REPTILES AND BATRACHIANS Very little need be said relative to the occurrence or the distri- bution of the reptiles and amphibia of Warwickshire more than what falls under the head of the different species. There is however one which demands special mention, namely the palmated newt. It is common and even abundant all over the oolitic district, including the Cotteswolds and the adjoining parts of Oxfordshire, as well as the near part of Warwickshire ; but the further from those districts the rarer does it become, until it is quite uncommon, indeed rare in the valley of the Avon. REPTILES 1. