A total of 35 morphological characters (biometry, scalation, chromatic pattern) were studied through multivariate analyses on 10 populations sampled across the range of the Iberian wall lizard (Podarcis hispanica) in Portugal. Biometry clearly splits the samples into two different types. Differences in scalation between the two types were not clear, but multiple correspondence analyses showed that different chromatic patterns fit each of the types: one presented dark dorsal patterns (e.g. reticulated, eyeled, striped) and whitish-pearly belly, while the other showed green or yellow-brown patterns and yellow-orange belly. These two morphotypes constitute different molecular lineages and have different ranges of distribution.
Podarcis carbonelli is considered a full species on the basis of its morphological and genetic divergence from P. bocagei and P. hispanica. Podarcis carbonelli differs from P. bocagei in all twelve biometric variables compared and also in chromatic patterns. Podarcis carbonelli diverges from P.bocagei by more than 13% between cytochrome b sequences (mitochondrial DNA), a value typically reported between congeneric reptile species. Biogeographical criteria also support this hypothesis, as both lizard forms have different distribution ranges with a limited parapatric zone of contact without morphological intermediates.
The spermatogenic cycles of Podarcis bocagei and P. carbonelli, two lacertids previously considered conspecific, were analysed in northwest Portugal. Monthly sampling was carried out at three sites: a zone of strict syntopy and two sites of allopatry for both species, all of them geographically close and harbouring similar habitats. The maritime Atlantic climate, which allows males to remain active most of the year, plays a determinant role on the variation of the mixed-type cycle, typical of lacertids in temperate regions. Comparison with other populations and species indicates that climate modifies the pattern of spermatogenesis by restricting the beginning (but not the end) of the activity period. Results also corroborate previous studies that report an agreement between the variations in the gonads observed at both microscopic and macroscopic scales in the reproductive period. Peaks for spermatozoa were delayed in sympatry but competition cannot be directly concluded. Furthermore, relationships between the number of spermatozoa and body size suggest sperm competition and possibly a reproductive interaction between the species.