An adult Western Green Lacerta from Shawnee County. © Dick Bartlett.
An adult Western Green Lacerta from Shawnee County. © Dick Bartlett.
An adult Western Green Lacerta from Shawnee County, Kansas. © Larry L. Miller.
An adult Western Green Lacerta from Shawnee County. © Dick Bartlett.
REPTILIA (Reptiles) SQUAMATA (PART) (Other Lizards) LACERTIDAE (Lacertas and Wall Lizards)

Western Green Lacerta
Lacerta bilineata Daudin 1802
lă-sĕr-tă — bī-līn-ē-ā-tă


Conservation Status:

State: None

Federal: None
NatureServe State: SNA - Not Applicable
NatureServe National: NNR - Unranked
NatureServe Global: G5 - Secure
CITES: None
Diagnosis:
Highly variable in coloration and pattern. Males are typically bright green with black speckling on the back and light spots on the head and a blue throat. Females are brown to green and may have blotches on the back, or may have up to four narrow light lines along the sides of its body. Juveniles start off uniformly brown with a few light spots or lines along the body and gradually reach adult coloration.
Adults are normally 150- 280 mm (6-11 inches) in total length. The largest specimen from Kansas is a male (FHSM 7927) from Shawnee County with snout-vent length of 105 mm and total length of 320 mm (12¾ inches) collected by James Gubanyi and Carl Michaels on 22 April 2002. The maximum total length throughout native range is 450.9 mm (17¾ inches) (Corti and Cascio, 2002).

Distribution:
Native to western and central Europe, this large lizard has been established in a small area of Topeka since at least 1973. Unlike the Italian Wall Lizard, there is little evidence to show that this species is expanding its range.
(,   Museum Voucher) (,   Observation) (,   Literature Record) (,   iNat Record), (  Fossil)
Open icons are questionable records; Click on a marker to view details.
Full range depicted by light shaded red area. Export Google Earth (.kml)
  • Occurrence Summary:  
  • 72
    Records 
  • 12
    Museum Vouchers 
  • 60
    Other Observations 
Some county occurrences indicated below may be too imprecise to map above.
County Breakdown: County Name (# occurrences):
Shawnee (72);

Fossil History:
Not known from Kansas.

Natural History:
It prefers areas of heavier vegetation, with plenty of exposed basking sites. They primarily eat invertebrates, but larger individuals may take fruit and even hatchling birds.

Occurrence Activity:
Number of Unique Obervations (=days): 13; Range: 23 Apr to 18 Oct
Remarks:
First reported from Kansas by Collins (1974). The oldest existing specimen is (University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute [KUH 153040]) collected on 22 June 1973 in south Topeka.
This non-native species is found only within the city limits of Topeka, Shawnee County.

