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Reptiles And Amphibians

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European green lizard

Lacerta viridis

The tail of the green lizard makes up two-thirds of its total body length of 38 centimetres. Young green lizards are greyish brown or brown, with two bright stripes along the sides of the spine. Adults are bright green with numerous black and yellow spots. The male has a bright blue throat and neck and a bright yellow belly. The female has a white belly and two cross-cut stripes on her back.

The European green lizard can be found in Southern and Central Europe and Asia Minor. In Ukraine, it lives in the southwestern and central oblasts, up to Poltava and Kyiv.

It lives on hill slopes and in ravines covered with grass and bushes, on riverbanks, and in glades and gardens. It is capable of digging a burrow up to 1 metre in depth. It is active from mid-March to late October. An extremely lively reptile, it runs fast, jumps well, climbs trees and bushes, and swims. It feeds on various insects, spiders and millipedes, and sometimes on small lizards and berries. It mates in late April and May, and in June the female lays between five and 14 eggs, from which juveniles up to 4 centimetres long hatch in early September. Green lizards are eaten by foxes, badgers, birds of prey and domestic cats. This species is included in the Red Book of Ukraine.

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