Sand Lizards

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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.  There have been several introductions in these areas to increase the populations

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

Life Span: Up to 12 years, but usually less

Habitat:  Sandy heathlands, sand dunes and rough grassland

Food:  Beetles, spiders and grasshoppers

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.

Sand Lizards are stockier than Common Lizards, and are slightly longer.  The males are a greyish-green colour, while the females are a mottled brown.  Both males and females have dark coloured spots with white centres along their backs and sides.

During May and June, the sides and belly of the male turn a vivid bright green colour.  This green colour fades in the summer.

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.

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