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Lacerta viridis.

Lacerta viridis.
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter Stoeckl (peter_stoeckl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-04-21
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-H5
Exposure: f/8, 1/320 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Reptiles - Lizards, Chuckwallas, Agamas & Tegus 2, Vienna Woods - Biosphaerenpark Wienerwald [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-05-06 11:39
Viewed: 11789
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 72
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Lacerta viridis.
The Emerald’s Mating Dress.

Lacerta viridis (Laurenti, 1768)
Eastern European Green Lizard
jaszczurka zielona
Зеленият гущер

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria
Family: Lacertidae
Genus: Lacerta

If you take a springtime walk at the edge of the vineyards south of Vienna, you will probably see some strikingly colourful blue and green dots near your path that turn out to be sizeable lizards basking in the sun. The lizards reach a total length of 40 cm. Two thirds go on the tail.

Very quick and alert, these lizards will dash into the shelter of the dense undergrowth of nearby scrubs before you can get any closer. My stalking techniques trained on butterflies used to fail on these lizards whenever I tried a closer approach. That time, when spotting a male proudly presenting its beauty on a white rock from the distance, I finally managed to get as close as 1.5 meters with the sun right behind me. Close enough to be able to do a number of shots, and to count an astonishing number of ticks sticking to the lizard’s flanks.

Young animals are brownish, adult males and females are uniformly brightly green, and - during mating time in April and May - the male’s throat is of a bright and very conspicuous cerulean blue.

The Eastern European green lizard (Lacerta viridis) is distributed from the eastern lowlands of Austria through the Balkan to Greece, to southern Ukraine and northern Turkey. There is also an isolated population in Brandenburg east of Berlin, Germany, that seems to be a relic of medieval times with warm and dry climate centuries ago.

The similar looking but genetically different Lacerta bilineata (Daudin 1802) / Western European Green Lizard / il ramarro / Lagartija verde / le lézard vert is distributed from the northern Iberian peninsula through France into parts of the German Rhine valley, to southern Switzerland and to Italy.

Both species feed on insects, small lizards, and even mice. In springtime the females lay 6 to 20 eggs.

The moment I tried to change my position for a more rewarding frontal approach, the lizard again was wiser than me, and it disappeared at once into the shelter of scrubs. Still well in sight, but out of reach, staying a challenge for another chance to come.

The camera:
SONY DSC-H5, 3072 x 2304 pixel, sRGB, 72mm tele (equivalent 420mm at full size SLR), F/8, 1/320 sec., ISO-125, hand held, no flash, 21.04.2007, 13:50.

Photoshop Elements, 50% cropped, downsized to the web, resharpened, levels slightly adjusted.

Thank you for looking.
Have a very good day.

PS: For a full size body view from larger distance, please have a look at:


cicindela, jmp, mirceax, uleko, oscarromulus, jaycee, horia, Dan, Argus, ramthakur, Alex99, meyerd, anel, Maite, Pentaxfriend, septama, Adanac, SkyF, sandpiper2, cedryk, loot, dew77, JoseMiguel, TheMystic, XOTAELE, magiqa has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To magiqa: - exotic lizardpeter_stoeckl 1 05-16 04:05
To Argus: blue colourpeter_stoeckl 1 05-18 16:21
To JoseMiguel: ... the importance of a DSLRpeter_stoeckl 2 05-18 00:25
To dew77: ... very busypeter_stoeckl 1 05-15 15:29
To oscarromulus: - techniques in detail.peter_stoeckl 1 05-07 14:36
To meyerd: - Lacerta schreiberipeter_stoeckl 1 05-06 15:36
To cicindela: - jaszczurka zielonapeter_stoeckl 3 05-06 15:14
To jmp: ...a lizard in Austriapeter_stoeckl 1 05-06 12:03
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-05-06 11:46]
  • [+]

Hi Peter,
Wow! What a capture! A lizard in Austria is was something unexpected for me. More than perfect focus and detais, wonderful colours and absolutely great approach. Thank for explaing your technique to get so near. It seem to be the same I used to capture my Tarentola mauritanica.
A really good capture mf.
TFS and best regards, José Miguel

Hi Peter,
A great capture with lovely colours and detail!

