Western green lizard

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Western green lizard
Dortebachtal Smaragdeidechse.jpg
Maggia lacerta viridis viridis fg05.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Lacertidae
Genus: Lacerta
L. bilineata
Binomial name
Lacerta bilineata
Daudin, 1802
Distribution of Lacerta bilineata and Lacerta viridis.png
The western green lizard is in green
The eastern green lizard is in blue
  • Lacerta viridis bilineata Engelmann et al., 1993[2]

The western green lizard (Lacerta bilineata) is a lizard of the family Lacertidae.


The genus name Lacerta and the species name bilineata are Latin words respectively meaning “lizard” and “with two lines”, with reference to the pale lines present on the flanks of the young individuals.



It is native in Andorra, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Monaco, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Guernsey and Jersey in the Channel Isles. and introduced into the United States. There are also introduced colonies on the south coast of the U.K, notably around Poole Bay in Dorset.


Lacerta bilineata reaches an average length (excluding tail) of about 13 centimetres (5.1 in), with a maximum of 40 centimetres (16 in), including tail. The tail may reach up to twice the body length. The average weight is about 35 grams. The body is bright green. The head is bigger in males than in females, and the males often show a blue throat. Juveniles are almost brown, with a yellowish belly and two to four pale, longitudinal lines along the flanks. Sub-adults also have these lines, together with several small brown spots on their backs.[3]

These lizards are territorial animals. They feed on arthropods, mainly large insects. They attain sexual maturity at around two years, when they are about 8 cm long (excluding tail). The males fight each other, especially during the mating period, when they are very aggressive towards rivals. The mating ritual is precise, and starts with a bite to the base of the female's tail. The females lay 6 to 25 eggs in a humid and warm site, such as in a decomposing log. The average life span of this species is about 15 years.[3]


Its natural habitats are green humid areas, temperate forest, the edges of woods, shrubland, open grassland, arable land, and pastureland. It is threatened by habitat loss.


  1. ^ Valentin Pérez-Mellado; Marc Cheylan; Philippe Geniez; et al. (2009). "Lacerta bilineata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2009: e.T61519A12501065. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2009.RLTS.T61519A12501065.en. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b Biolib
  3. ^ a b Reptiles & Amphibiens de France

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