The Ocellated Lizard is one of the largest members of its family. The adult is 30 – 60 centimetres long (1 – 2 feet) and may reach up to 90 centimetres (3 feet), its tail makes up about two thirds of its length.
This reptile is found in various habitats from sea level up to 2,100 metres in southern Spain. It prefers dry bushy areas such as open woodland and scrub, old olive groves and vineyards. The lizard usually stays on the ground but climbs well on rocks and in trees.
This is a robust lizard with a serrated collar. The male has a characteristic broad head. It has thick strong legs, with long curved claws. The dorsal background colour is usually green but sometimes grey or brownish especially on head and tail. This is overlaid with black stippling that may form a bold pattern of interconnected rosettes. The underside is yellowish or greenish. The male is brighter in colour than the female and has blue spots on its flanks; there are fewer or none in the female.
The Ocellated Lizard feeds mainly on large insects, especially beetles, and also robs birds’ nests and occasionally takes reptiles, frogs, and small mammals. It also eats fruit and other plant matter, especially in dry areas.