Lurking under a bramble in hot sunshine at midday.
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Nice. The species name suggests that it is viviparous. Is it?
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)
Yes, this is it's other English name. This is why it's the only widespread species in the UK - it doesn't need warm soil in which to lay its eggs. Of our other common reptiles adder and slow-worm are also viviparous. Grass snakes get away with it by laying their eggs in decaying vegetation and using the warmth generated by the decay process.
Next year I'm running a free whole-day reptile workshop. It will be on Wednesday April 28th, starting at 10.00 am at the Heights Hotel, Portland. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
When I first saw this photo I thought Wall lizard based mainly on the colour and lack of any hint of stripes; the patterning is just like wall lizards I am used to seeing in Spain.
However, I agree with Bob this is a common lizard because of the stubby head, a wall lizard's head would be longer and thinner. This is one of the problems with the small Lacerta lizards they are all very variable in colouration and pattern.
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The wall lizards on Portland always show pale dots around the front legs - but they are not necessarily the same as the ones you see in Spain, some people think the Portland ones are more like Italian wall lizards. I've put a photo of a male at http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/3518 and a female at http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/3517
Thanks for the pictures, very nice. I would agree they are more like the Italian wall lizard. I am familiar with all three, Common, Iberian and Italian. Common are found in France and northern Spain, Iberian on the islands and there are collonies of Italian in Southern Spain.
I've had to change the date of this to Saturday May 1st 2010.
Lat/Lng: 50.5, -2.5
OS grid ref: SY7071