Alien Wall Lizards in Baden-Württemberg

Abstract of a presentation given at the international meeting on Distribution, Ecology and Protection of the Common Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis) in Offenburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany on 19-20 November 2011

Alien Wall Lizards in Baden-Württemberg: Distribution, Population Sizes and Effects on Native Lizards


Until the editor’s deadline we knew of 19 occurrences of alien Wall Lizards in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, all located in an area with corner points Mannheim – Stuttgart – Ulm – Island of Mainau in Lake Constance – Lörrach – Freiburg. The sites around Mannheim, Stuttgart, Lörrach and Freiburg are cluster foci of different genetic lineages. Two locations are populated with animals of the Eastern France lineage (P. m. brongniardii) alone, at another five locations there are only animals of the Southern Alps lineage (P. m. maculiventris - East), three of which are proven originate from deliberate releases and two presumably from unintended transport.
The remaining twelve occurrences comprise several genetic lineages with different pathways of immigration. In addition to the lineages mentioned above, there are the sub-lineage “Languedoc”, the Western France Lineage (both P. m. brongniardii), the Venetian lineage (P. m. maculiventris - East) and the Tuscany and Romagna lineages (both P. m. nigriventris).Inter-lineage hybridisations could be proven by microsatellite analyses of nuclear DNA. At six sites hybridisations of alien lineages with the native Eastern France lineage were proven, and a similar hybridisation is assumed at another site. At five sites we observed sympatry and/or syntopy with Sand Lizards (Lacerta agilis).

Acetate 1

Acetate 2: Podarcis muralis nigriventris II (Venetian lineage), Mannheim 11. Mai 2006 /© Marcus Schrenk

Acetate 3: DNA sampling by swabbing of the mouth mucosa

Acetate 4: Hybrid Venetian – Southern Alps

Acetate 5: 1874: Deliberate release of P. m brongniardii from Wildberg on the Nagold (30 km SW Stuttgart) in the Kriegsberg Hills (vineyards then, now urban residental area). Historic photograph of 2008 before the demolition works for the re-construction of the central railway station building.

Acetate 6: Kriegsberg area - P. m. brongniardii Eastern France Lineage, introduced but quasi native

Acetate 7: Underground station Herderplatz

Acetate 8: Stuttgart’s western city area: P. m. maculiventris (SAlps)

Acetate 9: Locations in Stuttgart (arrows: single samplings, circles: multiple samplings) and estimated boundaries of settled areas

Acetate 10: Birkenkopf Hill: lower winding of driveway