As well as the lovely Grayling butterfly spotted on Wednesday’s walk in Aberbargoed, we had a wonderful surprise when my friend Sharon spotted these two tiny reptiles, basking on a wooden boardwalk in the Grasslands National Nature Reserve.
The reptile known as the Common lizard and also the Viviparous lizard, once had the scientific moniker Lacerta vivipara but is now Zootoca vivipara. Viviparous is a zoological term meaning ‘bringing forth live young which have developed inside the body of the parent’ (Oxford Dictionary), though what apparently happens in this lizard’s case is that the young hatch from their eggs as they are deposited outside the body (Fauna Britannica).
As their name suggests, these lizards are common in Britain, though I’ve only seen them twice in my five years’ residence in Wales, which is why Wednesday’s sightings were such a delight. You can find out more about them on the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust website.