29 Types of Lizards Found in Europe (2023)

Do you want to learn about the different lizards in Europe?

If so, you’ve come to the right place! In the article below, I have listed the lizards you can expect to see. For each species, you’ll find out how to identify that lizard correctly, along with pictures, interesting facts, and RANGE MAPS!

29 Lizards IN Europe:

#1. Green Lizard

  • Lacerta viridis

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 15 cm (6 in) long with tails that reach 25.5 cm (10 in).
  • They are green with small black spots all over, especially on their backs, and they have a bluish throat.
  • Males have a larger head and a more pronounced blue throat.

Green Lizards in Europe are shockingly bright.

They look like an animal you might find in the jungle, but they prefer dense vegetation, hedgerows, open woodland, and bramble thickets. You can often spot them near embankments, basking in the late afternoon sun.

The Green Lizard feeds on small mice, invertebrates, insects, and bird eggs. They also eat some fruit, including berries and tree fruit.

By Christian Fischer via Wikipedia

Like some other lizards, this species will sever its tail to escape predators. However, this cagey lizard has another interesting defensive strategy. If a predator pursues it, it will run away in a zig-zag pattern to confuse its attacker. Once there is enough distance, it will suddenly stop, turn around, slowly creep back toward the predator, and hide. As the predator rushes to catch it, thinking it is ahead, it darts straight past the lizard hiding in a bush or under a rock!

#2. Italian Wall Lizard

  • Podarcis siculus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 15-25.5 cm (6-10 in) long.
  • Their coloring is green or brown on the back with a light green or white belly.
  • Males have larger heads, and Females have a distinctive striped pattern.

Italian Wall Lizards in Europe can be difficult to identify.

Their colors are varied because they can change color to adapt to certain environments. For example, individuals that spend more time in green vegetation might be greenish, while those that live in rocky areas are more brown or tan.

You can often find Italian Wall Lizards basking in the sun to warm up after a chilly evening. For their habitat, they prefer shrubby vegetation, sandy and rocky shores, pastureland, rural gardens, and urban areas.

This species spends most of the day hunting for small mammals and other lizards. They also eat small mollusks, crustaceans, and occasionally plant matter. Interestingly, some populations have increased their plant diet in recent years, making them more omnivores than carnivores.

#3. Catalonian Wall Lizard

  • Podarcis liolepis

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 15-20 cm (6-8 in) long.
  • Generally, they are greyish brown with subtle stripes and spots and a cream underside.
  • Females have more prominent stripes.

Catalan Wall Lizards are named for their ability to climb walls, which can be a surprising thing to witness for the first time. These crafty lizards can scurry around so quickly that they’re easy to miss, but you’ll never forget the first time you see one dart behind a picture frame!

Houses and buildings are a perfect habitat for this species because they can feast on insects and small pests inside these structures. Interestingly, the Catalan Wall Lizard loves cold winters, and its natural habitat is mountainous terrain.

After hibernating during the winter, males quickly find a female to mate with. During springtime, the female looks for cracks in rocks or cavities under stones to lay eggs. She lays one to five eggs, which will hatch after about eight weeks at the beginning of July.

#4. Ocellated Lizard

  • Timon lepidus

Identifying Characteristics:

  •  Adults are 30-60 cm (1-2 ft) long.
  • Their coloring is green with a brown or greyish head and tail. They have blue spots along their flanks with a yellowish-green underside.
  • Males are larger, and their colors are brighter.

The Ocellated Lizard is the largest lizard in Europe!

This beautiful species is also called the Jeweled Lizard because of its bright blue markings resembling gems. Although the average Ocellated Lizard is about 30-60 cm (1-2 ft) long, some records show they can grow up to a meter (3 ft) long and weigh 0.5 kg (1.1 lbs).

By Osado – Own work, Public Domain, via Wikipedia

You would think that such a large reptile would eat enormous prey, but this species mostly feeds on large insects like snails and beetles. They occasionally feast on fruit, mice, birds, frogs, and reptiles to keep up their energy during the mating season.

