Do you know what this is? It’s the Italian Wall Lizard – Podarcis siculus – and it lives in Topeka!
Tens of thousands of these fast little lizards can be found sunning themselves on rocks or scurrying underneath them for shelter all over Topeka.
Native to Northern Italy, this lizard made its home here about 50 years ago when a store that dealt with amphibian, reptile and exotic species closed. How did they get loose? Did they escape or were they set free? It’s still a mystery!
They eat insects. That can be helpful in a flower or vegetable garden. So far they haven’t spread any disease to the native wildlife which is always a concern with alien species.
Like a lot of lizards their tail can break off when escaping predators and they will survive!