Lacerta viridis (*)
Lacerta viridis (Laurenti, 1768)
The European Green Lizard (Lacerta viridis) is a large lizard distributed across mid European latitudes from the north of the Iberian peninsula to as far east as Ukraine. It is often to be seen sunning itself on rocks or lawns, or sheltering amongst bushes.
The lizard reaches up to 40 cm (approximately 16 inches) in length from the tip of the muzzle to the cloaca. The tail can be up to twice the length of the body. This lizard sheds its tail (autotomy), to evade the grasp of a predator.
Males have a larger head and a uniform green colouring punctuated with small spots that are more pronounced upon its back. The throat is bluish in the adult males and to a lesser extent in the females.
The female is more slender than the male and has a more uniform coloration, often displaying between two and four light bands bordered by black spots.
It feeds on insects, small lizards and even mice. In springtime the female lays 6 to 20 eggs. About 2 to 3 months later brown-coloured young appear with a length of 3-4 cm.
* Isailovic et al. (2005). Lacerta viridis. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes a range map and justification for why this species is of least concern
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