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Wicklow Mountains National Park

Reptiles


There is only one species of reptile in the Park, the Common Lizard. The lizard is a common sight in the Park, and can be seen basking in sunny areas during warm weather.

Names

EnglishIrishLatin
Common/Viviparous LizardLaghairt Bheobhreitheach/Earc LuachraLacerta vivipera

The Common (or Viviparous) Lizard

The Common Lizard is usually a yellowish-brownish colour with irregular dark markings along the entire length of it's body. However it's colour may be variable with both grey and green specimens having been seen. The underside of the males is covered with dark spots, and these may or may not be as pronounced on the female. Again there is a large variation in the colour of the belly.

The Common Lizard is long-bodied with very short legs, a small, rounded head and a thick tail. The scales on the back are quite coarse. Females are larger than males measuring about 20cm, compared with males at 13cm.

The young are produced live and not from eggs (hence the name viviparous) as is normal with reptiles and range in number from two to ten.

If a lizard is grabbed by its tail by a predator, it can escape by detaching itself from its tail!

The Common Lizard can be found in all sorts of dry habitats favouring sandy or rocky areas. It's commonly found inland, especially in open wood, heaths and grassland. It is a ground dwelling lizard that only climbs occasionally. Common Lizards feed on insects and other invertebrates, particularly spiders, and worms in damp habitats. The young are fond of aphids.