Skillelinie

 Zootoca vivipara

(Common lizard)

Common lizard male
Common lizard male
 
The common lizard previously known as Lacerta vivipara is videly distributed from northern Spain to the Pacific Ocean To the north it is found as high as the Polar Circle and to the south in northern Italy and Bulgaria. In Denmark it is still common all ower the country except on a few minor islands. It can be found in many different places but prefers the edges of forrests or swampy areas. There are 3 different morphs in Denmark. Besides the common colored there is a melanistic and a form with a green back. The largest animal I have seen was 16,6 cm but they are reported as large as 18 cm. In Europe they are protected under the Bern-convention, but captive bred animals can be found for sale especially in Germany.
 
Common lizard female
Common lizard female
 
The common lizard is more difficult to keep than most lizards unless the are kept in outdoor terraria. They adapt poorly to the indoor climate and needs UV-light and lots of vitamins to stay healty. Outdoor the are perfect animals, that are very easy to keep and breed. The are easely tamed and approaches immidiatly for a snack when someone gets near the terrarium. The are fed on various insects and earth worms and can mature in 2-3 years.
 
Common lizard male
Common lizard male
 
The common lizard emerge from hibernation in the beginning of March. The males emerge about 14 days before the females. Copulations takes place emidiatly after hibernation and the males bites firmly in the side of the females during copulation. These bites can be seen on the females in the rest of that year. The females give birth to a litter of up to 12 juveniles (normally 5-7). The juveniles are very small about 40 mm total lenght and they are somewhat darker than the adults. Melanistic babies are also black at birth. In captivity females can produce a litter every year but in nature it is more common that the only produce every second year especially smaller females.
 
We keep our common lizards in 4 square meter terraria made from Acryl plastic that allows UV-light to pass. The top is covered with net to prevent loses to birds and cats. These terraria are so large that feedig isn`t nessesary, but we still feed them now and then with a few earth worms. They are very active and lovely animals to keep.