Lacerta trilineata is the biggest Green Lizard. Coming across these lizards is always an impressive encounter. It occurs along the Adriatic coast, the Southern Balkans, Crete and some Greek Islands. The fromer subspecies citrovittata from the Central Cyclades has been put into species rank as well as the eastern subspecies diplochondrodes, cariensis and dobrogica, which are now referred to Lacerta diplochondrodes*. Note, that the contact zone of Lacerta trilineata and Lacerta diplochondrodes in Greece and Bulgaria is poorly known.
Lacerta trilineata lives in areas with dense vegetation from sea level to the mountains up to at least 1500 meters (e.g. Crete).
Currently, four subspecies are recognized:
The validity of subspecies major seems to be doubtful. On the other hand, Lacerta trilineata trilineata on Peloponnese, shows an wide genetic variability which requires further research.
Males of Lacerta viridis, which may co-occur with Lacerta trilineata, frequently show bright blue heads in spring. In contrast to this, Lacerta trilineata may have bluish necks but no blue heads.
Juveniles of Lacerta trilineata frequently show light dorsolateral lines and a light vertebral line. In contrast to this, Lacerta viridis has no vertebral line. The light vertebral line also distinguishs juveniles of Lacerta trilineata from other small Lacertids (e.g. Podarcis species).
* See: Kornilios P, Thanou E, Lymberakis P, Ilgaz Ç, Kumlutaş Y, Leaché A. A phylogenomic resolution for the taxonomy of Aegean green lizards. Zool Scr. 2019;00:1–14