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Species Notebook:

  • Wall Lizard

    • Wall lizard: rocking on the cliffs

      Post date: Thursday, 29 May, 2014 - 00:00

      The wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) is considered to be an introduced species to this country. It is a common species throughout most of Europe. It also occurs on Jersy where it may be native so it would be quite able to turn up here on the south coast and there are good populations in various pockets in Dorset, especially on the zig-zag paths in Bournemouth and in the limestone quarries of Purbeck and Portland. 

      They are larger than our native common lizard and brown in colour but the male develops a beautiful mottled green streak along its back during the breeding season. This green colouring could lead to confusion with the sand lizard but their habitat requirements are so totally different that it should be obvious which is which! 

      These are active little creatures, quickly gathering warmth from walls and rocks as they enjoy basking in the sun and they are quite confiding, only running off if directly threatened. Sadly, as with many 'invading' species, it seems that their presence may have a detrimental effect on populations of our common lizards so whilst they add to the diversity of our fauna there is a price to be paid.


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