Look for Ocellated lizards in olive groves, vineyards, open woodland, and rocky or sandy areas. They prefer having higher ground and tend to climb rocks and trees, but they also dig holes or use abandoned rabbit burrows for shelter.

#5. Large Psammodromus

  • Psammodromus algirus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 17-30 cm (7-12 in) long.
  • Their coloring is brown on the back, with darker sides and a lighter belly.
  • Males’ throats become orange during the mating season.

Large Psammodromus might not be the largest lizard in Europe, but they are intimidating!

They’re known for their incredible speed, eyesight, and hearing, which they use to hunt grasshoppers, flies, spiders, and ants. Although this species is a great hunter, it also uses camouflage to ambush prey that gets too close.

By Carlos Bartolomé via Wikipedia

These fearsome animals are no more gentle during mating than they are while hunting. The male grips the female around the throat to mate, and although it doesn’t hurt the female, it is quite violent-looking. The red-eyed hatchlings emerge between August and October.

Unsurprisingly, males are fierce fighters when defending their territory and if a predator attacks them. They won’t hesitate to bite viciously, and they make a high squeaky sound to scare the attacker.

#6. European Glass Lizard

  • Pseudopus apodus

Also known as Pallas’s Glass Lizard and European Legless Lizard.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults can reach a maximum length of 135 cm (4.43 ft).
  • Their coloring varies, but most commonly, they are brown and tan with scattered orange or reddish dots.

At first glance, this lizard in Europe might be mistaken for a snake!

You need to look closely to identify its tiny vestigial legs. They’re almost non-existent, so this reptile slithers on its belly instead of walking around. And while this might be the most obvious difference between it and other lizards, it’s not the only one! These amazing creatures have a lifespan of up to 50 years, much longer than most animals.

This species prefers dry areas like sparsely wooded hills or short grasslands but is more active in wet weather. Its favorite meal is snails, which they crack with their hard teeth and strong jaw. However, they won’t say no to arthropods or small mammals either.

There are a few key differences you can look for to determine if you’ve found a legless lizard in Europe or a snake:

  • Legless lizards have eyelids and ear openings, which snakes lack.
  • Snakes have wide jaws that can be unhinged to consume large prey, while legless lizards’ jaws are fixed.
  • Legless lizards have unforked or notched tongues, whereas snakes’ tongues are completely forked.

#7. Eastern Slowworm

  • Anguis colchica

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 50 cm (20 in) long.
  • Their coloring is brown on the body with darker brown flanks.
  • Males have noticeable blue spots on the back during mating season.

Eastern Slowworms are a type of legless lizard in Europe.

Despite their confusing name, these creatures aren’t worms at all! In fact, you might get them confused with a snake because of their lack of legs and the way they slither around on their bellies. Here are the differences to help you identify an Eastern Slowworm:

  • Slowworms have eyelids and ear openings, which snakes lack.
  • Snakes have wide jaws that can be unhinged to consume large prey, while slowworms’ jaws are fixed.
  • Slowworms have unforked or notched tongues, whereas snakes’ tongues are completely forked.

You can find Eastern Slowworms in forest clearings and along trail paths basking in the sun. This species likes to occupy the burrows of small rodents but also feels at home under stone piles and wood debris. They often venture into suburban gardens, especially to catch a meal.

Although this reptile loves basking in the sun, it is most active at night and after rain. As its name suggests, it’s not one of the fastest lizards out there and prefers slower prey like earthworms, insect larvae, and slugs.

#8. Green Iberian Wall Lizard

  • Podarcis virescens

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 4-6 cm (1.5-2 in) long.
  • Their coloring varies from nearly white to brown or black. Most have a yellowish underside.
  • Males turn noticeably greenish during spring.

The Green Iberian Wall Lizard lives near villages, cities, mountains, and rivers in Europe. They’re much easier to spot in the spring because they turn green in preparation for breeding. However, their drab brown color in the other seasons allows them to blend in with rocks and vegetation.

