European Green Lizard
Lacerta viridis
 /  Lacerta bilineata
    Lézard Vert    

Green lizards can measure up to 40 cm in length. Two thirds of the total length is tail, which is wide at the base, becoming cylindrical towards the end. Their head is large and flat with a rounded nose. Their hearing organs are situated at the rear of the head and are in the form of a vertical ovals which are as large as the eyes and clearly visible. The body is broad backed with folds or pleats. The male is almost entirely green or brownish green, speckled with black and lemon yellow. The female often has two or four longitudinal yellowish lines running down the back outlined with black specks. During the breeding period the males’ throat and part of the head are blue and the stomach and the inside of the legs are bright yellow and turquoise.



Green lizard males, views of head, France

They are restricted in France to the regions below latitude 49 or generally south of the Seine and are absent from Corsica. They  prefer areas of dense bushy habitat that are not over managed and have plenty of sunlight, hedges, brambles and the edges of woods are typical, although scrubby wetlands and similar areas are also favoured if there is sufficient cover. They are a superb climbers, whether it is in trees and bushes or on stone walls and this is where they catch most of their prey of insects and butterflies although they will also eat fruits, small micro mammals, birds’ eggs and even baby birds in nests. They can often completely ignore the presence of humans, yet at other times they will flee a short distance at the slightest movement where they will often stay and observe you. As with the Oscillated Lizard, they can give quite painful "bites" when handled but this is not in any way dangerous, not even to a small child.
Female Green Lizard.
Green lizards hatching.
Young green lizard
Male green lizard.

Some decline in population, although generally widespread.

 Fully protected in France as are all Lizards





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