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Sand Lizards

Identify It >   Reptile Section >   Sand Lizards >

Scientific name:  Lacerta agilis

Size:  Grows to approximately 18cm in length

Distribution:  Found in the south and north west of England, and also in north Wales

Months seen:  April to October.  For the remainder of the year Sand Lizards hibernate in an underground burrow

Food:  Beetles, spiders and grasshoppers

Habitat:  Sandy heathlands, sand dunes and rough grassland

Special features:  Sand lizards are the rarest of our native reptiles, and are protected by law.  They can be found in just a few locations which include; the sandy heathlands of Dorset, the sand dunes of Lancashire, and Sherwood Forest (Notts.) near the Great Oak Visitor Centre

The Sand Lizards body is stockier than that of the Common Lizard, and is slightly longer.  The males are a greyish-green colour, while the females are a mottled brown.  Both males and females have dark coloured spots along their backs and sides.  The dark spots have white centres.  During May and June, the sides and belly of the male turn a vivid bright green colour.

NOTE: It's a criminal offence to kill or injure any of the UK's native reptiles.  Sand Lizards are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981.  It is an offence to kill, harm, injure, sell or trade them in any way.


2015 - heathland near Corfe Castle, Dorset - Vivien Field (photo)

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