Overall decline in populations due to loss of habitat - Fully protected species
Reproduction takes place in the spring with furious fights between males for the passion of a female; these can be savage, leading to serious injury and death. Egg laying starts in May when up to 20 white eggs are laid in soft soil in cavities that are dug by the female, occasionally under leaves or rocks, 2 or 3 months later the young hatch and at 5 cm are already quite large.
Hibernation takes place from the start of November and ends in Feb / April depending on the climate and region.
Found in north western, western, south western and southern France it prefers 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 wetlands and similar areas are also favoured if there is sufficient cover. It is a superb climber, whether it is in trees and bushes or on stone walls and this is where it catches most of its prey of insects and butterflies, although it will also eat fruits, small mammals, birds’ eggs and even baby birds in nests. It can often completely ignore the presence of humans, yet at other times it flees a short distance at the slightest movement, where it will often stay to observe you from. As with the Oscillated Lizard, it can give quite painful bites when handled but it is not dangerous.
The Green lizard 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, large flat head and rounded nose. Its hearing organs are situated at the rear of the head and are in the form of a vertical oval, these 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.