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Keep an eye out for these two creatures basking in the Irish sun

If you spot one, take a photo and help wildlife experts track their movements.

WINTER IS FINALLY behind us, though it may not seem like it sometimes, and that means a whole hoard of wildlife are waking up and going about their business again.

The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) is asking people to keep an eye out for two creatures in particular – the viviparous lizard (or common lizard) and the slow worm, the two species of land dwelling reptile in Ireland.

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The viviparous lizard is a native Irish reptile, found throughout the country in areas such as bogland, coastal sites and grasslands.

It is about 13cm long and feeds on small insects, spiders and slugs. This lizard has adapted to cool climates such as ours by giving birth to live young. This is a rarity in the reptile world, according to the IWT, where most species lay eggs in order to reproduce.

The Trust described the second reptile, the slow worm, as a “peculiar creature”:

It looks like a small snake but is in fact a legless lizard. Yes, a lizard that has adapted to a life without legs, sliding through the undergrowth hunting slugs and slow-moving insects.

An adult slow worm is about 45am long and is harmless to humans. It is thought to have been introduced to Ireland in the 1970s in the Burren region, where it is still found today.

Both of these reptile species can be seen from April onwards, basking on sunny rocks, stone walls and earth banks or you may come across them taking refuge under logs or stones.

A second peak in the sighting of theses creature is in late August when the young are born and immediately start to fend for themselves, hunting and basking like their parents.

If you come across one of these reptiles while out and about the IWT are asking you to get in touch with your reptile record to help them understand the spread of these two species in Ireland. To report sightings, contact the IWT at with the date and location of the sighting and a photo if possible. Sightings are taken on

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