Sand lizard

Lacerta agilis

A fence lizard at Hellabrunn Zoo sunning itself on a rock. IUCN Red List endangerment category: Least concern
  • Family
    Echte Eidechsen (Lacertidae)
  • Length
    20 – 24 cm
  • Habitat
    Open, sunny woodland edges, parks, heathlands

Fingerprint on the back

The colour pattern of the sand lizard varies depending on gender, age and, in some cases, region. While all sand lizards have a broad, brownish stripe with dark patches and light spots on the back that extends down the tail, the arrangement of the variable white lines and spots on the back of each individual is unique, similar to our fingerprints.

Love tandem

During the mating season, when a male fi nds a female, he will bite into her tail. The two lizards will then run together in this tandem position for a few metres at a moderate pace. This behaviour is called the mating march. During this process, the male will gradually bite his way forward along the female’s body. Once he reaches halfway up her back, mating will begin.

Although the sand lizard is a very hardy animal, the species is becoming increasingly rare due to habitat loss.


Distribution map sand lizard