Simon Walker's picture

Is This Normal Behaviour?

Observed: 12th July 2012 By: Simon WalkerSimon Walker’s reputation in Amphibians and ReptilesSimon Walker’s reputation in Amphibians and ReptilesSimon Walker’s reputation in Amphibians and Reptiles
Common Lizard, Fowlmere, 2012-07-12 014

Difficult to assign a habitat. It was on a boardwalk leading across fresh water, at the edge of grassland.
This lizard has all four legs in the air...
It was raising one foot then the other as well. Hmmm.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Amadan's picture

Quite possibly

The behaviour is to do with temperature regulation. Adders, which tend to bask in the open, will spread their ribs out to catch as much sun as they can. British lizards, I think, are amongst the reptiles that alternatively seek contact with warm surfaces. So this one may be pressing its belly to the warm wood. When they are too warm, they raise the body up, and in extreme circumstances (probably not in the UK, and certainly not this summer), will raise one or more feet as well.

Simon Walker's picture

Thanks for that.

Though actually one of them WAS lifting one front foot then the other; and this one had all four in the air at once when this picture was taken.
It was a surprisingly warm afternoon, and very humid, so although the summer's been rubbish, this day was a delight, at least at Fowlmere.
As you note, the lizard looks pretty flat.
I've seen them basking on this boardwalk lots of times, but on this day they were particularly bold, and ignored me as long as I trod slowly and quietly. There were six of them.