Common lizard on wood (c) Nicholas David

Common Lizard

Common lizards can both lay eggs and give birth to live young. They lay eggs in warm climates, and bear live young in cold ones. They range from northern Asia across central and northern Europe and are the only reptiles found in Ireland. They are good swimmers diving underwater when threatened, and can shed their tails to fool predators. At night, and when startled, common lizards shelter beneath logs, stones and metal sheets. They hibernate from October to March, often in groups, emerging for brief times during warm spells.

How to identify UK reptiles.

Scientific name: Zootoca vivipara

Rank: Species

Common names:

Viviparous lizard

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The Common 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 Common Lizard distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web