Lizards from South West France

When I first got a decent DSLR, I wanted to learn to become a great photographer. Wildlife is a popular subject and one animal in particular caught my attention: the lizard. Lizards are abundant in South West France, they enjoy lying very still in sunny locations and are surprisingly photogenic.

green lizard

I was fortunate enough to see this wonderful green lizard, Lacerta viridis, while hiking up the Chemin de la Mature in the Pyrenees.

If you’d like to know more about this wonderful species, click here.


Coming back down from the Col above Etsaut, what should slither across my path but a beautiful adder, Vipera berus. True, not a lizard, but fascinating all the same.

moulting lizard

This one is in the process of moulting. Its tail is already showing the new skin with the old skin showing some amazing blue scales.

close up of lizard

Same lizard, just a bit closer. Click on the image to see the colours.

lizard looking like dinosaur

This large lizard lives in the Pyrenees at a height of about 800metres. I saw some lizards as high as 1700m, well above the snowline. Doesn’t its head look dinosauric?

mating lizards

Are they mating or just playing piggy-back? I didn’t like to ask.

Enjoying the sunshine. Being poikilothermic, lizards need the warmth of the sun to keep alive.

Enjoying the sunshine. Being poikilothermic, lizards need the warmth of the sun to keep alive.

posing lizard

Luckily lizards stay perfectly still while you shoot them.

small lizard

This one was only about 6cm long.

big lizard

About 15cm of lizard. An impressive creature.

Flora + Fauna in the Pyrenees

Animals in the Czech Republic

7 thoughts on “Lizards from South West France

  1. When living in the principality of Andorra my son told me of his meeting a large green lizard about the size of a spaniel. There are reputed to be several living in caves in the winter. Their exact position is known only to the rangers who patrol the countryside and they are fiersly protected, as are the brown bears , mouflon, and several other rare creatures,
    I myself saw an oscilloted lizard in my garden last year. It was about 55cm long but did not rush away when I accidentaly disturbed its sunning itself. It was at the side of a raised bed which had an automatic sprinkler coming on each evening. It the same position were two fully grown grass snakes. One has been killed by a car but they were both, male & female about1m50 long.
    Other things seen locally include tiny black squirals, wild cat, genet, both black and white storks, short toed eagles, lammergui, otters, and an assortment of birds of prey. We feel very priviladged to be surrounded by such creatures.

  2. Our abri currently contains a lizard very like a slow worm but with long pointed tailed and a rear pair of tiny thin legs which do not appear to assist movement. Length about 20cm. Anyone know what it might be?

  3. I live in the Southwest of France in Departement 46 Lot.
    This morning I saw a bright yellow and black lizard on my patio. It was about 6 or 7 inches long and quite fat!
    I have never seen one like this before.
    I have tried to research it on the web with no luck
    Perhaps you know what it is!?

    • We saw a pair of black and bright green lizards in the underground chamber housing our stopcock in the Gers (department 32) on Tues 24 Oct 2017. They were at least 10cm long, and I also can’t find anything like them on the internet.

  4. Some of these sound as if they could have been newts- bright green and black describes a marbled newt quite large and very present in the Gers .
    Bright yellow and black describes the fire salamander also quite frequent in this part of France

  5. Salamanders? We have these in the Creuse, France. They are black with vivid yellow or green stripes down the length of their bodies, and come out at night, usually after rain and they feast on slugs and worms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.