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Did you know that there are lizards in Ireland? Despite their love of warm, dry, sunny climates, the common lizard thrives extremely well on Irish bogs!

The common lizard is native to Ireland. The only other reptile found in Ireland is the slow-worm, which is usually only found in parts of Co. Clare and is not a native.

Do you know what a common lizard looks like?

The common lizard is usually about ten to sixteen cm in length, with short little legs and a long, tapering tail. Its skin consists of grey, brown or green rough scales all the way down their backs.

If you see a lizard, you can tell wheather it's a male or a female by the colour underneath.

A male usually has a bright yellow or orange coloured belly, sometimes with black spots. The female's belly can be yellow, grey or greenish in colour and doesn't usually have any spots.

A typical lizard meal consists of small insects, worms, spiders and snails. The lizard hunts by pouncing on its prey to surpirse them, before swallowing it whole.

So, where can you find lizards in Ireland?

Lizards can be found in bogs, woodlands, marshes, gardens and even on sand dunes. They hibernate for the winter months, so the best time to see them is from March to October. Usually they avoid being in the open around midday because the sun is too strong.

The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) are keeping a record of any lizards spotted in Ireland, so if you see one, let them know!

Did you know?

Unlike humans, the common lizard has no internal temperature regulation system. 

This means that they have to rely on the environment to regulate their body temperature.

When they get too cold, they love to bask in the sun, and when they get too hot they move into the shade.

Have you ever heard of thigmothermy?

This is a way that lizards can heat their bodies through contact with warm surfaces, for example rocks, wood etc.