Common lizard

Common lizard

Common lizards are the most commonly seen reptile in the New Forest. They are found throughout the UK, except in upland areas.


Common lizards inhabit open heath and grassland, woodland glades and sometimes gardens. On sunny days between April and October look for them on prominent sunning positions such as logs, tree stumps, grass tussocks or the edges of paths. They will dart off quickly, but if you wait quietly they will often return.

Common lizards prey on insects, spiders and earthworms and live for up to eight years.

ID tip - Common lizards are usually grey-brown to dark brown with some spots and blotches. They never have the bright green sides that male sand lizards can get in spring and summer. Common lizards are smaller than sand lizards, between 16 and 19cms long.  Mature males have bright yellow or orange underparts with dark spots; females are usually dull yellow and unspotted.  Newts are sometimes mistaken for lizards, but lizards have scaly skin and longer toes, and they usually move quickly and hardly ever swim. Newts are slow- moving and are often found in water or in damp areas.

  1. Reptiles
  2. Adder
  3. Sand lizard
  4. Slow-worm
  5. Grass snake
  6. Common lizard (you are here)
  7. Smooth snake


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