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Sand Lizard Identification and Sightings

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: Herpetofauna Native to the UK
Forum Name: Sand Lizard
Forum Description: Forum for all issues concerning Lacerta agilis
Printed Date: 26 Oct 2020 at 12:05pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 -

Topic: Sand Lizard Identification and Sightings
Subject: Sand Lizard Identification and Sightings
Date Posted: 10 Mar 2003 at 4:02pm

A description and images of the Sand Lizard Lacerta agilis may be found at: -


 Tony Phelps Reptile research and Imagery -  

Posted By: Alan Hyde
Date Posted: 24 Apr 2003 at 10:17pm

Anyone have any idea why the sand lizard vanished from chobham common in the late 70's?



Posted By: Alan Hyde
Date Posted: 25 Apr 2003 at 11:55am

Thanks Tony ,

Now you mention it I seem to remember seeing our UK herps for sale in a Staines pet shop during the 70's


Posted By: j gaughan
Date Posted: 30 May 2003 at 12:45am
Hello Tony, i'm John _Mike Preston's Assistant in the Weald (HCT). The earliest 'laid' female in our large outdoor viv near Guildfofd, was on May 22nd with another yesterday (29th), plus one digging a nest chamber _an early year. I photographed one, that i nearly stood on, years ago while surveying the cliffs at Poole, and agree with you as to their vunerability at this time of year _it makes you wonder what the dive-bombing Kestrels are actually picking off the Bournemouth cliffs.

Posted By: Iowarth
Date Posted: 02 Jul 2004 at 9:28pm

Conversely, Merseyside animals seem to lay later even when translocated to a South Coast vivarium. My earliest in "normal" years (whatever they are!) is 26 May but was on 4 June this year. These correlate with first laying dates in Merseyside. My last first clutch (so to speak) was on 20 June - again, fairly typical for these in the wild as well. It seems that the typical wild delay of about a fortnight behind the southerners persists even in the southern climate.

Chris Davis, Site Administrator

Co-ordinator, Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme (RETIRED)

Posted By: -LAF
Date Posted: 31 May 2005 at 1:58pm
Just a quickie to ask how I should record negative recordings for site visit as:

A) No species were found and,
B) The area covered was rather large.

On Saturday May 7th me and my partner took a walk across St Georges golf course, nr Sandwich, to the beach then followed the dune system north to the area restricted for Little Tern breeding (roughly TR 359 586 to TR 351 615). The weather was somewhat schizopherenic, being very bright and warm punctuated by heavy showers for most of the day. Normally I find this weather very productive. Despite this, not a single species of any herpetofauna was discovered. The actual links of St Georges (and the adjoining Prince's Links) looked like they would once have been excellent habitat, providing ample shelterd basking site and egg laying sites. However, suitable habitat on the links is now highly fragmented. A lack of silly trousers prohibited and snooping around the course. The thin strip of coastal dune, on the other hand, was low and offered little shelter. Invertibrate fauna was good with excellent populations of Arctosa perita (a rather large, localised and funky spider) and the nationally scarce dune tiger beetle Cicindela maritima. Certainly though, the habitat didn't look a patch as viable as that north of the Stour, around the Pegwell area. Our search lasted about 5hrs.


Lee Fairclough

Posted By: Vicar
Date Posted: 31 May 2005 at 6:48pm

I guess everybody has their own system;

I include an anotated map and aerial pic of the area covered, (together with usual Met. info & time on/off etc) and record it as a Nil return.

I'm getting used to those at Ash

Steve Langham - Chairman">
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group

Posted By: calumma
Date Posted: 03 Jun 2005 at 4:26am
For large sites I record 'no observations' either as the centre of the area that is being searched (six figure grid ref), or (if I have been wandering across what could be described as mutiple sites) the 1 km squares within which the survey took place.

For what it's worth slow-worm, viviparous lizard and grass snake have previously been recorded in your area of search (around the bird observatory).

If you get chance try looking further to the south (~TR 37 54). Eric Philp considers that this is where natterjacks were formally recorded in Kent (as referenced in the Victoria County Survey "near Dover").

Lee Brady

Kent Herpetofauna Recorder | Independent Ecological Consultant - Email

Posted By: st rick
Date Posted: 06 Apr 2007 at 5:22pm

I found a sand lizard today at a site on private land close to Hankley Common in Surrey.  Trouble is, looks as if the landowner has begun excavating this superb reptile bank for sand, although these excavations were at the other end from where I spotted the sand lizard. 

I'd like to know if the conservation status of sand lizards and smooth snakes offers them special protection from the activities of landowners even if they are on private land.

In addition, I also came across 4 slow worms and a grass snake on this site and the rustlings in the reeds indicated the presence of two more, though these weren't spotted.

Posted By: Vicar
Date Posted: 06 Apr 2007 at 5:26pm
Rick, I'll chat about this with you tomorrow ! I'd like to know the site location.

Steve Langham - Chairman">
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group

Posted By: SteveA
Date Posted: 09 Mar 2010 at 1:52pm


Spring sprung?

Had first Sand Lizard of year today in bright sun but rather chill easterly wind.

I think a large adult male, no colour but big head! Took a short vid and will try and post a still.

Had first common lizard yesterday.

Better get those surveying shorts out of the wardrobe!




Posted By: Suzi
Date Posted: 10 Mar 2010 at 5:00pm
Surveying shorts but maybe tights underneath.....?


Posted By: mikebrown
Date Posted: 21 Mar 2010 at 4:00pm

Saw the first Sandy of the year on Merseyside today - an adult male. Unfortunately, he was too nervous for any photos.




Mike Brown
Merseyside ARG

Posted By: SteveA
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2010 at 9:56am

As promised pics of early L. agilis

Adult individual seen on 9th and imm was seen on 21st, I was surprised quite how small he/she was only about 3" in total I assume a late hatcher? (I've had to compress them a bit for web page but hopefully still clear)

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