The common lizard has a maximum total length of 18 cm. Of this, the head and trunk account for up to 6 cm, and up to 7 cm in females. The strong tail reaches 1.25 to 2 times the snout-vent length (maximum value in males). The species is slender, short-legged, and has a small, rather flattened head - compared to the sand lizard, for example - even more so in females than in males. The so-called collar is strongly toothed and the dorsal scales, which are only 25 to 37 in the transverse direction, are very rough and usually keeled. The basic coloration is brown, sometimes also gray. In addition, many animals show a dark "dorsal stripe" on the back, broken up into single spots, dark sides as well as light, line-shaped spots on the upperparts (very variable). The throat is whitish or bluish, the belly light or dark yellow; in males at mating time orange or more rarely reddish and then often covered with dark spots. Sometimes also completely black colored adults occur, so-called "Blacklings".
The young are very dark - almost blackish - and bronze colored. They measure 3 to 4 cm after birth.
Habitats include bogs, heaths, grasslands, abandoned quarries and sand pits, dunes, and wooded areas and edges in lowlands, hills, bogs, and uplands. Vegetation-rich fringe structures, slopes and clearings are preferred. The species is more in need of moisture than other lizard species. In case of danger, it also flees into the water and swims through it. The lizard is diurnal and usually faithful to its habitat. Occasionally, however, so-called "pioneers" decide to migrate. They are responsible for colonizing new habitats.
The text is a translation of an excerpt from Wikipedia (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldeidechse). On wikipedia the text is available under a „Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike“ licence. Status: 26 May 2021