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-05-06 12:09]

Hello Peter,
I must say it's a surprise to me that you have such big and beautiful lizards near Vienna!! This is a truly fantastic close shot of this one, showing the bright colours and the texture of the skin in sharp detail. I like your composition too.
TFS and best regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • alby65 (143)
  • [2007-05-06 12:09]

Favolosa,dettagli e colori stupendi,complimenti!!

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-05-06 12:23]

Hi Peter

What a splendid capture! It's truely amazing how beautiful this species can be, especially during their mating season.
You are very correct, it's quite a tricky thing to try and take some great lizard photos (without catching them) you must be really patient and close in on them very slowly. You did that great here and the result is an amazing portrait, with vibrant colors and remarkable details.
The ticks are also a great bonus, that pretty much demonstrate the fact that he is probably an old guy that's been through much in his life.
Very well done, my friend!

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-05-06 12:24]

Hi Peter,

I have never equated lizards with Vienna! This is an amazing close-up. The colors are magnificent and the details are perfect. Absolutely wonderful.


Only one word can describe your work and my sincere
feelings and appreciation of this image in particular:
Loved the notes. Thank for sharing your techniques in detail. Am an older person with a great desire to learn
all the new technology. THANK YOU for showing me how you
did this one.
Best regards from Canada from Mario.

  • Great 
  • Dan Gold Star Critiquer [C: 113 W: 0 N: 2] (18)
  • [2007-05-06 12:30]

Hi Peter,

What a colors! Great details, excellent portrait of this lizard. Well done!
TFS, Dan

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2007-05-06 12:36]

Guten Abend Peter,
ein wunderschönes Tier - ein wunderschönes Bild. Das Porträt dieses faszinierenden Tiers gefällt mir sehr gut. Ich denke es ist überflüssig mich über Schärfe, Farben, Licht und Bildgestaltung auszulassen: einfach perfekt.
Die Art konnte ich im Mittelmeerraum auch selbst beobachten - beeindruckend.
Schöne Grüße, Peter

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-05-06 12:37]
  • [+]

Hello Peter,
Great capture of this impressive male Green Lizard, the detail being so fine that the parasitic ticks on the skin are clearly seen.
Excellent detail and colour of this head and neck portrait and it is nice to see the shot of nearly the whole lizard in the WS.
It would be interesting to know what chemical processes occur to produce the blue colouration during the breeding season. This blueness seems to occur in several species of lizard as well as some newts.
Thanks for sharing this one,
Best wishes, Ivan

A huge close-up picture with sharp details and brilliant colours, Peter.
I have seen the full image too and it is just beautiful.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-05-06 12:57]

Hi, dear Peter.
Correct spelling in Russian is "Çåëåíàÿ ÿùåðèöà".

I don't know which from your two amazing pictures is better. Quality of your shots is the best. It is simply unreal. Rather sharpness, terrific colours and details amazes. POV is impressive at highest range too as well as the DOF (especially at WS). Note is great as usual for you. My best wishes and TFS.

P.S. I am very grateful to you for your attention and remarkable words of support. Thank you so much. my dear friend.

Lieber Peter,
WOW. Du braucht wohl kein Lob von meiner Seite mehr für das wundervolle Portrait von L. viridis. Sogar das gezackte Halsband, typisch für Lacerta-Arten, ist da!

Aufgefallen ist mir eine Aehnlichkeit mit einem Portrait von L. schreiberi, gemacht von Filipe (firelord).

Vielen Dank und herzliche Grüsse

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-05-06 14:28]

Hallo Peter,
Das geht ja farbig zu in den Wiener Reben! In Erwartung einer Blume oder eines Schmetterlings, die Ueberraschung: ein wunderschönes Eidechsenportrait. Das Workshop-Foto gefällt mir auch sehr, wegen des Blickkontaktes. Was wird wohl als nächstes kommen?
Herzliche Grüsse

  • Great 
  • BG07 Silver Star Critiquer [C: 14 W: 0 N: 1] (48)
  • [2007-05-06 16:11]

Много контрастна и много цветна. Даже мисля се вижда на нея ticks на гущер

  • Great 
  • delic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 440 W: 6 N: 310] (898)
  • [2007-05-06 17:34]

Hello Peter,
Truly amazing colors. So much detail... Exposure is spot-on, not blowing out the rock surface. Well done. Regards,

Hi Peter,
Really cool shot of this blue green squamata, I very much like the composition. I really appreciate the approach technique as it is very useful to hear how others achieve that final capture. :)

