Common Lizard Lacerta vivipara

Living further north than any other reptile species, the common lizard is also remarkable for giving birth to its young, as opposed to laying eggs (as most other lizard species do).


Variable in colour, but usually brownish-grey, often with rows of darker markings down the back and sides. Males have bright yellow or orange undersides.


Length: 10-15cm Average Lifespan: up to 12 years


Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, and classified as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.


Widespread, found throughout the country, except for most Scottish islands, the Isles of Scilly and the Channel Islands. The only reptile native to Ireland.

When to see

March – October


If threatened by a predator, Common Lizards will shed their still-moving tail in order to distract their attacker and make a quick getaway. This leaves a scar behind, but they can re-grow their tails, although they are usually shorter.

Common name

Common Lizard

Species name

Lacerta vivipara

When to see in Scotland

March – October

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