• Lacerta Bilineata

Lagarto Verde Occidental - Lagarto Calabacín

The Lacerta bilineata in the gallery below is little more than a lizard baby. The little guy probably hatched from the egg sometime in August/September the year before, and you can see the typical pattern of subadult western green lizards is only starting to show a little bit, and he's mostly still wearing the baby colors of the species (meaning: brown back; yellowish green face, throat and belly).

The little fella was around nearly every day in May 2021, and he was the only one that seemed to have taken up permanent residence in my garden and had chosen it as his preferred habitat. At first I only ever saw him outside my garden with the other baby lizards in "Western Green Lizard Central" (which is how I refer to the fly honeysuckle shrub across the street from my garden pergola where most of the local Lacerta bilineta population likes to hang out), and in the first photos I took of him - which you can also find in this blog - he's on the leaves of that bush or on the fence next to it.

After a couple of days he suddenly appeared in my garden and then showed up every day. The flat stone below the zucchini seedlings was (and hopefully still is) his favorite place; particularly during late afternoon he would bask in the sun there, and once he had enough energy in the tank, he would take off into the grass nearby and hunt every insect that was unfortunate enough to cross his path (I even saw him jump in the air and try to catch a huge hornet once, but - luckily for both I guess - he missed it).

Even though he was very shy, after a couple of days he stopped fleeing when I entered the garden as long as I didn't make any hectic movements and kept a certain distance. But unless I managed to sneak up on him, he never left me out of his eye, and you can clearly see by the skeptic looks he gave me that he didn't trust me at all (but at least he didn't seem to view me as an immediate threat :-). He was easily recognizable due to a healed over little wound on his head which resulted in a scale that appeared unusally dark (I have to admit though that I only realized that once I started looking closely at the photos; at first I thought I had photographed several different individuals outside my garden, but most of them turned out to be my new resident).