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Looks like this lady has given birth lately.
Because the belly looks a bit loose?
Yes, she looks generally skinny and you can see a fold of skin down the side.
I noticed that, just out of curiosity, what is a typical brood for one of these? They seem to be prolific breeders, can she have several broods annually?
Average brood size for common lizards is 5-8. They would only have time for one brood a year, they mate in April and the young are born in July and August so there's a gestation period of around 4 months which means they couldn't fit another round in. Sand lizards on the other hand can have two broods a year if the spring is warm as they lay eggs in late May and early June, leaving the sun and sand to incubate them. This gives them enough time to fit a second clutch in.
Cheers for this Masked Marvel,
I found a juvenile last year in early August. It was less than 5cm long. what length would newly born ones be? I just wonder how young that wee one was?
It was 4.8cms-
That one would have been pretty young. They are about 3.5-4.5cm when they are born, depending on the condition of the mother and how much basking time she had. I would guess with Northern Ireland being one of the wetter parts of the UK, the young lizards would be born later and a bit smaller than the south of England.
Cheers Masked Marvel,
It was found on a very damp moorland, actually first spotted on bare peat under an overhanging sod. It takes prolonged dry spells for it to be dry enough to sit down there in comfort, not a chance this summer.
I have been up the Cranny Falls path a few times in the last year and did look out for lizards when I was there (without success). You seem to have gone a bit higher up - I have not got beyond the waterfall!
Cheers for the comment. There is a lizard hotspot well up near the top of the hill, close to where the ground flattens out onto the plateau. I almost always meet a lizard or 2 there passing by, havent ever really stopped and actively looked. Once up on the plateau a lizard can be met anywhere and aren't hard found if you look around rocks, you know yourself.
Personally I havent ever found a lizard below approx 900 feet. Easier to find for me on higher ground. Maybe just a lot more common up there.
I agree, it always helps to have a rock, or tyre, or fence post strut, etc, to look at - usually with good vegetative cover a few inches away.
Lat/Lng: 55.0053, -6.0315
OS grid ref: NW423752