Lacerta trilineata diplochondrodes Wettstein, 1952 (juvenile)
Common names: Balkan Green Lizard [En], Lézard à trois raies [Fr], Reuzensmaragdhagedis [Nl], Riesen-Smaragdeidechse [De], Τρανόσαυρα [Gr], İri Yeşil Kertenkele, Yılan Ebesi [Tu]
Apollona, RHODES ● Greece
Description: Lacerta trilineata Bedriaga, 1886, the Balkan Green Lizard, is a large and agile lizard with a snout typically narrow, but back of head is broad. In adult Balkan Green lizards, total length reaches up to about 33-50 cm, tail often twice body length or more (Snouth-vent length is approx. 16 cm or more). In first sight, it often likes a “big version” of the Green Lizard (Lacerta viridis). Thus these two lizard species can be very difficult to distinguish at times, especially as both are very variable. However they can be easily distinguished from each other. In Balkan Green Lizard, rostral plate typically in contact with nostrils; 2 postnasal plate; typically there are relatively “small scales in temporal region”, so numerous (often over 20). Dorsal scale number around the mid-body is between 42 and 55. The belly plates are arranged in “8 longitudinal rows”, the number of pores on the lower femoral region is ranged between 12 and 19. Supraciliary granules localized between supraocular plates and supraciliar scales are usually in a “continuous” and intermittent row.
Adults fairly uniform bright green (more rarely yellow or brownish) generally with fine black stippling on back. The belly is yellowish-white in males, pinkish yellow in females. In adult males, there may be a light blue coloration on the sides of head. Juveniles usually brown (babies frequently dark), often with three or five narrow light stripes (this number is 2 or 4 in Green Lizard!) or a few light spots on flanks, or dark spots on midback. The venter whitish, yellowish, light green or rarely bluish.
The subspecies L. t. diplochondrodes Wettstein, 1952 is known from the Turkish provinces of Muğla and Isparta and from the island of Rhodes (Greece).
Biology : Thanks to its large size, it feeds on a wide variety of invertebrates, including robust beetles and locusts. It is an egg-laying species and a female lays 7-18 eggs.
Habitat: Its natural habitats are Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, sandy shores, arable land, pastureland, plantations and rural gardens. It can also be found close to streams and ditches.
Distribution: Balkan Green Lizard is present from coastal Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, inland to Serbia, east to Bulgaria, south eastern Romania, Albania, Macedonia, Greece (including the Ionian Islands and many Aegean Islands including Lesvos, Samos and Rhodes and in Crete), and western and central Turkey. It ranges from sea level to at least 1,600 m asl.
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Herpetofauna of Greece