nightfly's picture

Lizard.

Observed: 10th July 2012 By: nightflynightfly’s reputation in Amphibians and Reptilesnightfly’s reputation in Amphibians and Reptilesnightfly’s reputation in Amphibians and Reptiles
10 July 12 (60)
10 July 12 (74)
10 July 12 (39)
10 July 12 (50)
Description:

Another crop added showing this chaps impressive tail. If I'd have had the sun behind me at this stage the colours would have been better.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Lone Ranger's picture

female common lizard

Has a continuous stripe down centre of back where as the male as more of a zig zag down the centre.

nightfly's picture

Hi Lone Ranger,Cheers for

Hi Lone Ranger,

Cheers for the tip, I can never remember if it is the male or the female has the orange belly (most of the time at least), this one had a yellow belly and I thought that meant female as it wasnt that deep orange which I think is the male.

The 'chap' thing above wasnt really a serious indicator of which sex it was, but I knew/hoped someone would comment if it was a female for sure.

Cheers for the back markings tip, must study that more for future use. I took some underside shots with flash through the base of the tub and its a pale yellow belly which would also suggest female as you say, if I'm not mistaken?

Cathal.

Masked Marvel's picture

The best way to sex lizards

The best way to sex lizards is the belly. Males are orange with spots, females can be beige, yellow, or orange but generally lack spots. Although there are some differences in the back patterns between the sexes I wouldn't rely on on a general rule for sexing. Females are more likely to be striped but males can sometimes have a dorsal stripe. Both sexes can also completely lack a dorsal stripe.

nightfly's picture

Ok, thanks for this Masked

Ok, thanks for this Masked Marvel, I think I should add a crop of the belly at this stage, its yellow and it does have some spots, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on it. The closer I look at it the more it appears to me like those deep orange bellies with their black patterns- but this one is a lot paler in hue. Whatever it is, its a lovely patterned wee beast.

Cathal.

Masked Marvel's picture

Belly pattern

With that level of spotting I would say it is definitely a male. It also looks like it might be shedding its skin soon so the colour may not be as bright as usual.

Also the photo from below shows the bulge at the base of the tail where the hemipenes are stored, this helps confirm it as a male.

nightfly's picture

Cheers for this Masked

Cheers for this Masked Marvel, it''ll help me sex them more confidently in future. Ive noticed that bulge before but I wasnt really sure what it was. Another thing Ive noticed in that area is a bit of discolouration, a duller bit. I put this down to mating activity. Ive yet to see a pair actually mating. I wonder do they do that underground?

Cathal.

Masked Marvel's picture

Mating

They don't mate underground but probably wouldn't be out in the open when they are. Lizard sex involves a certain amount of biting (generally the male bites the female, although it can be both ways) which can result in scarring, so that might explain the discolouration. It could also be from males fighting. Mating would take place in the spring (April-May) but the scarring can last longer. Common lizards aren't as aggressive as sand lizards which can have a lot of scars in that area.

nightfly's picture

Yeah theres often a dull band

Yeah theres often a dull band just at the base of the tail/pelvic region, almost as if theyve been squeezed there and slightly damaged. These moorland ones have very impressive networks of tunnels around and below boulders and some also through solid peat, only given away by a small black entrance hole. Virtually everywhere I look I find evidence of lizard traffic.

Cathal.

Masked Marvel's picture

Mating

Here is a photo of two sand lizards mating which shows how these scars originate. Fighting males will also bite in this area.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thekrankis/4530434585/

Here are common lizards

http://www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/gallery/showimage.php?i=31273&c=7

nightfly's picture

Thanks for the 2 links Masked

Thanks for the 2 links Masked Marvel, that would definitely explain the wear and tear I see on them, the discolouration. Those are great pics, I might chance upon mating ones some day with a bit of luck and get a pic or 2 myself.

Cathal.