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
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.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
The viviparous lizard or common lizard, Zootoca vivipara (formerly Lacerta vivipara), is a Eurasian lizard. It lives farther north than any other reptile species, and most populations are viviparous (giving birth to live young), rather than laying eggs as most other lizards do. It is the only species in the monotypic genus Zootoca.
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