All about green lizards (Lacerta bilineata)|
- Green lizards are among the largest European lizards - adult males can reach up to 40 cm in length!
- Adults are usually bright green – hence the name!
- It’s easy to tell the difference between males and females because males have bigger heads and bright blue throats which stand out more during the breeding season.
- Female lizards have yellowish-green throats.
- Young lizards are normally beige or a duller green colour, with two narrow stripes on their sides.
- Green lizards are generally found on dunes, cliff slopes and coastal heathland. Small populations can also be found in gardens bordering these habitats.
- Green lizards need to live in vegetation which has a good supply of food and protects them from predators. They need a variety of vegetation cover which is suitable for hibernation and laying eggs.
- Most green lizards can be spotted on Jersey’s west and south-west coast, particularly Ouaisné Common and Les Blanches Banques at the end of St Ouen’s Bay.
- Green lizards like a varied diet of insects, eggs and berries.
- Green lizards mate in April and May.
- During the mating season, males have striking blue spots on their throats
- They are diurnal which means they’re active during the day.
- Green lizards are “cold blooded” so they need to lie in the sunshine or on hot surfaces to increase their body temperature so they can digest food and move around.
- Green lizards are territorial animals and males become aggressive during the mating season.
- Females lay a clutch of 5 to 20 white eggs in June or July. These are usually buried underground or in vegetation exposed to the sun.
- Baby lizards hatch out around September and are brown in colour.
- Adult lizards hibernate earlier than young lizards which can sometimes be seen up to the end of October.
- Green lizards are harmless to people, pets and other wildlife.
Male green lizard showing vivid throat colour © John Nugent
Female green lizard © John Wilkinson