Occipital plate rudimentary; frontal large, nearly as broad behind as before: temples covered with small plates: abdominal lamellse in six longitudinal rows: fore feet with the third toe longest: femoral pores from twelve to fifteen.
Lezard des Souches, Edwards in Ann. des Sci. Nat. (1829) tom.xvi. p. 65. Duges, Id. p. 377.
The following are those of an English specimen. Entire length seven inches: length of the head (measured above to the posterior margin of the occipital plate) nine lines, (underneath from the extremity of the lower jaw to the posterior margin of the collar) one inch and half a line; of the body (from the collar to the anus) two inches one line; of the tail three inches ten lines; of the hind leg one inch three lines and a half; of the fore leg ten lines and a half. These measurements are, however, probably often exceeded.
(Form). Larger than the common species; the body and limbs thicker and stronger in proportion to the entire length. Occipital plate rudimentary, very much smaller than the parietal plates; frontal large, and nearly as broad at its posterior, as at its anterior margin; space between the eye and the meatus auditorius covered with small plates of various sizes: collar composed of eleven lamellse; the margin irregularly toothed or notched: pectoral triangle well-defined: abdominal lamellae in six longitudinal rows; the two middle rows much narrower than the adjoining ones, with the lamellae of a parabolic form: ante-anal lamella single*, large, somewhat pentagonal: dorsal scales small, of an irregular form, approaching to square or hexagonal, with a distinct longitudinal keel directed somewhat obliquely; those on the sides of the body t2 larger, with the keel obsolete: caudal scales oblong, but becoming longer and narrower as they approach the tip of the tail, each terminating below in an obtuse point, and furnished with a longitudinal keel, which also becomes more strongly marked towards the extremity: tail itself moderately stout at its origin, but gradually tapering to a fine sharp point; with fifty-three (Duges says from fifty to eighty) whorls of the scales last described:;fore legs not reaching beyond the eyes, when placed against the sides of the head; strong, with the third toe a little longer than the fourth; all the claws strong and sharp, and more developed than those on the hind feet: hind feet reaching to the carpus of the fore: thighs very much compressed; the number of femoral pores varying (according to Duges) from twelve to fifteen, - in this specimen, on the right thigh thirteen, on the left fifteen. (Colours). Said to be very variable. In my specimen, the upper parts dark green, thickly spotted with black; a broad interrupted fascia of dark greenish brown down the middle, containing interrupted lines of yellow spots: under parts light bluish green, with small black spots much less numerous than above.
* In one specimen it was observed to be double, but this is probably accidental.
Of this species I have seen but two indigenous specimens, which were obtained by W. Yarrell, Esq. from the neighbourhood of Poole in Dorsetshire. For one of these I am indebted to the kindness of that gentleman. It is common in France, and will probably be met with in other parts of our own country, as soon as our native Reptiles shall have received more attention from naturalists. It is very distinct from the L. agilis, though at first sight, and without close examination, it might pass for a large variety of that species. With its habits I am unacquainted. Obs. The L. arenicola of Daudin is a variety of this species.
Nat. des Rept. torn. iii. pl. 34. Lacertus viridis, Ray, Syn. Quad. p. 264. Lizard piquett, Edwards in Ann. des Sci. Nat. (1829) torn. xvi. p. 64. Lezard vert, Duges, Id. p. 373.
Larger, with the tail much longer in proportion to the body, than the L. Stirpium. Occipital plate small, and triangular; interparietal lozenge -shaped; frontal very large, quite as broad at its posterior as at its anterior margin: collar consisting of eight lamellae; the alternate ones smaller, and of a triangular form: abdominal lamellae in six rows, the two middle ones much narrower than the others: tail with upwards of a hundred whorls of scales: toes long and slender; the third and fourth on the fore feet of equal length: femoral pores from fifteen to eighteen. Colour generally a brilliant green variegated with black specks on the back, flanks, and limbs: abdominal lamellae plain yellowish green. Attains a length of eighteen inches.
This species, which is well known on the Continent and in the Island of Guernsey, is said by Ray to be found in Ireland, but its existence in this last country does not appear to have been confirmed by any subsequent observer. It is also doubtful whether it be indigenous in any part of England, though possibly the "beautiful green Lacerti" observed by Mr. White "on the sunny sand-banks near Farnham, in Surrey,"* may have belonged to this species.