They are typically between 10 and 16cm long with coarse scales ranging from grey, brown, bronze or green on the back.
The Males are usualy darker than females and have orange or yellow bellies with black spots.
Females have white or pale yellow bellies with few if any spots.
Common lizards eat insects, spiders, earthworms and small snails.
Being cold-blooded they are active during the day (but not the intense heat of midday) basking in the sun either alone or in groups.
They are good swimmers.
Common lizards hibernate from October to March, often in groups, but may emerge briefly in warm spells.
Around March the Males emerge from hibernation first to select and defend a breeding territory from other males.
Females come out of hibernation a feew weeks later. Mating is between April - May
A clutch of 3-12 young develop within egg sacks inside the female's body.
The young are born between July and September.
The egg sack usually breaks as she gives birth, but the young may remain inside the membrane for a few days before emerging.
Lacking an egg-tooth to tear the egg-sack they and 'butt' their way out instead.
The common lizard has a lifespan of about 6 years.
They can shed their tails to escape from predators.