Hi Peter,

What a lovely dress
Beautyful compo with vivid colours
perfect sharpness showing fine details
Great POF and DOF
good lighting

TFS Thijs

Hi Peter,
this is the one of the fanciest lizard I ever seen, nice DOF enable us to observed the detail of its skin mosaic, I just curious something sticking in its skin, its a kind of parasite/flea or just a part of its body, really great capture and great notes

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-05-06 21:31]

Hello Peter,
Almost shocking colors and amazing detials in this wonderful closeup. Those ticks must be annoying if nothing else.

bonjour peter
je ne pense pas que ce soit les meilleurs couleur pour le camoufflage mais en tout cas c'est un ravissement pour nous.
tous les points sont reunis pour une belle photo.

Hello Peter!
What a great lizard portrait! I really like beauty colours, very good DOF and POV. Details are so great that I can see even a few "additional" creatures on the photo - 3 Acari specimens on lizard's skin, including 1 in its ear.

By the way, in Polish this species is named: jaszczurka zielona what can be translated as green lizard.

My best congratulation because of great photo and have a nice evening!

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-05-07 3:54]

What amazing colors on this lizard, Peter.
That is something you expect to find in the depth of the rainforest, not in the vineyards of Europe.
Excellent focus and exposure resulting in some stunning details.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-05-07 7:16]

Hallo Peter,
ich bin wieder mal am staunen was sich in Europa so alles rumtreibt ;-). Hatte keine Ahnung dass es solch schoene Reptilien bei euch in Oestereich gibt. Den hast du aber auch wirklich ganz toll erwischt, die Farben sind einfach klasse und das Licht bring die Details prime zur Geltung.

A beautiful shot Peter, I didn't realise that Europe had sucha colourful lizard.
Superb sharpness and excellent detail of teh scales. A first class shot.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-05-07 9:55]

Hello Peter
What a beautiful lizard you present today, with such vivid colors!
Excellent close-up with magnificent sharpness and interesting details.
Very good note too.
Congratulations and TFS.

Those are so beautiful. It is almost one decade now that I don't see any.
Beautiful saturated colors.
Nice close portrait.

I had no idea such colorful lizards lived in western Europe. How exciting! Your patience paid off with a great capture. I like the workshop version too. Thanks for sharing both.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • cedryk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
  • [2007-05-08 18:05]

Hello Peter,
Wow, what a powerful portrait. The details and the amazing colour set are simply bursting out from the screen. Even that beauty is not free of ticks. I see they are plague everywhere...
Best greetings,

  • Great 
  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2007-05-09 19:26]

Uma foto muito bem capturada e nitides exelente belas cores em sua cabeça está de parabéns.

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2007-05-13 8:01]
  • [3]

Hi Peter

This one is worth a WOW. A spectacular capture of this amazingly beautiful lizard with its mating dress.

A perfect portrait composition with all the right proportions in the cropping. The colours on the reptile are stunning and the details are worth another WOW. The BG was well isolated to make the lizard and its rock stand out nicely in the photo and the exposure was perfectly controlled.

Thanks for the beautiful supplemental posting in the workshop. It looks like there are some tics sitting just above the lizards right shoulder and even in its ear so it seems like you got a two-species shot here. (Ok, then I read your notes and realised it is no secret...chuckle.)

Very well done and TFS.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-05-15 4:17]
  • [+]

Hello Peter,
Sorry i was very busy and not active on TN.I missed your beautiful captures.This one is amazing.I liked vivid colors,crisp clear details,POV and framing a lot.

Hi Peter,
A very impressive capture of this lizzard!
I like so much the sharpness and clear details got on that stunning and colourful skin.
You made a great presentation of excellent quality, thanks to the well balanced composition, and the seasoned way in wich exposure was handled.
Every time I see some of your pics taken with the H5, I question myself about the importance of a DSLR.
By the way, how is your experience with noise above the 100 ISO with the H5?
I was checking out the new H9 and very tempted by their 15x zoom.
Congrtulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

Hello Peter: Beautiful observation and absolutely stunning colors! I love your attention to detail, which you caught very nicely here!

Hola Peter.
Fantastic portrait.
Nice colours and details.
Good note.
Regards, JL.

Such a beautiful and exotic lizard - do you have them in Austria?? Impressing and so is the professional photo!

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