Bridled Mabuya / Trachylepis vittata / سحلية جراية مخططة

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Status: Very common

The Bridled Mabuya belongs to the Scincidae family in the Sauria (lizards) sub-order of the order Squamata (scaled reptiles). It is one of several representatives of its family present in Palestine, reaching a maximum total length (body + tail) of 24 cm. The Bridled Mabuya is usually well camouflaged, matching the background of its natural surroundings. There is variation in the coloration between individuals and between populations, and it is considered polymorphic - several "morphs" or variants of color and pattern exist. These range from dense intermittent light and dark stripes, through sparse stripes, to no stripes at all. The tail is quite long (unless it has been broken or regenerated), helping balance the lizard when it needs to move swiftly and to climb on shrubs, rocks and steep ground. It is active during the day (diurnal). The diet of the Bridled Mabuya consists of invertebrates, mainly insects. It is viviparous (bearing live young), young usually appear during summer and early autumn. The Bridled Mabuya inhabits southern Europe, Turkey and parts of the Middle East.

Conservation status – least concern (LC).

In Palestine – Common, in most Mediterranean and semi-arid ("semi-desert") habitats.

Sites: Umm at-Tut, Beitillu, Wadi Al-Quff nature reserves