Sand lizard in breeding colours (c) Paul Cobb

Sand lizard

Sand lizards are a particularly rare and protected species in Britain. They're found only in parts of southern heathland and the sand dunes of the the north west. In mainland Europe, however, sand lizards can be found in many more places including fields and woodland, parks and gardens. During the breeding season the male's sides become highly coloured, with some individuals turning almost completely bright green. These are Britain's only egg-laying lizards and they lay their eggs in the warm sand and sunshine to incubate. The young emerge in late summer.

How to identify UK reptiles.

Scientific name: Lacerta agilis

Rank: Species

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Map showing the distribution of the Sand lizard taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Sand lizard can be found in a number of locations including: Asia, Europe, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Sand lizard distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web


The sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) is a lacertid lizard distributed across most of Europe and eastwards to Mongolia. It does not occur in the Iberian peninsula or European Turkey. Its distribution is often patchy.

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BBC News about Sand lizard