Scientific name: Zootoca vivipara
Look out for a common lizard basking in the warm sun as you wander around heathlands, moorlands and grasslands. You might even be lucky enough to spot one in your garden, too!
Average lifespan: 5-6 years
Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.
When to seeMarch to October
AboutLiving up to its name, the common lizard is the UK's most common and widespread reptile; 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 identifyThe 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.
In our area
You are most likely to spot Common Lizards at Catherton Common.