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Never knew there were Lizards in this country.


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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:03 pm    Post subject: Never knew there were Lizards in this country. Reply with quote

I saw a Lizard beside the pond last October (Never knew there were Lizards here) and a couple of weeks ago I found his cache of almost 100 empty Ramshorn Snail shells underneath a clump of Cortaderia Richardii.

Apparently they're very good swimmers and the cache was right next to where I disturbed him/her and adjacent to a flagstone leant at 45 into the pond so that creatures can get in and out.

So now I can add a lizard to my collection of wildlife loitering around the pond. Smile Smile

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Greengage
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you live and learn
http://www.biology.ie/group.php?m=lizard&g=79
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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Likewise. I saw my first lizard in this country last summer. Initially I assumed it was an alien escapee only to discover that they do exist in the wild here.
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember about ten years ago my mother came in from the milking parlour one night saying a lizard ran across one of the drainage channels. We did some flicking through images of lizards etc. until we worked out and she quite solidly confirmed that it was a Smooth Newt.


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tippben
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given the location, and the time of year, it was almost certainly a newt. They hibernate under logs and stones, and only use the pond full time during may-july, the breeding season. The rest of the time they are land based, though they can and will use the pond to escape from danger.

The Common Lizard will still be hibernating. It is far too cold yet, so unless one was in a hibernation burrow and was disturbed, I wouldn't expect to see any for another 6 weeks, and even then only on warm sunny days.
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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of newts in north Cork.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have never seen a newt in this country, but seen loads in London back in the day, when we used to catch them as boys. I can remember my Granny calling them an eft, pronounced 'evet'. Can anyone enlighten me on this as I believe it was a newt that she was referring to. Is this the Irish word for a newt or maybe it is a colloquial term - I just don't know? She told me that they loved buttermilk and would jump down your throat!!! Could be a slow worm too.
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tippben wrote:
Given the location, and the time of year, it was almost certainly a newt. They hibernate under logs and stones, and only use the pond full time during may-july, the breeding season. The rest of the time they are land based, though they can and will use the pond to escape from danger.

The Common Lizard will still be hibernating. It is far too cold yet, so unless one was in a hibernation burrow and was disturbed, I wouldn't expect to see any for another 6 weeks, and even then only on warm sunny days.


It has definitely been identified by an expert as a lizard. The creature was the size of a lizard (twice as big as a newt) and ran at "disturbed lizard speed", which is very fast. They hibernate from November to end of February but a warm spell will bring them out earlier. So one can see them in October.

I have about 30 newts in my pond. They are a different colouring. Newts go into the pond in February/March and come out in May. So after May, they are land-based.

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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe your water is radioactive and this is a teenage mutant ninja newt!!!
Or else an escapee from chaps bedroom tank.

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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Link to 2007 Irish Wildlife Trust survey on Lizards.

http://www.lacerta.de/AS/Bibliografie/BIB_4273.pdf

(I like the idea of radioactive water, though. Smile Smile )

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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well that puts to bed the notion of only three native reptiles, frog, toad and newt. Learn something new everyday.
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tippben
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tagwex. "Eft" is the Anglo-saxon (old English) word for newt. It survives as the term for juvenile newts that still have their gills.
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tippben
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well then Kindredspirit, you are a very lucky man!
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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tagwex wrote:
I can remember my Granny calling them an eft, pronounced 'evet'.

Eft was a regular solution in the Irish Times Simplex crossword. I didn't realise the pronunciation was evet, though the good people at Dictionary.com don't seem to be aware of this:
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/eft?s=t
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tagwex wrote:
Well that puts to bed the notion of only three native reptiles, frog, toad and newt. Learn something new everyday.


Frog, Toad and Newt are amphibians. (To be pedantic.)

The Common Lizard (is that an oxymoron?) is the only native reptile in Ireland.

Of course Albert gets into the pond in the summer but he's only a "blow-in". Smile Smile


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