The Content Of The Article:
- Native species
- garden maintenance
Many people may still remember watching a lizard sunbathe on a wall or stone in the wild. Many children and younger people will hardly have the opportunity, because domestic lizards are endangered and rarely found. It is therefore all the more important to give the beneficial insects their own garden a suitable habitat.
Native speciesIn Germany or Central Europe native lizards are:
- wall lizard
- Sand lizard
- Eastern and Western Emerald Lizard
- Croatian mountain lizard
Size: 22 to 25 cm
Anatomy: very slim with a relatively long tail
Colour: brown to gray, males with black dots or mesh pattern on the back
Distribution: southern and western Germany, wine regions around Mosel, Neckar and Rhine
Habitat: Dry stone walls, rocks, rocky areas
Mating season: March to June
Food: Insects, spidersWall lizards are strictly protected and are already on the alert list of the so-called red list due to the dwindling number. The red list lists endangered species that require special protection.
If you want to welcome the wall lizard in your own garden, you should create a dry stone wall, a pile of stones or a rock garden that is especially sunny and warm. Crevices, cracks and small caves are very popular with the lizards and serve as a lifesaving hiding place for themselves as well as for their clutches. Of these there are between March and June up to three. The hatching occurs two to three months after oviposition. In order to avoid disturbing or even damaging the eggs found in the perennial wall lizards, no changes should be made to the stone landscape during this period.
Size: up to 24 cm, usually smaller
Anatomy: strong body, clearly separated head, short legs and a relatively short tail
Colour: green, gray and brown possible, mostly patterned
Distribution: all over Germany but rarely
Habitat: Walls, densely vegetated areas, wild gardens, quarries, forest edges and heaths
Mating season: March to July
Food: Worms, insects, spidersSand lizards were once widespread because they are not fixed on a habitat. They prefer areas with dense plant growth and open areas. As a result, they often occur in border areas, such as a dry forest edge.
In the home garden of this lizard species, a suitable habitat can be offered, if a section of the garden may grow wild or very densely overgrown in other ways - and no care measures must be taken. Stones and warm, dry walls are also gladly accepted. Again, it should be noted that from March to about September or October, no intervention in the reserved area for the lizard area. Both the animals and their eggs could be damaged and scared.
Eastern and Western Emerald Lizard
Size: up to 35 cm
Anatomy: slim, pointed head
Colour: brownish at first, later green on the body, partly with blue markings on the head
Distribution: Eastern emerald lizard in eastern Germany and along the eastern Danube, western emerald lizard in Hesse and the Rhine Valley
Habitat: Overgrown slopes with moist soil
Mating season: March until about June
Food: Snails, larger insects, spiders, small vertebrates (like young mice)The emerald lizards are due to their color and size very impressive animals, but unfortunately only rarely found. Due to a very small gene pool in the eastern and western population, despite relatively large clutches of up to 15 eggs, more infertile offspring occur. The number of lizards is therefore shrinking.
Their preferred area of life is slopes, which should not be too dry. Due to increasing changes in agriculture, these areas are being reduced more and more. A habitat in the garden can only be offered to them by a wild, humid slope is offered. This is again possible in the fewest cases.
Size: up to 18 cm
Anatomy: slender, very long tail of up to two-thirds of the entire body length
Colour: brownish, partly with stripes on the back
Distribution: in the whole of Europe
Habitat: Gentiles, bogs, quarries, mountain landscapes, lowlands, forest edges, grasslands
Mating season: April to May
Food: small insects and spidersThe forest lizard is indeed widespread, but as well as other lizards overall only rarely occurs. In the home garden it is important to provide her with sufficient hiding places and undisturbed areas. Again, stones and dry, warm walls, feral sections and as little intervention as possible.
Due to their small size, the lizards also have only small insects, such as caterpillars, flies and small beetles.
Croatian mountain lizard
Size: 16 to 18 cm
Anatomy: slim and dainty, cock much longer than body
Colour: beige tobrownish with darker stripes on the back but also light gray or green
Distribution: Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Northern Italy and German Alps
Habitat: stony, bobbed areas, in rather humid and cool areas
Mating season: Spring to summer, little is known about the reproduction
Food: Snails, insects and spidersThe Croatian mountain lizard can occasionally be observed in groups, but is very nimble and graceful and also very well adapted to their preferred ground. In the garden you can create a suitable habitat by dry rock gardens and a dense planting.
foodSo that the domestic lizards in the garden find sufficient and suitable food, no pesticides may be used. Because of these, the insects are not only reduced, but also to the potential poison bait for the lizards.
Those who do not want to drive the reptiles out of the garden, but want to provide them with suitable habitats and food bases, pay attention to the following factors:
- Setting up an insect hotel
- Only use pesticides on a natural basis when needed, such as vegetable manure
- Let a corner of the garden become wild
- Plant insect attracting plants
- Cracked walls or cairn where insects can settle
- Let the rotten wood drop
- Bring wild shrubs
- Keep garden as close to nature as possible
If a lizard is found outside a hiding place, it can be housed in a cool but frost-free room. Suitable is a terrarium that is easily filled with leaves to provide the lizard with protection and safety. Furthermore, in this form of hibernation is important to check the lizard but often carefully. It should not be disturbed every day, but it must be known whether it is really in winter stagnation or is already active again due to high temperatures. If it is active, as the temperatures rise above 10° C, it must be fed.
As a rule, it is therefore better - if there are still plus degrees - to bring the lizard during the day close to a protected area and let them search for a suitable hiding place. Again, piles of leaves or cairns are well suited as a place for settling.
garden maintenanceWith the exception of the forest lizard, all domestic lizards lay their eggs. The forest lizard, on the other hand, carries it to the body in a sack until it hatches, thus giving birth to its offspring alive. Special attention should be paid to this clutch and the growing offspring from spring to autumn. Again, some points can be considered to give the reptiles in your own garden the highest possible chance of survival. These include:
- Creating hiding places, such as walls and cairns with cavities and dense planting
- Let a garden area become wild
- No digging or mowing in the overgrown garden area
- During the respective mating season as possible no very loud or large-scale care measures perform
- Adapt the "wild" area to the specifics of each lizard species