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Viviparous lizard

Its base colour is brownish with dark pattern.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

The VIVIPAROUS LIZARD is sometimes confused with the female sand lizard, but that species is more robust, with a larger, deeper head. Total (body+tail) length up to 18 cm. Back reddish-brown or greyish-brown.  Females have a dark, almost black, stripe along the spine from neck to beginning of tail; this is often broken up in males. A brownish band along the upper flanks, composed of dark blotches and light spots, gives a marbled impression. Belly rather dark, from ochre to brick-red with black speckles. In some individuals both back and belly may be black. Males and females similar, but orange belly usually signifies males, which may also have ring markings (ocelli). Young are similar to adults, but sometimes darker.

Distibution map by our National Herpetological Mapping Program:

Dorsal colour of viviparous lizard

Its dorsal colour is often characterised with a black line, running along its spine.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Lateral pattern of viviparous lizard

On its sides, rambling black spots are forming its pattern.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Dorsal pattern of viviparous lizard

The dorsal line is often discontinuous. Its regenerated tale is missing most of its original pattern.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Viviparous lizard portrait

Black pattern is often appaering on the head.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Head plates of viviparous lizard

Its robust head plates bulge clearly.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Belly pattern of viviparous lizards

Its throat is whitish, belly often yellowish or even orange with black dots.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Gravid female viviparous lizard

Gravid female's body bulges as the embrios are growing. 

(photo: Tibor Kovács)

Melanistic viviparous lizard

Melanistic individuals occur rarely in some populations.

(photo: Tibor Kovács)

Basking viviparous lizard

It is a rare phenomena in Hungary to see viviparous lizards basking on stones, as most of its habitats are ice-age relict marsh-lands like Bátorliget and Ócsa.

(photo: Tibor Kovács)