Species group: Wall Lizards
Other common names: European Green Lizard; Eastern Green Lizard
Scientific name: Lacerta viridis
The Lacerta viridis or European Green Lizard is found in the mid-European latitudes from the Iberian Peninsula to the Ukraine, including Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovania, the Czech Republic, Croatia, and the Balkan Region. They inhabit bushy locations including lawns and rocky areas.
Appearance / health:
The Green Lizard is bright green in color with tiny dark green and yellow spots mostly on the back. They grow to about 16 inches in length, with the tail close to twice the length of the body. Males have bigger heads; females are more slender. During the mating season, males have more bluish throat than the females.
Behavior / temperament:
Lacerta viridis are popular in the pet trade for their striking color and because they can be tamed into gentle handling by their owners. They are naturally aggressive towards other lizards, especially their own species. When threatened, they can lose their tails.
The Lacerta viridis prefer large woodland terrariums with plenty of foliage for humidity and climbing about. Climbing branches, walls, large stones, and cork tubes are recommended to address the lizard’s habitat preferences and tendencies. Good ventilation is a must, as well as a large water dish. The best substrate should be soil, sand, and gravel, about 2-4 inches deep. Day temp: 77-86F; night temp: 61-68F; basking temp: 95-104F; humidity 60-70%; lighting: 10-12 hours UV radiation required
Green Lizards are best kept in pairs or as a group with only one male because they can be aggressive to one another. Sometimes, females can be aggressive towards other females. They have a high demand for UV lighting, which is why many pet owners keep them in outside enclosures. Outside cages also address their need to good ventilation. Under proper care and optimum conditions, they are expected to live for up to 10 years.
Green Lizards are omnivorous, feeding on insects (grasshoppers, crickets, cockroaches), small lizards, and young mice. They also feed on earthworms and mealworms, as well as soft, ripe fruit. Gut-loaded crickets and mineral-dusted foods are recommended.
Lacerta viridis are egg-laying lizards, with the female producing two to three clutches of one to two dozen eggs. The eggs are laid in May and June, and hatch 2-3 months later.
Beutiful and Deserves More Attention!
The stunning green lizard has been largely ignored by private and professional keepers in the USA, but hopefully that may change as captive-bred animals from European hobbyists enter the trade. If their specific care needs are met, these beautiful creatures make active, long-lived pets; perfect for new or experienced owners with an interest “something different”.
A large terrarium is essential if a healthful temperature gradient (78- 85 F, with a basking site of 100 F) is to be established; a 55 gallon tank is ideal for an adult or compatible pair. High levels of UVB are essential to their survival. A wide variety of calcium and vitamin-supplemented butterworms, sow bugs, locusts, crickets, roaches, hornworms and wild-caught invertebrates, are required for proper nutrition; limiting the diet to crickets and mealworms will result in your pet’s early demise.
Ever alert for predators and prey, green lizards tend to remain high-strung in captivity, and are best thought of as pets to observe. Long term pets may adapt to careful handling, but they show themselves to best advantage when left undisturbed in large, planted terrariums..
From findiviglio Nov 18 2015 2:08PM