Wall Lizard (Non-native)

Podarcis muralis

Now well established at several sites along the southern coast of Kent, the Wall Lizard is well worth looking out for  on warm, sunny, south facing walls.

This lizard is native to Central and Southern Europe where it is a protected species. It can be confused with our native Viviparous Lizard but it is slightly larger (15-23cm) with a longer tail to body ratio than our native lizard and although colours and patterns vary it can often look much greener with more mottled markings along its flanks. It also has a more pointed snout than our native Viviparous Lizard.

Unlike our native lizards the common wall lizard can be seen running up vertical walls or rock faces. It also basks and catches small invertebrates on rock faces and stone habitats.

We know this species is currently located in some areas of the Kent coast such as at Folkestone. It is also present along the coastline stretching into and throughout the South West where its impact on the Sand Lizard is being debated.

Referred to as non native, alien and sometimes exotic, these species are those which do not occur naturally in the UK and have been introduced, accidentally or deliberately, by man.  Many non native species are not able to survive or thrive in this new home and many non natives are of no threat to native biodiversity. However some can thrive and in some cases become ‘invasive’. In general these problem species may potentially carry new diseases which may affect our native wildlife or they may prey on native plants and animals and have an impact on native species abundance or habitat availability.

With reference to non native species in general, please remember not to release any pets or exotic species into the wild as although this has been done in the past, to do so now is illegal and can cause considerable harm to native habitats and wildlife.Be careful also about which plants you purchase or discard from your garden pond. For more information on Invasive Non Natives visit the Non Native Species Secretariat website where you can find out more information about certain non native flora and fauna and read about national campaigns such as Stop the Spread.

We can all play our part in protecting Kent’s herpetofauna by sending in records of native species and also by helping us to monitor the exotic species which are now calling Kent home.

Have you seen a Wall Lizard (Non-native) in Kent?

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Distribution in Kent

Other / Similar Species