- Education and Science»
- Life Sciences»
- Endangered Species
The Iberian Emerald Lizard lives in Spain and Portugal but is a "Near Threatened" species of reptile
Schreiber's Green Lizard
Iberian Emerald Lizard
The Iberian emerald lizard (Lacerta schreiberi) is a pretty species of lizard found, as its name suggests, in Spain and Portugal (Iberia). It is also known as Schreiber's green lizard. In Spanish it is called "Lagarto Verdinegro".
It has a pretty vivid green colouration on its back in adult males, hence its name. This basic green colour is marked all over with black dots and markings, and the heads and throats of these male lizards is bright blue. The females are a greenish-brown with brown heads. The males are yellowish underneath with more black spots. Juvenile lizards are coloured more like the females and with lighter brown sides
Iberian Emerald Lizard
Description and habitats of the Iberian Emerald Lizard
The Iberian emerald lizard has a long tail which is over twice the length of the main body, and this can mean that a large specimen of this reptile can reach as much as 38 cm in length, including the tail.
The Iberian emerald lizard is found in scrub-land, in clearings in woods, on farmlands, along fences and on banks, by rivers and streams, and in the valleys of mountain areas, where it can be found as high as 2,100 metres above sea level. It is mainly distributed throughout the north-western mountains of Spain and Portugal but has populations in coastal parts too. It is quite happy with a damp and humid environment.
This lizard is active by day and can swim well. The Iberian emerald lizard will also climb in bushes and on rocks and walls to sun itself and seeking prey.
The Iberian emerald lizard feeds mainly on insects but will also take smaller reptiles, such as other smaller lizards, and will eat some fruit. It is also reported to eat baby birds.
The Iberian emerald lizard mates in April and May and the females lay single clutches of 11 to 18 eggs in June.
Male Iberian emerald lizards do not defend territories but they will fight with rival males. This species of lizard can also hiss like a snake when alarmed and wanting to defend itself.
The Iberian emerald lizard's Conservation Status is "Near Threatened" on the IUCN Red List. It is declining in numbers mainly due to habitat loss. It does not adapt well to changes in the environment brought about by human developments and by forest fires, for example.
It is eaten by carnivorous mammals, birds of prey and snakes.
Iberian emerald lizard
European Green Lizard
The Iberian emerald lizard looks quite similar in many ways to the much commoner European green lizard (L. viridis), and the Western green lizard (L. bilineata). These closely related species have similar colouration to the Iberian emerald lizard.
There is an ongoing debate about whether these two aforementioned lizards are actually two distinct species but in either case they are not regarded as threatened like the Iberian emerald lizard is.
The European green lizard is found across Europe as far east as the coasts of Turkey and the Ukraine. It has been introduced into the state of Kansas in America and because of its wide distribution its Conservation Status is of "Least Concern."