/ Animalia / Craniata / Reptilia
/ Lacertidae / Lacerta /
- Lacerta agilis agilis
- Lézard des souches (French)
- Zauneidechse (German)
- Snout-vent: maximum 9cm (usually less). B159
- Tail length: 1.25-1.75 times body length B159
- Total length: may reach e.g. 19.3cm (male), 18.5cm
- Birth: 5.6-6.3cm (body 2.5-3.1cm, tail 2.8-3.5cm). By
hibernation average 8.0cm and one year later average 12.8cm B160.
- Lacertid lizards have a relatively long body, well-defined head , long
tail and well-developed legs.
- The top of the head and the abdomen bear large scales and femoral pores
are present on the ventral side of the upper leg (thigh).
- Medium-size and robust, with a short deep, rounded head (larger in male
than in female), serrated collar, short legs, overlapping scales on the abdomen and narrow
- Large ventral scales are in six rows across the lizard and in 24 to 30
rows down the body (more in female than in male).
- 34-42 dorsal scales across the middle of the body
(B159, B160 )
Colouration: Very variable.B159
- Adult: Light central line, often broken. Dorsal usually
central dark band or series of dark marks, often with darker blotches. Light spots.
Unmarked area, between dorsal markings and flanks where there may be ocelli, dark spots or
- Males may have flanks of green, yellow green or greenish. Some males
green except for dark central band, sometimes have ocelli over back. (B159, B160)
- Females generally grey or brown, rarely with green
colouration. Dark central band, usually broken. (B159)
- Ventral: whitish, greenish or yellow. often dark spots,
generally more numerous in males. (B159, B160)
- Juvenile: generally similar to adults. No green
colouration. Often prominent ocelli, especially on flanks (B159);
generally paler than adults, with less clearly defined pattern and sometimes no spots
- All black.
- Females with green flanks; back brown or reddish (not found in
- Continuous white midline streak - in West Balkans
- All green - in Romana
Similar species and distinguishing features:
- In UK: distinguished from Lacerta agilis by more robust
appearance,larger head, presence of of vertebral band of narrow scales, more overlap on
ventral scales and different patterning. (B159)
|Range and Habitat
- Europe including England, France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, southern
Sweden,Germany, Austria, north-western Yugoslavia, Hungary Czechoslovakia, Poland, western
Russia. Common over central Europe. (B160)
- In Britain: coastal area of Lancashire, south of
- Dry habitats such as field edges, road embankments, grasslands with
occasional low bushes, rough grazing areas, hedgerows, cropland and gardens. (B159, B160)
- In north of range, lowland species. (B159)
- Southern: Partly montane, found up to 2000m altitude in
dry upland pastures. (B159) ;
to nearly 4,000ft in Alps (B160)
- England: dry open areas - mainly coastal sand dunes with
some plant cover and southern sandy heathland in dense old heather (B159, B160).
- Mainly ground-dwelling, poor climber.
- Often found in colonies.
- Uses tunnels formed by other species, also digs.
- Basks in sunlight, but spends hottest part of day in shade or underground.
Breeding: Oviparous (lays eggs) (B159, B160).
- Mating May (peak) to June, with fighting between males.
Males seize flank of female with jaws before mating; mate repeatedly.
- Eggs laid June/July B160 B160
- No of eggs/young: 6-13, less by younger than by mature females
- Eggs: Initially 12-15 x 8-9mm, faintly pinkish. May
increase in size by several mm before hatching. (B160)
- Female digs shallow hole, lays eggs and covers them (B160)
- Incubation 7-12 weeks, depending on temperature. May
hatch as early as the beginning of August, and as late as early September.
- Hatchlings have sharp well-developed egg-tooth (B160)
- Males may be sexually mature as early as 21-22 months old (B160)
- At intervals, usually in pieces (B160)
- Mainly invertebrates (B159)
- Omnivorous, mainly insects and spiders.
- Diet includes moths and butterflies, centipedes, woodlice, worms, slugs,
- Fond of honey.
- Starts late September/early October; emerge early March (B160).
Organisations (UK Contacts):