• Lacerta Bilineata

Lagarto Verde Occidental - Escondido Na Mata

Juvenile western green lizards mostly live, hide and hunt between the leaves of bushes and shrubs, where their excellent camouflage - a brown back and yellowish green underside and face - lets them blend in perfectly with the vegetation. The fly honeysuckle bush just across the road from my garden pergola has always been very attractive to both lizards and flies (maybe hence its name), but this year it seemed to be virtually teeming with life. From ants to wasps to beetles, spiders and flies; there appeared to be hardly a leave that wasn't occupied by some insect or arachnid.

And so it came as no surprise that the local Lacerta bilineata population (which previously had chosen my garden as the center of their activities), had relocated there, turning that shrub into what I now refer to as "Western Green Lizard Central". What was a surprise to me though was how many lizards I eventually was able to spot between the thick foliage once I had accustomed my eyes a bit to all those different shades of green and brown and yellow. Apart from the adult individuals (at least three males and four females), there were a number of juvenile Lacerta bilineata in that bush, and although I never saw more than two at the same time, I'm sure there were at least half a dozen (probably more) western green lizard bush babies residing in that fly honeysuckle.

The ones I observed remained almost in the exact same spot, sometimes for hours, and only became active when an insect approached - which happened every ten minutes or so. In those instances they would make one quick leap forward to catch their eight- or six-legged victim, gulp it down and just as soon become motionless again, blending in with the leaves and becoming part of the vegetation once more. Below is a selection of baby lizard photos from May 2021, that were all taken of that same bush across the road from my garden.