Despite their unassuming looks, males are extremely dominant and territorial. They often fight with others of the same species to assert a mating hierarchy. It’s common for a single male to mate with several females during the breeding season.

Once the mating process is complete, the female will lay around three to four clutches of eggs each year. These clutches typically contain four to seven eggs and are usually deposited under rocks. Once they hatch, the young lizards hunt and live independently with little help from their parents.

#9. Italian Slowworm

  • Anguis veronensis

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 45 cm (18 in) long.
  • Their coloring is a uniform gray to brownish.
  • Females are larger and have a copper sheen with two black stripes
  • In the breeding season, males have electric blue spots.

As its name suggests, this lizard in Europe isn’t very fast.

The Italian Slowworm prefers woodlands, heathland, and grassland, where it can find shelter to remain safe. Compost heaps are one of their favorite hangouts because they can eat as many insects and plant materials as they want! Think of it like a high-end slowworm buffet. 🙂

Due to their slow speed, Italian Slowworms shed their tails to escape predators. When this happens, the tail twitches on the ground, so hopefully, the predator will go after it and leave the lizard alone! The regenerated tail is shorter and more gray than the original one.

Unfortunately, humans often mistake these lizards for snakes and kill them out of fear. However, if you know what to look for, these legless lizards are easily distinguishable from a snake. Here are the differences to help you identify an Italian Slowworm:

  • Slowworms have eyelids and ear openings, which snakes lack.
  • Snakes have wide jaws that can be unhinged to consume large prey, while slowworms’ jaws are fixed.
  • Slowworms have unforked or notched tongues, whereas snakes’ tongues are completely forked.

#10. Dalmatian Wall Lizard

  • Podarcis melisellensis

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 6.5 cm (3 in) long, and their tails are twice as long.
  • Their coloring is tan with brown stripes along the back.
  • Depending on the individual’s morph, they have a patch of color near the vent that is yellow, orange, or white.

The Dalmatian Wall Lizard is one of the best climbers in Europe!

This species prefers temperate forests, rocky areas, and pastureland in the wild. However, one of the most common places to see them is your house! As their name suggests, they can climb walls and have a habit of invading houses in search of a warm spot to rest. 

Males have three ventral color morphs (orange, yellow, and white) that attract females. Here are the characteristics of the three colors and how they attract females:

  • Orange Dalmatian Wall Lizard males have a larger bite force to eliminate challenging males. They have large territories and few challengers. Females prefer orange males for their quality offspring.
  • Yellow Dalmatian Wall Lizards provide protection and small territories, which entices females that aren’t necessarily attractive to orange males.
  • White Dalmatian Wall Lizard males find a female by intruding on an orange male’s territory, mating with another male’s females, and then quickly getting away before the orange male notices.

This behavior is remarkably similar to that of the North American Common Side-blotched Lizard. I think it’s amazing how similar they are, despite being completely different species and living on opposite sides of the globe.

#11. Blue-throated Keeled Lizard

  • Algyroides nigropunctatus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 25 cm (10 in) long.
  • Their coloring is light brown on the body with a white or yellowish belly. They develop black spots on their backs during mating season.
  • They have blue throats, which are brighter on the males during mating season.

The Blue-throated Keeled Lizard in Europe is easy to recognize.

The V-shaped scales on its back, flanks, and tail, called keels, make it stand out among other European lizards. Additionally, this species’ blue throat helps researchers and enthusiasts recognize it. Look for them near fruit vegetation, pastureland, rural gardens, plantations, and city areas.

This lizard is extremely quick and rarely misses its prey, feeding mainly on worms, insects, and other tiny invertebrates. The Blue-throated Keeled Lizard is a protected species and cannot be removed from the wild for the pet trade. Keeping one in captivity is illegal, and it can result in fines or jail time.

Females lay between two and four eggs in spring and again in autumn. Although unusual, having two mating periods is a great way to maintain a healthy population. Like some other lizards, males grab the female by the throat during mating. However, the Blue-throated Keeled Lizard is more aggressive, bites the neck, and doesn’t release for some time.

