecko has a purplish skin and lidless eyes making it easily distinguishable from its Moorish cousin.

There are many more reptiles and amphibians to spot during your summer vacation in Menorca. We hope we have sparked your interest and given you a good start in your hunt for these fascinating creatures.
About author: Desiree Michels

Brenda Jaaback, Managing Director of Bartle Holidays, is a renowned Menorca expert. From its history to its people and from its wildlife to its cuisine - no secret of the island remains hidden to her. If you're planning a summer vacation, Brenda personally selects the finest properties for her clients and is the go-to person for anyone planning a relaxing holiday in Menorca. Bartle Holidays makes no warranty as to the accuracy of information contained in this article and excludes any liability of any kind for the information.


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