Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Reptiles & amphibians

European green lizard (Lacerta viridis)


The European green lizard is one of the largest members of the Lacerta genus; in fact, the body itself measures 15cm, whilst the tail can reach up to two times the body length, with a total length of 40cm. The main characteristic of this lizard it’s its bright and vibrant green colour, which covers the whole body. Males have black spots along the back, and their throat is vivid blue, which all applies to females, but the colour is more faded for them.


The European green lizard distribution covers most of Europe, going from Germany to Turkey. Its good climbing skills allow it to live up to 2000 metres, but it is also widely found at ground level. It prefers dense bushes, which provide shelter, in open areas, where it can get its energy from sunlight exposure.


The diet of the Lacerta viridis is more various than the ones of its similar. As a lizard, it is an insectivore, however, due to its bigger size, it also feeds on larger food items, such as bird eggs, fruits, smaller lizards, and mice.

Protection status

This species is listed as “Least Concern” by IUCN Red List.

Interesting Fact

This lizard its capable of detach its own tail to escape from a predator’s grip, and grow a new one.

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