What to Feed Lizards on La Palma

A female lizard grabbing watermelon, Tedote, Los Llanos, La Palma
A female wall lizard grabbing watermelon, Tedote, La Palma

Yesterday I discovered that the local lizards (Gallotia galloti palmae) are fond on watermelon on a hot day. Figures. Unlike most lizards, they eat quite a lot of plants, especially ripe fruit, to the point where they can become a nuisance in vinyards.

I recently discovered that we only have one species of small lizard here. What I thought were two species is one, with different colours for males and females. The one in the photo above is a female – brown and stripy. The males are greyish, with a blue throat (below.)

Male Palmeran wall lizard, Gallotia galloti palmae
Male Palmeran wall lizard, Gallotia galloti palmae

My friend has been told that it’s a big mistake to feed them, as they can loose all fear of humans to the point where they’ll bite your toes. We discussed this, and agreed it seemed unlikely, and if it did happen, it wouldn’t be all that bad. After reading Wikipedia, I conclude that it’s extremely unlikely. Apparently one colony on Teide of the subspecies on Tenerife (Gallotia galloti galloti) has become quite tame and will provide photo opportunities in exchange for ripe banana. There’s no mention of tourists getting their fingers bitten off.

I have to try this. Watch this space.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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