Saturday, 7 July 2007

Common Lizard (Zootoca vivipara)

Adult female Common Lizard (subspecies Z. v. pannonica) at Fermyn Woods, Northants - July 2011

OTHER NAMES: Viviparous Lizard

Featured Subspecies: Zootoca vivipara pannonica
Weight: 5g
Length: 13-20cm

The common lizard is the most common of all Britain's reptiles and in most places, by far the easiest to find. They are fairly small, with most individuals reaching no more than 15cm although adult males do occasionally reach 20cm. As with most reptiles they are cold blooded and therefore can most easily be found basking on exposed places to warm up in the sunlight - these locations will vary significantly with the habitat.  I've seen them basking on rocks, on top or gorse and heather, on fallen trees and even on man made surfaces like wooden boardways over wet ground.  They come in a slight range of colours, but generally brown and cream as in the image. It is also notably the most northerly living of all reptiles in the world and as such it's adaptations include the ability to give birth to live young. 

Related Species: 

Order: Squamata 
Family: Lacertidae 
Genus: Zootoca
SUBSPECIES: Z. v. louislantzi, Z.v. pannoncica, Z.v. sachalinensis, Z. v. vivipara, Z. v. carniolica

Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Locally abundant common resident
 - Lizards seen at sites including Rainham MarshesFermyn Woods, Geddington and Trevose Head.

Further Notes:  RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, ArkiveIUCN Red List .

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