2- Sand Lizard
courtesy to : www.pet-lizard.com/sand-lizard.html
Scientific Classification :
Species: L. agilis
Binomial name: Lacerta agilis
One among the rarest reptiles of UK is the Sand Lizard Lacerta agilis. They take pleasure in dwelling in sandbank and moorlands. You can observe them basking on exposed areas of sand, they often lay their eggs in the sand. Ruination of their habitat has led to the decrease in their number and therefore, you can find them only in limited sites. Among the three native species of Lizards of the UK, the sand lizard is one, the other two being the common lizard and the slow worm lizard that has taken shelter in Britain (and most of Europe).
The lizard Lacerta is a comparatively small, yet sturdy variety of lizards, generally pale brown in color. Along the back, it has dark markings. The male sand lizards are famous for their noteworthy color change, from pale brown to bright green at the period of mating to entice the female for mating.
There are many minor species, of which the westernmost is Lacerta Agilis Agilis is one, the other being the main western minor species (L. a. Argus), The stripes on the back are either narrow and broken or totally absent. This is true of the L. a. Argus variety that in addition, has a brown or red backed phase in the absence of marks on their backs. During the copulation period in these two varieties, the tails of only these males change into green color, whereas in the eastern minor varieties (mainly L. a. Exigua), the color of the males is totally green, all the time.
The Mongolian Lacerta, called Sand Lizard, is on the verge of extinction. On the other hand, you can obtain Sand Lizards reared in captivity in the market, and they make good pets! During the winter season, from November to April, Sand lizards confine themselves in insulated cracks, burrows or under some kind of protective core, logs or gathered heap. Usually they dwell in colonies, in places with sand heaps. They construct burrows, and being generally introvert, slight disturbances will cause them to run to their burrows. To control the temperature within, they will add vegetation to the entrance of the burrows. They even occupy the burrows made by other animals. Low grown grasses are where sand lizards like to bask. Breeding competition begins and the bigger male lizard, with more endurance is normally the winner that mates with the female. The process of competition is like this: males keep their mouths open and arch their backs, followed by dashing against each other and wrestling till one of them surrenders. Certain people are of the opinion that Sand Lizards are monogamous. Still others are of the opinion that during breeding season they copulate with two or three different females.
The Sand lizard (Lacert Agilis) spreads throughout Europe and towards the east to MongoliaYou cannot see it in European Turkey or Iberian Peninsula. They are generally spread irregularly, limited to certain sandy heaths like Dorset, Surrey and Hampshire. They dwell in the heaps of sand in Lancashire. Wales and South East are the other places where you can see them
The Sand lizard dwells along the sand dunes in the coastal area in heath-land and grasslands. The native place of these lizards ranges from Mongolia, along the eastern part of Europe and United Kingdom. In spite of ample native land at its disposal, the population of sand lizards is scarce and at some places they their population has dwindled drastically.
As a Pet :
Mating of the Sand lizard takes place in the beginning of the summer months when the males display their latest green design, thus impressing their female counterparts. The female lays her eggs in the sand and it is not the mother but the sun that incubates the eggs. With regard to the other species of lizards, the parents hardly take any care of the baby sand lizards who take care of themselves on their own at infancy.
Other than the native sand lizards, no other lizard lays eggs (oviparous). During the months of June and July the females dig holes and place their eggs in the loose sand. They hatch in about 1 to 2 months based on the condition of the weather.
Place a couple in an enclosure of size 50 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm, use sand for substrate, and retain a portion of the substrate damp and a dry portion as deep as 10-15 cm. The wet sand enables the females to burrow and lay eggs and helps further to raise the relative humidity in the terrarium. Bear in mind that males are defensive, hence place only a single male in an enclosure.
In order to give provision for climbing and shielding, place in the terrarium leaves, pieces of clay pots, pieces of bark and short branches.
In order to convince yourself that your lizards drink water, place a bowl of water and also mist the terrarium twice a day.
Create an excellent basking spot by providing a spotlight and a UV-B lighting of temperature ranging from 25 – 27 degrees C during the day and up to 35 degrees C on the spot where they bask. At day, maintain the photo period to a duration of 12 – 14 hours in summer. And drop the temperature during the night from 14 to 18 degrees C.
A terrarium of size 3m x 4 m houses two couples of this variety. Furnish your terrarium that imitates their natural habitat by planting various plants. Besides, facilitate them with flat stones, slabs or rocks for them to bask on and also logs or solid roots and hiding spots. You can obtain varieties of natural food by attracting insects through flowering plants placed in the terrarium. In order to convince yourself that your animals are fed stomach full, off and on, give them some crickets. Provide the terrarium and your Sand Lizards with a shower of water to drink once daily.
The Sand Lizards take in earthworms, more or less any variety of insects and at times, flowers and sweet fruits. Dust all the food except that from the enclosure outdoors, with calcium and vitamin supplements.
