The Common Lizard (Lacerta or Zootoca vivipara), Fig. 52, belongs to the family Lacertidae of True Lizards, in which the body is covered with scales, which are largest on the abdomen and the head. The head is not provided with a throat-pouch. The legs are four in number, the toes number five, and are unequal in length. The tail is cylindrical, elongated, and often longer than the body. The tongue is cleft or bifid and protrusible.

The Common or Scaly Lizard.

Fig. 52. - The Common or Scaly Lizard.

The Common Lizard is about 6 in. in length, terrestrial in habits and is found in comparatively dry places. It is viviparous, the eggs being retained within the parent's body until such time as the young are nearly or actually hatched. It is very active, disappearing quickly when alarmed, and when seized its tail frequently snaps off. It feeds upon insects and their larvae, also Crustacea (woodlice).