Description

A small robust short legged lizard about 16 cm in length with the tail being 1 to 1.5 times the length of the body. Flanks a darker shade of brown than the back which can vary between brown, tan and olive green or yellow. Mottled spots sometimes arranged in broken or complete stripes. Dorsal and dorsolateral stripes being the most prominent. Bellies of males can be yellow to bright red or orange during breeding season. Females bellies being yellow to orange. Tails often seen damaged or in a state of re growth.

Distribution

Widespread in Britain and Europe. Common throughout the region along coastal areas and upland moors.

Habits

A diurnal, active hunter seen abroad early mornings from March to October. Juveniles will remain active even in mid summer during midday where as adults will retreat into shelter or shade during hotter weather. Courtship and breeding take place in April with live young being born in August to September depending on conditions.

Habitat

Found in dunes and cliffs along coastal areas as well as lightly wooded places such as young plantations. In the uplands of Weardale and Teesdale they can be found in farmland, heaths moors and along stream edges as well as in wet marshy areas in summer. Timber and stone piles are good places to look.

Diet

Small invertebrates like spiders, grasshoppers and other ground living insects.

Common Lizard Sightings