3- The Russian Sand Lizard - Lacerta agilis exigua and L.a. boemica (sold as "Black Headed Green lizard")
courtesy to : www.sauria.org.uk/cap_breed/animals/agilis.htm
These are sub-species of the Sand Lizard found throughout much of the former USSR and beyond. They are frequently imported and sold as "Black Headed Green Lizards" or "Black Headed Sand Lizards". Their Russian name translates to "Common Lizard" which gives an idea of their status in the wild as against that of the UK and western European sub-species of Sand Lizard. In this context I MUST remind you that the species is strictly protected in the UK and even the possession of a wild-caught UK specimen without a UK licence is against the law and carries a substantial penalty. These imported Russian animals are, however, perfectly legal.
They are identical in build to our Sand Lizard but are somewhat larger. Females and young animals look similar but carry an unbroken pale line down the centre of the back. Females can be both grey/brown with heavy markings or, occasionally green and usually still well marked. Most adult males lose their markings and appear a uniform green in the breeding season although this fades outside the season. Close inspection will reveal typical markings are present although very weakly pronounced. Adult males also usually exhibit a slate grey or blue head often so dark as to appear almost black - thus the name they are usually sold under.
This species has been kept successfully by many people in indoor vivaria (although a hibernation period is essential) and does particularly well in outdoor vivaria so long as these are not too damp.
Indoors, a pair could be kept in a vivarium of about 1m x 0.5m. Possibly a second female could be kept in this area although the females might have to be separated when gravid. Certainly, more than one adult male should not be kept in this area as these animals are extremely territorial and aggressive to one another.
They will thrive in a semi-desert set up. Hiding places must be provided and ideally the vivarium should contain a substantial heap of sand for burrowing as well. A clean water bowl should be provided but the vivarium should also be lightly sprayed each morning to represent dew as some individuals will only drink this way. They must have good UV lighting and a substantial temperature gradient. The ambient temperature during the summer should be around 25-30ºC during daytime in the summer with a basking hotspot of around 40ºC. At night the temperature should drop to around 15ºC. During the winter, the overall temperature should be held between 5 and 10º.
In the wild these animals experience an extreme continental climate with hot summers but long bitter winters. Due to these extreme conditions some individuals will insist on following their wild hibernation patterns i.e. from September to March. This does present problems as the lower hibernation temperatures referred to above will have to be sustained for this period.
They also do well in outdoor vivaria. Again, a cold-frame will support a pair or one male and two females and this can be increased with vivarium size. Once the principle dimension exceeds 2 metres it is usually safe to keep 2 males in the same enclosure. Their only problem with our climate is that they are not used to such extreme dampness. To help them cope with this a very well drained sub-strate is essential. For hibernation this can be further enhanced by having a sand slope with a well supported large flat rock embedded in it. They can then burrow under this and be well protected from dampness. Although some individuals will use provided hibernacula, most will prefer to dig into the soil. The slope itself should face southwards and will provide an ideal area for laying eggs. Open basking areas are essential.
In terms of vegetation, heaths and heathers are excellent although grasses and ornamental ground cover plants are also appreciated.
Mating takes place during the Spring and is typical of lacertids (see our Breeding pages). After a period of 1 to 2 months the female will be extremely fat - individual egg bulges are often visible. She will usually dig one or two test burrows in a warm spot before choosing where to lay the eggs. She will lay anywhere from 4 to 14 eggs and, ideally, these should be dug up and incubated artificially. When the young hatch, they will usually start feeding within 24 hours of birth.
In optimum conditions, the adults will mate again and produce a second clutch about 6 weeks after the first.
It is wise to keep them separated from the adults for the first few weeks of their lives or they will almost certainly be cannibalised. Growth is extremely rapid and they can go back with the adults within a few weeks - well before they need to hibernate.
These are primarily insectivorous lizards and should be fed a suitable range of insects. When fully grown they can handle any of the invertebrates listed in our live foods page with only the exception of adult locusts - and the odd very large male will even manage these. These should be gut loaded and dusted with a suitable multivitamin powder. If you are fortunate enough to have them breed then at this stage they require small insects - second or third stage crickets are good as are buffalo worms or other similar sized prey. Gut-loading and vitamin dusting are essential.
Obtaining your animals
As initially stated these animals are occasionally imported and can be found in pet shops. A search of the internet will sometimes find them. A small number of breeders produce a surplus and will also happily sell some of their offspring. Understandably, most of these breeders do expect you to have the appropriate facilities and knowledge as the objective is to spread breeding colonies among a number of keepers.
Other sub-species are occasionally available as captive bred animals, in particular L.a. argus (which includes the red-backed form) and L.a. chersonensis. Remember that the former is a European Protected Species so ensure that any animals you buy are captive-bred and that the breeder provides you with a Certificate of Origin certifying this.
REMEMBER: Do NOT go out and catch native Sand Lizards. This is illegal (justifiably so) and there are differences in their maintenance.
Other websites :
Sand Lizard - Lacerta agilis
Zauneidechse (Lacerta agilis)
Close up: Sand lizards / Zandhagedissen (Lacerta agilis)
Sand Lizards eating
Sand Lizards (Lacerta Agilis) & Viviparous Lizards (Zootoca Vivipara) ~ Spring Herping
Courtship of sand lizards (Lacerta agilis)
Sand Lizards on Springwatch (2017)
Lacerta agilis im Terrarium
Family Lacertidae : Introduction , general care and Generas / Species :
Family Lacertidae : Introduction , general care and Generas / Species :