#12. Balkan Green Lizard

  • Lacerta trilineata

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 16 cm (6 in) long, with tails that reach 30 cm (11.5 in).
  • Their coloring is grassy green with small black speckles.
  • Females have faint stripes running down their bodies, and males have blue throats.

The Balkan Green Lizard prefers sandy shores, shrubby vegetation, pastureland, and rural gardens. They enjoy dense vegetation like bramble thickets, hedgerows, olive groves, and overgrown meadows. Climate change and habitat destruction threaten this lizards population in Europe.

By X ziomal X – Own work, CC BY 3.0, Via Wikipedia

Unlike most other reptiles, the Balkan Green Lizard is incredibly loud, and you’ll often hear one before you see it. They make a series of chirping and barking noises when threatened or startled. If you hear these, stop and try to spot these bright green lizards nearby!

To get a glimpse of one of these lizards, the best place to hang out is near an asphalt road. You will likely find one basking in the sun to warm up after a cool night.

#13. Balkan Wall Lizard

  • Podarcis tauricus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 8 cm (3 in) long.
  • They are bright green in spring and olive green to brown in summer.
  • Their backs are brownish with black spots.

Balkan Wall Lizards can thrive in nearly any habitat in Europe.

This sturdy reptile is a generalist, meaning the climate and conditions of its habitat don’t matter much. However, they prefer dry, open grassland areas like meadows, rural gardens, and dunes. They love any spot with sparse vegetation where they can roam and search for food.

When mating season arrives, male Balkan Wall Lizards waste no time to secure a suitable female. There is great competition among males, who assert dominance and fight for the right to mate. Females lay between two and ten eggs twice yearly, from mid-April until mid-July.

#14. European Copper Skink

  • Ablepharus kitaibelii

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 15 cm (6 in) long.
  • They are bronze with dark brownish-black sides.
  • Females are slightly longer and heavier than males.

The European Copper Skink is often called the European Snake-eye because its eyelids are fixed, like snakes. In contrast, most lizards have movable eyelids. These skinks also move similarly to snakes because of their small and weak limbs.

By IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, CC BY-SA 3.0, Via Wikipedia

This small, slim lizard has a plain diet consisting mostly of small snails and insects they find at night. They spend most of their time on the ground in meadows and fields.

In most other lizard species, the males are larger to defend their territory against other males. However, females have the size advantage in the case of the European Copper Skink. This size difference is thought to offer an advantage in attracting males during the mating season. They’re extremely shy and prefer to hide under leaves and rocks during the day.

#15. Roughtail Rock Agama

  • Laudakia stellio

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 35.5 cm (14 in) long.
  • Their coloring is gray with creamy yellow to orange stripes or diamond-shaped blotches on their backs.

The Roughtail Rock Agama, also known as the Starred Agama, is fascinating because of its color-changing ability. For example, you may notice this species is lighter in color in warmer weather. During the breeding season, they become more brightly colored to attract mates. Think of this lizard in Europe as having a permanent mood ring! 🙂

These extremely shy critters are incredibly hard to find because they quickly dive into a rock crevice to avoid predators. They’re great climbers and prefer forested areas, stone walls, and rocky areas. It is best to wait until mid-day to try to glimpse a Roughtail Rock Agama because that’s when they come out to bask on rocks or garden walls.

Roughtail Rock Agamas eat insect eggs, larvae, plant material, and snails. Like other lizards in Europe, this species hibernates in the winter, then becomes active just before the mating season. A month or so after hibernation, females are ready to mate, and males search relentlessly to find a suitable match.

#16. Snake-eyed Lizard

  • Ophisops elegans

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 5 cm (2 in) long.
  • Their coloring is bronze or olive with black spots and white undersides.
  • Males have a yellowish-green throat, chin, and vent during mating season.

The Snake-eyed Lizard in Europe gets its name because, like a snake, it has fixed eyelids. Its eyes are covered with transparent scales, which protect them from dirt and debris. Besides this feature, it bears no resemblance to a snake and maneuvers quickly with its legs on branches and rocks.

