Lacerta trilineata is the biggest Green Lizard, a frequent encounter on the Balkans and numerous Greek Islands. It lives in areas with dense vegetation from sea level to the mountains up to at least 1500 meters (e.g. Crete). In cooler or more humid habitats it is often being replaced by Lacerta viridis.
Lacerta trilineata has a more pointed snout than Lacerta viridis. Males of Lacerta viridis frequently show bright blue heads in spring. In contrast to this, Lacerta trilineata on the mainland may have bluish necks and flanks but no blue heads.
Juveniles of Lacerta trilineata frequently show light dorsolateral lines and a light vertebral line. In contrast to this, Lacerta viridis shows no vertebral line. The light vertebral line also distinguishs juvenile Lacerta trilineata from other small Lacertids (e.g. Podarcis species).
Several subspecies of Lacerta trilineata have been described, although taxonomic revision may be required. Genetic analysis indicates that there are at least two groups in our area*:
* For genetic analysis, see SAGONAS et al. (2014):
SAGONAS, K. & POULAKAKIS, N. & LYMBERAKIS, P. & PARMAKELIS, A. & PAFILIS, P. & VALAKOS, E.D. (2014) - Molecular systematics and historical biogeography of the green lizards (Lacerta) in Greece: Insights from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA. - Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 76: 144-154.