Sand lizards

Sand lizards

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Sand lizards are stocky lizards that can grow to be up to 20 centimeters in length. Brown patterns of varying sizes and shapes run down the backs of both sexes, and there are two distinct dorsal stripes. The male has flanks that are an eye-catching shade of green and are at their brightest during the breeding season, which occurs between the months of April and May.

Late March or April is the time of year when animals emerge from their winter hibernation. Late in the month of May or very early in June is when the sand lizard will lay its eggs. Eggs are protected from the cold by being buried in sand and then put in the open where they can be warmed by the sun. Late August and September are the months during which the eggs hatch. The sand lizard can only survive in certain types of habitats, such as well-managed heathlands or sand dunes, where it can occupy mature vegetation that offers adequate cover.

Due to the loss of a lot of habitat, this species only lives in protected heathland areas in Surrey, Dorset, Hampshire, and the protected Merseyside dunes systems. To lay their eggs, sand lizards need both mature, sunny habitats and open, undisturbed sand. This means that even in protected areas, their range can be quite small.