They’re excellent climbers and not easy to catch, so they have few predators. This has led to the species flourishing and increasing in population over the years. Spotting a Snake-eyed Lizard is easy due to its large population. Just wait near a rock during the day; dozens of them will appear to bask in the sun.

Snake-eyed Lizards mainly eat insects and invertebrates, which energize them for the mating season. After mating, the female lays between two and five eggs, producing two clutches per season. The young ones hatch in the late summer, and after a year, they are ready to follow in their parent’s footsteps to mate and reproduce on their own.

#17. Erhard’s Wall Lizard

  • Podarcis erhardii

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 7 cm (3 in) long.
  • Their coloring is solid gray or brown and occasionally green.
  • Females have spotty lines or two white stripes bordering two dark striped lines on their backs.
  • Males have a net-like pattern with a white, orange, yellow, or red throat.

The Erhard’s Wall Lizard is also known as the Aegean Wall Lizard because of its abundance in the Aegean archipelago. This island chain’s plant-covered dunes and open spaces allow the Erhard’s Wall Lizard to roam and flourish. They prefer a dry, densely vegetated habitat with low bushes or rocky areas.

These lizards mainly feed on insects and arthropods, and they use excellent camouflage to hide and ambush their prey. This camouflage also comes in handy for new hatchlings, which are vulnerable to being scooped up by birds. Luckily for young Erhard’s Wall Lizards, they’re born with the ability to change color and blend in with their habitat.

Mating season starts in the spring, and the female lays her eggs in early summer, eventually producing hatchlings that are about 3 cm (1.2 in) long. Once they hatch, the young lizards fend for themselves, finding food and hiding from predators immediately.

#18. Kotschy’s Gecko

  • Mediodactylus kotschyi

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 10 cm (4 in) long.
  • Their coloring varies; individuals can be gray, yellowish, reddish-black, or dark brown.
  • Males are slightly smaller than females.
  • Females have slim tails and limbs with small tubercles on their backs.

Kotschy’s Geckos are named after explorer Karl Georg Theodor Kotschy. This small and beautiful lizard in Europe prefers dry stony areas, cliffs, and stone walls of buildings, mostly in lowland areas.

As a nocturnal species, Kotschy’s Geckos shy away from sunlight, but occasionally, you might find one in the early morning or late afternoon. They’re excellent climbers, even though they don’t have adhesive pads like some other geckos. However, they do prefer to stay closer to the ground.

This lizard’s size makes it easy prey for birds and other predators, so it shelters in dense undergrowth and rock crevices and even clings to the bottom of overhangs when threatened. You can probably recognize it by the high-pitched “chick” sound the male and female make during courtship.

#19. Common Chameleon

  • Chamaeleo chamaeleon

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 20-40 cm (8-16 in) long.
  • Colors vary from yellow/brown to dark brown, with two light-colored lines along their sides.
  • Females are significantly larger than males.

The Common Chameleon is one of the most well-known lizards in southern Europe!

This is the only chameleon species native to Europe, as most species live in warmer, more humid climates. Their camouflaging ability is well-known, as is the incredible length of their tongues. One lesser-known talent is the speed with which it catches its prey. The Common Chameleon uses its tongue to rapidly extend and catch insects on the sticky end. 

Despite its quick tongue, the Common Chameleon is one of the slowest lizard species in the world. They must capitalize on their camouflage skills to avoid predators and catch prey.

One of the ways it goes undetected is to remain incredibly still for long periods. The Common Chameleon has two or three toes on each foot to help it balance, climb, and hold on to branches. To improve its stability, this reptile also uses its prehensile tail to improve its balance.

#20. Italian Three-toed Skink

  • Chalcides chalcides

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 48 cm (19 in) long.
  • They are brown or olive with dark brown stripes on the back.

The Italian Three-toed Skink, also known as the Cylindrical Skink, is one of the biggest skink species. This lizard is found in damp and sunny areas of Europe. They prefer low and dense vegetation like stream verges, hedgerows, and grassy slopes. If you look for this lizard, pay special attention to low-growing brush and thick grasses.