Bibliography:
1802 Daudin, Francois M. Histoire naturelle des rainettes, des grenouilles et des crapauds. [Natural history of tree frogs, frogs and toads.] Quarto version. de L'imprimerie de Bertrandet, Rue de Sorbonne, Paris, France. 468pp.
Contains the original description of Lacerta bilineata (nomen protectum) page 152. In French.
1928 Ortenburger, Arthur I. The whip snakes and racers: Genera Masticophis and Coluber. Memiors of the University of Michigan Museum (1):1-247
1974 Collins, Joseph T. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Public Education Series (1):283 pp
Joseph T. Collins first Kansas herpetology. <Need to get species total and principal differences with previous 'version' (= Smith 1956)>
1977 Smith, Hobart M. and Anthony J. Kohler. A survey of herpetological introductions in the United States and Canada. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 80(1/2):241-
1982 Collins, Joseph T. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas. 2nd edition. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Public Education Series (8):
Joseph T. Collins second Kansas herpetology. <Need to get species total and principal differences with previous 'version' (= Collins 1974)>
1991 Conant, Roger and Joseph T. Collins. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. pp.
1993 Collins, Joseph T. and Suzanne L. Collins. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas. Third Edition. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Lawrence. 397pp.
Joseph T. Collins third Kansas herpetology. <Need to get species total and principal differences with previous 'version' (= Collins 1982)>
1996 Gubanyi, James E. Green Lacerta rediscovered in Topeka, Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (106):15
1997 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1996. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (107):14-16
1997 Miller, Larry L. Topeka Collegiate School summer research class yields specimen of Green Lacerta. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (109):13
1997 Gubanyi, James and Joseph Gubanyi. Geographic Distribution. Lacerta viridis. Herpetological Review 28(2):96
1998 Conant, Roger and Joseph T. Collins. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. 3rd ed, expanded. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. pp.
1998 Powell, Robert, Joseph T Collins, and Errol D Hooper Jr. A Key to Amphibians & Reptiles of the Continental United States and Canada. Univ Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. 131pp.
2000 Gubanyi, James E. Update on Lacerta in Topeka, Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (118):13-14
2000 Deichsel, G. and Larry L. Miller. Change of specific status for the Green Lacerta, an alien lizard introduced in Topeka. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (119):10-11
2000 Gubanyi, James E. A breeding colony of Western Green Lacerta (Lacerta bilineata) confirmed in southwestern Topeka (Kansas). Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 103(3-4):191-192
2001 Gubanyi, James E. Notes on reproduction of the Western Green Lacerta (Lacerta bilineata) and the Italian Wall Lizard (Podarcis sicula) in Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (126):15
2002 Kingsbury, Bruce and Joanna Gibson. Habitat Management Guidelines for Amphibians and Reptiles of the Midwest. Publication of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Address not given. 152pp.
2002 Gubanyi, James E. Size maxima: Lacerta bilineata. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (4):14
2003 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 2002. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (5):13-16
2003 Gubanyi, James E. Western Green Lacerta longevity. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (6):12
2003 Gubanyi, James E. Lacerta bilineata: New maximum size. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (8):22
2004 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians, turtles, and reptiles in Kansas for 2003. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (9):8-11
2006 Taggart, Travis W. Distribution and status of Kansas herpetofauna in need of information. State Wildlife Grant T7. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt. vii + 106pp.
2006 Collins, Joseph T. and Suzanne L. Collins. Ninth annual running of the lizards. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (20):8
2008 Burke, Russell L. and Guntram Deichsel. Lacertid lizards introduced into North America: History and future. Pages 347-353 in Herpetological Conservation 3, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. pp.
2008 Burke, Russell L. and Guntram Deichsel. Lacertid lizards introduced into North America: History and future. Pages 347-353 in Urban Herpetology. SSAR, Utah. pp.
2009 Kraus, Fred. Alien Reptiles and Amphibians: A Scientific Compendium and Analysis. SpringerVerlag, Heidelberg, Germany. 563pp.
2010 Collins, Joseph T., Suzanne L. Collins, and Travis W. Taggart. Amphibians, Reptiles, and Turtles of Kansas Eagle Mountain Publishing., Provo, Utah. 400pp.
Joseph T. Collins fourth Kansas herpetology. <Need to get species total and principal differences with previous 'version' (= Collins 1993)>
2010 Collins, Joseph T. and James E. Gubanyi. History and distribution of the Western Green Lacerta, Lacerta bilineta (Reptilia: Squamata: Lacertidae) in Topeka, Kansa. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (34):8-9
2012 Rohweder, Megan R. Spatial conservation prioritization of Kansas for terrestrial vertebrates. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 151pp.
2012 Powell, Robert, Joseph T Collins, and Errol D Hooper Jr. Key to the Herpetofauna of the Continental United States and Canada: Second Edition, Revised and Updated. Univ Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. 152pp.
2013 Miller, Larry L. 15th annual running of the lizards. Collinsorum 2(1/2):10
2016 Powell, Robert, Roger Conant, and Joseph T. Collins. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. 494pp.
2017 Crother, Brian I. (editor) Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding. Eighth edition. Herpetological Circulars (43):102
2019 Powell, Robert, Joseph T Collins, and Errol D Hooper Jr. Key to the Herpetofauna of the Continental United States and Canada. Third Edition. Univ Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. 192pp.
2022 Meshaka, Walter E. Jr., R. Bruce Bury, Suzanne L. Collins, and Malcolm L. McCallum. Exotic Amphibians and Reptiles of the United States. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. 245pp.
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Travis W. Taggart © 1999-2024 — w/ Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Fort Hays State University