Die Westliche Smaragdeidechse (Lacerta Bilineata) Aus Nächster Nähe Beobachtet: Ein Porträt Der Grössten Einheimischen Eidechse Und Farbigsten Reptilienart Mitteleuropas Während Der Paarungszeit
Photographing western green lizards up close is hard work, because the shy reptiles sure don't like two-legged giants trampling around in their habitat, but they are so photogenic that a good close-up shot is well worth the effort (most of all: the patience!) it takes to sneak up on them. The intense blue color of the face and head of adult males is characteristic for the species during mating season, which lasts approximately from April to June. Adult female western green lizards also have certain appearance types that are more common than others, but in general the color patterns differ much more in females than in males, as demonstrated in the photos below.
Also clearly visible in the photos are the lines on the back of the young and subadult western green lizards, which are typical for the species and also responsible for its Latin name - Lacerta bilineata - meaning "lizard with two lines." Information about habitat, ecology, distribution and diet of western green lizards can be found on the SPECIES DESCRIPTION page.
At the bottom of the page there are 6 photos of western green lizards taken outside of mating season (in August and September). In these photos you can clearly see that the colors of the males are much less intense when they're not trying to attract a female. As a result, western green lizards are much better camouflaged in the months following mating season as opposed to the period from April to June, with their much less conspicuous green colors blending in perfectly with their surroundings.
In addition, it is usually much warmer during the later months; for ectothermic reptiles like western green lizards, this means they are less likely to need to raise their body temperature by basking in sun-exposed places, which makes it much harder to spot them. But they become generally much shyer once mating season is over and spend most of their time well hidden.
So the reason why most of the photos here are of western green lizards during mating season is not because that's when they appear in the most beautiful colors (although that's certainly the case) - it's simply because they're much harder to photograph during the later months.