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British Reptiles

There are seven species of reptile found in the UK. All are shy and usually hard to see and two are endangered. The most enigmatic are the adder and the wall lizards which are found only in the botanical gardens at Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. They were introduced in the 1800s and have managed to thrive on this one site and no where else in the UK, it seems. They are superficially similar to the common lizard but have a longer tail.


Adders are more widespread and are probably best seen on the Sussex downs or in the New Forest. However, they are extremely shy and elusive even in areas where they are common. The males and females are different in colouration. Males are silvery with dark makings and females are a reddish brown colour and are stouter.   Adders bask in the early morning and once they are warmed up retreat into the vegetation. They will return to favourite basking spots each day at the same time.


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