Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wildlife on Walls: 3. Viviparous Lizard

If you are a viviparous lizard (aka common lizard, aka Lacerta vivipara), on the lookout for food, safe shelter and warmth, then a dry stone wall has a lot to recommend it. 

The sunny side of the wall is the perfect spot to bask in the morning after a cold night, until your blood warms up....

... and those nooks and crannies between the stones are a safe retreat when dangers - like moorland kestrels, for example - hove into view. Add to that the fact that the wall is probably home to plenty of small, tasty invertebrates that you can snack on, plus the way in which the sun-warmed stones tend to act as a night storage radiator after darkness falls, and its easy to see why dry stone walls are amongst the best places to look out for these lovely reptiles.

I took these photos (which are scanned colour transparencies) a few years ago now, on a dry stone wall on the moors above Wolsingham in Weardale. Must go back soon for another look ......

More on the wildlife of walls here.

More on local reptiles here.

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