Reptiles and more in Malta.

Due to the climate you have numerous reptiles and arthropods on Malta, rest assured there are no poisonous specimens among them. Most are hard to see in the wild, while others like the Turkish and wall gecko are very nice to have around the house to eat your mosquitoes and flies.

At Dingli cliffs you can find chameleons.
At Dingli cliffs you can find chameleons.
Turkish gecko
Turkish gecko

Let this gecko live in your house, he will eat all your flies and mosquitoes!

Turkish gecko

maltese name: Wizgha tad-djar

This animal is strictly nocturnal. It spends the day under rocks, fallen branches, etc. It was once common in homes, hence the Maltese name in the vernacular, but now it is rarely seen in this area, probably due to the relentless persecution. Together with the wall gecko, it was once mistakenly associated with the development of leprosy (Despott, 1915). The Turkish gecko feeds on a variety of insects and spiders. It has a wide range of predators, including the large orb web spider (Argiope lobata), the frog, the hedgehog, the weasel, and snakes. His defense seems to lie mainly in his easily lost tail. When tracked down, the gecko often runs with its tail held high above the ground, as if offering this replaceable part of its anatomy to its pursuer.

The chameleon

maltese name: Kamalejonte

The chameleon is not a native species but was probably introduced in the 19th century and has subsequently become established and dispersed. The chameleon has few predators locally and is generally difficult to spot - reasons for its success.

This species was first recorded by Giovanni Gulia in 1890. It was believed to have been introduced by Jesuit priests in St Julians (Gulia, 1890). While Gulia considered it naturalized, Despott (1915) was unable to obtain specimens and did not include it in his list of Maltese herpetofauna. There is now no doubt that the animal has established itself and spread. However, it is likely that this spread has occurred from more than one place. Recent records include numerous specimens from St. Julians, Paceville, Gzira, Sliema, Msida, Manoel Island, Naxxar, Gharghur, Lija, Birkirkara, Mosta, Selmun, Kalkara, Zabbar, and Santa lucia. Specimens of Xlendi and Xewkija have also been caught in Gozo

The chameleon
The chameleon
Can you find him?
Can you find him?
Wall gecko
Wall gecko

Leaving these in the house too, then you will be much less bothered by insects!

Wall gecko

maltese name: Wizgha tal-wiedien

Although this gecko searches for food at night, it can bask during the day. It tends to frequent the same hunting grounds and can be found in the same place day after day. It feeds on moths, mosquitoes, spiders, etc. The adult is a match for most predators due to its strength and size. His defense also depends on his easily lost tail. The attacking animal is often left with a writhing tail in its beak as the gecko gets away safely. The tail is then regenerated, but if the old tail is incompletely detached, a two-sided tail may develop

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Maltese Wall Lizard

maltese name: Gremxula, Dorbi

The Maltese wall lizard lives in rock crevices that are well exposed to the sun. During the day you can see the lizards basking in the sun when they are not hunting. The animals have a very in-depth knowledge of their individual habitats. This knowledge, along with their agility and ability to lose their tails, are the foundation of their defenses against predators. A lost tail will regenerate into an early exact replica of the first.

The Maltese wall lizard is widespread in the Maltese archipelago and the various islands and rocks each have their own color forms, some of which were formerly referred to as subspecies. For example, the nominal subspecies filfolensis is found on Filfla while the lizards of Malta, Gozo, Comino and Manoel Island are known as maltensis.

You see these lizards everywhere in the summer, they run away from your everywhere you walk!

Maltese Wall Lizard
Maltese Wall Lizard
Just watch your beer!
Just watch your beer!
Ocellated Skink
Ocellated Skink

Ocellated Skink

maltese name: Xahmet l-art

Olive brown or brown with occult spots of white and dark brown, sometimes with irregular crossbars. The color can vary from light olive brown to a darker shade of brown. A superciliary light stripe is present over the entire body length. Ventral, uniform silvery white.

Due to the animal's small limbs, progress on a smooth surface seems awkward. However, when the skink is in its natural habitat of soil or sand, it can move very quickly and can create a tunnel to disappear completely within minutes. He is perfectly adapted for this thanks to his short limbs and his plastic skin.

Snakes in Malta!

Yes, there are snakes in Malta, although you will rarely encounter them. In fact, there are four different types of snakes that slither around and all four have appropriately cool and dangerous sounding names.

The good news is, despite the impressive names, none of these guys are dangerous to humans, although they might make your heart skip a beat when you see one slipping under your duvets. So you know what to look for, here's a brief description of each:

cat snake:

maltese name: Serp

Described as 'shy and nocturnal' which is probably a good thing. It does have venom jaws, but they are stuck in the back of its mouth, so they only work on things like rats and mice, and the venom is too weak to harm us anyway. Lives in the southeast of the island.

Cat Snake on Malta
Cat Snake on Malta
Black Whip Snake
Black Whip Snake

Black Whip Snake

maltese name: Serp Algerin

This snake can grow up to 2 meters and has a terrifying name. It is a very active and lively snake which, when cornered, can slap its tail and try to bite hard! Don't like that sound, whether it's poisonous or not. (Just to be clear, it's non-toxic)

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Algerian Whip Snake

maltese name: Serp iswed

There aren't that many of them - in fact, there is a wider selection of photos of (for example) the Loch Ness Monster available on the internet than this guy. Lives in rocks and eats small critters. Have you ever taken a nice picture of this snake, send it in!

Algerian Whip Snake
Algerian Whip Snake
Leopard Snake
Leopard Snake

Leopard Snake

maltese name: Lifgha

Also called a 'Ratsnake' that gives room for all kinds of unpleasant mental images. Loves nature and is a kind of tree hugger. He's not a hippie, though - he doesn't wear tie-dye shirts and practices extremely liberal parenting - he literally wraps himself around a tree while waiting for something edible to wander by

Loggerhead turtles

Hawksbill turtles are the most common turtle in the Mediterranean and nest on beaches from Greece and Turkey to Israel and Libya and of course Malta.

Many of their breeding beaches are threatened by the development of tourism. Sea turtles are the living representatives of a group of reptiles that have existed on Earth and have traveled our seas for the past 100 million years. They are a fundamental link in marine ecosystems and help maintain the health of coral reefs and seagrass beds.

Nests are well protected in Malta.
Nests are well protected in Malta.

If you are lucky you can be there when a turtle comes to lay eggs on the beach

Scorpions
Scorpions

Scorpions

There are several native scorpions on the Maltese Islands, this relatively small arachnid (about 50mm long) poses no threat to humans; the venom is very mild and the sting is unlikely to penetrate the skin easily.

Scorpions prey on small arthropods in leaf litter during hours of darkness, the scorpion hides under rocks and logs during the day. Occasionally, the scorpion is found in homes, usually in basements or other dark, damp places.