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Common lizard: Zootoca vivipara

Last, and perhaps least of the 3 lizards, is the Common lizard: Zootoca vivipara. Living up to its name, the common lizard is the UK's most common and widespread reptile - although we only found one on our walk, pictured. Interestingly, it is the only reptile native to Ireland. It is found across many habitats, including heathland, moorland, woodland and grassland, where it can be seen basking in sunny spots.

Also known as the 'viviparous lizard', the common lizard is unusual among reptiles as it incubates its eggs inside its body and 'gives birth' to live young rather than laying eggs. Adults emerge from hibernation in spring, mating in April and May, and producing three to eleven young in July.

How to identify The common lizard is variable in colour, but is usually brownish-grey, often with rows of darker spots or stripes down the back and sides. Males have bright yellow or orange undersides with spots, while females have paler, plain bellies.


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