01 August 2011

Aquatic Common Lizard (Zootoca vivipara)

I was looking around one of my favourite ponds today when I spotted something unusual.

I peered into the pond and saw a palmate sitting on the benthos, then next to the newt I saw a common lizard walking along beside it...... I hadn't heard the plop of it jumping in when I approached so I was slightly confused. I removed it from the water and placed it in some heather and moved away so I didn't pose a threat, straight away it jumped back in to its original spot......

I then started recording it's behaviour....

I was triyng to encourage it out of the water, I never thought it would be so keen to dive in!

Watch full screen if you can and switch from 360 to 720HD in the bottom right corner it will be better quality....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zPQTMV0tsQ

2 comments:

Barry Stewart said...

Really interesting behaviour - certainly something that I've never seen before - good to have it recorded. I wonder if it's an escape response, rather than 'normal' behaviour?

Mark Barber said...

I was speaking to Chris Davis, Co-ordinator of the Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Program. He says "Funnily enough the behaviour is not so odd as you might think. But to see it so well recorded is extremely unusual. Many Lacertids will dive into water as a means of escape from a potential predator...One species, Lacerta schreiberii is renowned for it - but it is far from unique."

In reply to the melanistic common lizard question. I couldn't find any details on % of popualtion. Most literature just states they are found quite often!