Östliche Smaragdeidechse (Lacerta viridis), Weibchen (vorne) und Männchen (Hintergrund) im Pilis-Gebirge, Ungarn CC BY 3.0 Kat1100 (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Östliche_Smaragdeidechse#/media/Datei:Greenlizard_pair.JPG)

European green lizard


It is a large, but still quite slender looking lizard with a pointed head and a, especially in males, quite long tail. Its dimensions can reach 1.6 to 2.3 times the snout-vent length, which is up to 13 cm. However, the maximum total length is often difficult to quantify, since many older animals no longer have an intact tail, but have lost and (incompletely) regenerated it in the meantime in contact with predators or in mating fights. However, up to about 40 cm total length is reached. The extremities are relatively long in relation to the body.

The back and large parts of the body are light to dark green in both sexes. However, the green coloration develops gradually during the first years of life; the young show brown tones. While the slightly more robust-looking, large-headed males usually have small black speckles, sometimes arranged in an ornamental pattern, on the green ground color, the females often have a patterns with dark markings arranged in rows and whitish-yellow lines that may merge to form longitudinal bands. However, depending on the region and season, the sexes cannot always be distinguished by markings. The belly and throat are spotless white, greenish, or yellow in color. With the first molt after hibernation, the chin, throat and neck region become greenish blue to "cornflower blue" in both males and some females. This "mating dress" appears more contrasting and colorful in the male.


European green lizards prefer sun-warmed, south/southwest/southeast exposed terrain slopes with a sufficient degree of moisture and a mixture of open structures and mosaic vegetation. Particularly suitable are, for example, drier forest edges, grassy vineyards, semi-arid grasslands (but not shrubless dry grasslands!), broom and steppe heaths, blackberry thickets, railroad and road embankments, meadows with sloe bushes and sparse orchard meadows. In the south of the distribution area, however, the occurrences are often restricted to damp locations or mountainous regions. The diurnal animals take extensive sunbaths, especially in the morning and evening; otherwise they climb around in the plant undergrowth in search of food. In case of danger, they scurry very nimbly into protective vegetation as well as into crevices and cavities.

The text is a translation of an excerpt from Wikipedia (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Östliche_Smaragdeidechse). On wikipedia the text is available under a „Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike“ licence. Status: 26 May 2021