By rbrausse, CC BY-SA 3.0, Via Wikipedia

These skinks eat a wide range of insects and other small animals. Beetles, grasshoppers, flies, crickets, and caterpillars are their favorites, but they won’t say no to moths, earthworms, millipedes, snails, slugs, and even small rodents.

Females are viviparous, meaning the eggs hatch inside the female, and the young skinks are born alive. Only a few other lizards in Europe give birth to live young!

#21. Sharp-snouted Rock Lizard

  • Dalmatolacerta oxycephala

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 6.5 cm (2.5 in) long.
  • Their coloring is grayish on the body. They have turquoise tails with brown or black stripes.
  • Males have an intensely blue underside.

The Sharp-snouted Rock Lizard is one of the quickest in Europe!

These lizards are small, fast, and great at climbing. They’re known to quickly dart up a wall or rocky surface, startling predators and humans alike. This lizard prefers cliffs, outcroppings, buildings, rock pavements, and stone piles.

The Sharp-snouted Rock Lizard is a unique pattern of light and dark colors that blend with limestone and dark rocks in its habitat. Most lizards avoid the cold, but this one weathers even snow! However, that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy the sunshine, as they love to bask on rocks to warm up.

This lizard is tiny and prefers to eat small invertebrates and flying insects that land near it. They move quickly to pounce on their meal before it even realizes what’s happening. 

#22. Iberian Emerald Lizard

  • Lacerta schreiberi

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 13.5 cm (5 in) long, and their tails are about 24 cm (9.5 in).
  • They are bright green across the body, limbs, and head with a bright turquoise throat.

The Iberian Emerald Lizard in Europe is known for its beautiful green and blue coloring. 

Look for this species near shrubby vegetation in forests, pastures, and meadows near rivers. Although it has a wide variety of acceptable habitats, its population is threatened by habitat loss from farming and land development.

By Osado – Own work, Public Domain, Via Wikipedia

The Iberian Emerald Lizard is insectivorous, meaning it mainly feeds on insects. Still, with its size and power, it is known to feast on smaller lizards if insects aren’t plentiful. These surprisingly large lizards can handle sizeable meals and spend most of their day hunting. So, keep alert, and you may spot one eating or basking on rocks! 

#23. Mediterranean House Gecko

  • Hemidactylus turcicus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 3.8-6.3 cm (1.5-2.5 in) long.
  • The pupils are vertical, and the eyes are large and round with immovable eyelids.
  • This species has two color phases for camouflage.
    • Pale phase: the coloring is light pink to pale yellow or white with brown or gray blotches.
    • Dark phase: the coloring darkens to gray or brown, obscuring the blotches on the back.

This lizard is one of the most commonly seen in Europe.

Mediterranean House Geckos are nocturnal, but this won’t stop you from being able to find them. They’re considered an “urbanized” species, which means they’re just as happy to live inside your house as they are in the wild!

By Osado – Own work, Public Domain, Via Wikipedia

They eat insects attracted to lights and are commonly found on walls, ceilings, and window screens in homes. Outside, look for them in rock crevices or cracked tree trunks.

In addition to being comfortable around humans, Mediterranean House Geckos are a vocal species. The mating call of males is a series of clicks, and they make a squeaking noise if threatened.

#24. Common Wall Lizard

  • Podarcis muralis

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are up to 20 cm (8 in) long.
  • The pupils are round, and the eyes are large with immovable eyelids.
  • Their coloring varies from shades of brown and gold to green and black.

European Wall Lizards are commonly found in urban areas and rocky outcroppings. They’re unafraid of people. You might find one scurrying across a sidewalk on a warm day!

These lizards are so comfortable around people that it’s just as likely to see them in a building as in the wild. They often prefer humid climates in the southern part of their range, but in the north, you can find them in dry habitats. 

#25. Western Green Lizard

  • Lacerta bilineata

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are about 13 cm (5 in) long, and their tails can double their body length.
  • Females are speckled green over the body with a grayish face and neck.
  • Males are similar in color, except their faces and necks are a bright blue instead of gray coloring.

