Sand lizards are among the UK's rarest reptiles.  They are the only egg-laying lizard species in the UK.


Sand lizard habits

Sand lizards are active and can be seen from late March through to October.  They hibernate through the winter, living in burrows dug in the sand. Burrows can reach up to one metre deep.  They emerge in late March or early April. Mating takes place in late April/ early May. Unlike the UK’s other lizard species (common lizards and slow worms, which are viparious (giving birth to live young)),  female sand lizards lay eggs in late May/ early June.  The eggs are buried in sand that gets regular warming from the sun to keep the developing young warm.  Eggs hatch in late August/ early September.

Sand lizards are ectothermic - they can’t generate their own body heat, so to warm themselves up, they have to bask in the sun or lie on a warm surface.  They become much more active when warm, but will retreat to their burrows if the weather becomes too hot. They go back underground in the cool of the late afternoon/ early evening

Read More: Threats to the sand lizard

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