Wall Lizards (Podarcis muralis)
Thought to be of Italian descent and possibly arrived introduced by the Victorians or maybe arrived by a shipwreck at Bonchurch.
5-20cm long and generally browns and greens with spotty patterns arranged in stripes. Thriving here in the Petit And Rocky Tor gardens (which is just a few meters from Ventnor Botanic Gardens) which have Mediterranean type climate and rocky terrain with large leaved tropical plants and echium spires.
They brumate during winter and emerge in spring appearing in family groups around the rocky walls and steps. They like to bask in the sunshine and hide between rocks. When undisturbed they are quite playful with each other.
Apparently the females lay up to 10 eggs which take up to 11 weeks to incubate.
We understand that they eat tiny insects, however we have only seen them carrying bits of leaf so have possibly adapted to eat plant material.
As they are not native they are not protected by UK Wildlife and Countryside Act, however they are protected by the Bern Convention and the European Union Habitats Directive.