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Sand Lizard


Sand Lizard
Photo Information
Copyright: Marx Who (Marx44) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 172 W: 97 N: 926] (3891)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-05-03
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Canon EOS 30 D, Canon EF 100 mm F2.8 Macro USM
Exposure: f/11, 1/800 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-05-04 6:37
Viewed: 1842
Points: 0
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) is a lacertid lizard distributed across most of Europe and eastwards to Mongolia. It does not occur in the Iberian peninsula or European Turkey. Its distribution is often patchy.

The sand lizard has a light underbelly and a dorsal stripe: males tend to be darker and colour and turn partly or wholly bright green during the mating season. Sand Lizards can reach up to 25 cm (10 in) in length.

It has several subspecies, the westernmost of which is Lacerta agilis agilis. In this and the other main western sub-species (Lacerta agilis argus) the dorsal stripe is thin and interrupted, or not present at all. This applies particularly to the latter subspecies, which also includes a plain red or brown-backed phase without any dorsal markings. In these two sub-species only the flanks of the males turn green in the mating season, but in the eastern subspecies (predominantly Lacerta agilis exigua) males can be wholly green, even outside the breeding season.

In the UK, the sand lizard is restricted to southern heathlands and the coastal sand dunes of north west England. It is regarded as threatened and is strictly protected under UK law as it is throughout most of Europe (it is a European Protected Species). This is in contrast to Lacerta agilis exigua, whose Russian name translates as the "common lizard".

The female Sand Lizard lays eggs in loose sand in a sunny location, leaving them to be incubated by the warmth of the ground.

The UK Herpetological Conservation Trust is the lead partner in the UK Species Action Plan (SAP) for the Sand Lizard.

Dardanelle High School, located in Arkansas, USA, is the only school with the Sand Lizard as a mascot.


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