Sand Lizard

, ,
Sand Lizard

Due to vast habitat loss the sand lizards (Lacerta agilis) now only occurs naturally in Surrey, Dorset and Hampshire, where it lives on sandy heathland, and further north in Merseyside where it is confined to coastal sand dune systems.

Sand lizards have now been re-introduced to other sites in these counties and also, to restore its range, to sites in North Wales, Devon and Cornwall and West Sussex.

The sand lizard is a stocky lizard, that reaches up to 20cm in length. Both sexes have brown varied patterns down the back with two strong dorsal stripes. The male has extremely striking green flanks which are particularly bright during the breeding season in late April and May.

The sand lizard lays eggs in late May or early June. The eggs are left buried in sand exposed to the sun which helps to keep them warm. Eggs hatch between August and September. The sand lizard is dependent on well managed heathland or sand dune habitats, where it occupies mature vegetation that provides good cover.

Due to its rarity, the sand lizard is strictly protected by British and European law which makes it an offence to: kill injure, capture or disturb them; damage or destroy their habitat; possess, sell/trade them in any way.

Credit: With thanks to the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Charity for providing the photo and information. © ARC Trust