Viviparous lizard Lacerta vivepara Earc Luachra

This, Ireland's only lizard, is found in all sorts of dry habitats but favours sandy or rocky places, particularly near the sea. It is well known inland though, being found even on the raised bogs of the midlands.

Insects and other invertebrates that can be caught are the lizard's food. Like other animals that are found against backgrounds of variable pattern, its subtle tones and markings render it inconspicuous in its habitat. It is generally yellowish brown with irregular blackish markings along the length of its body but it can look greyish or greenish in different situations. The length of the male averages about 5in. (13cm). The larger female may measure as much as 8in. (20cm). The skin is beautifully segmented with scales. The young are produced live (hence the name) and not from eggs as is normal with reptiles. They range in number from two to ten or more and though able to fend for themselves within minutes of birth they often fall prey to Kestrels and other predators. On being grabbed by the tail the lizard can escape by detaching itself from its tail.