Springtime is a great time of year to try and spot a common lizard – so why not give it a go? Adult lizards emerge from their hibernation sites in early spring, with mating taking place around April/May. Females incubate their eggs inside their bodies and give birth to up to 11 live young later in the summer.
These fascinating reptiles are usually up to 15cm long and are often mistaken for newts (even though the common lizard has scaly skin rather than smooth skin). They are usually a brown colour, but they can be yellow, green or even black! Common lizards also have a pattern of spots or stripes down their back with males having a yellow or orange belly with black spots and females having a pale, unspotted belly.
This species is widespread throughout the UK, including Ireland, but can be quite hard to spot! They are agile and fast and will move away quickly if they have spotted you, so you will have to be extra quiet if you want to see one. Try looking further ahead rather than right in front of you. Download our ‘Surveying for Reptiles’ booklet for free from our website for more tips.
Where to spot them: The common lizard is mainly a ground dweller, but you can sometimes see them climbing. They like sunny, dry, exposed areas near dense cover so they can hide if they need to. Their favourite meals are worms, slugs, and insects – yum!
They also have the ability to lose their tails if being chased by a predator! How clever is that? They will be able to regrow their tail, but it is never as good as the original.
Living in Scotland and want to try and spot one? Flanders Moss near Stirling is a very good place to start!
Always remember to record your amphibian and reptile sightings on our FREE Dragon Finder app. All of the data collected is sent to the National Biodiversity Network Atlas. You can download the app here.