Although it might be surprising to find a tropical-looking lizard in Europe, this is one of the most common reptiles around! These tough, territorial lizards prefer temperate forests and humid grassland instead of rainforests.

Look for Western Green Lizards in low-lying vegetation. They prefer to stay on the ground instead of climbing trees for shelter. Here, they hunt for large insects, their main source of food.

Western Green Lizards are similar to less common Eastern Green Lizards in many ways. They have the same appearance and behaviors. However, as their name suggests, the range of this lizard is to the east. For more info on Eastern Green Lizards, look here!

#26. Common Wall Gecko (Moorish Gecko)

  • Tarentola mauritanica

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow up to 15 cm (6 in) long.
  • They have spiny skin and variable coloring, which allows them to blend in with rocky terrain.
  • Their shape is typical of a gecko, with a large head, thin abdomen, and prominent, large toes.

Common Wall Geckos are frequently spotted lizards in Europe.

These nocturnal lizards are known to be comfortable around people, and can easily scale the walls of your home, thus their common name. However, don’t be frightened if you see one inside! It won’t do you any harm, and it may eat a few pesky insects for you.

Common Wall Geckos, which are also called Moorish Geckos, have been introduced to many parts of the world via exotic plant shipments and the pet trade. While they don’t usually do serious damage as an invasive species, they can impact some plant life with their appetite.

#27. Common Slow Worm

  • Anguis fragilis

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 40-45 cm (15-18 in) long.
  • They are smooth, scaled, and legless, with heads that are the same width as their bodies.
  • Often these lizards have stripes that run the length of their bodies, but some are solid in color. Common coloring is olive, brown, tan, and black.

Despite their name, Slow Worms are not worms at all but rather legless lizards. And if you’re wondering whether a legless lizard is just a snake, the answer is no! The reptile world can get confusing but no less fascinating when it comes to creatures like these. 

Slow Worms spend most of their time buried in sand or underneath rocks and debris. They can be hard to find unless you’re willing to upend some stones in your search!

One of the most interesting behaviors of Slow Worms and many other lizards is the ability to sever their tail to escape a predator. This skill is called Caudal Autotomy. If a predator is chasing a Slow Worm or grabs its tail, the lizard simply breaks it off and continues to escape. 

#28. Viviparous Lizard

  • Zootoca vivipara

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 5-7 cm (2-3 in) long.
  • Their skin is mottled brown, tan, and black.
  • They have long tails compared to their body; however, if their tails are lost to predators, only a short stub grows back.

These tiny lizards are tough when it comes to cool weather in Europe, and they will hibernate through the worst of winter, from October to March. They must bask in the sun to maintain their body temperature in the summer, so you’re likely to see them during the day. 

Viviparous Lizards are named for their method of reproduction. Instead of laying eggs like most other reptiles, these lizards give birth to live young! It’s thought that this gives their offspring a better chance of survival because they don’t have to survive through a helpless stage of egg development. Interestingly, in some regions, this lizard does lay eggs, which may have to do with a lack of predators in the area. 

#29. Sand Lizard

  • Lacerta agilis

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 18-20 cm (7-8 in) long.
  • Males are green with a brown stripe on the back and brown hind legs.
  • Females are light brown with darker brown mottling.

As its name suggests, this lizard prefers dry habitats in Europe.

Look for sand lizards in rock gardens, beaches, dunes, or rocky outcrops. They spend most of the day in the open, basking in the sun to retain as much heat as possible. You’re likely only to see one at a time because these territorial lizards rarely bask together. 

While basking, Sand Lizards need to remain alert to the many predators that view them as a tasty snack. Birds of prey, foxes, and cats appear to be some of the most common dangers for these lizards. However, they’re also hunted by snakes and badgers. When confronted by danger, they use their exceptional speed to flee. They can also separate their tail from the rest of their body to get away!

Do you want to learn about MORE animals in Europe?

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Which of these lizards in Europe have you seen?

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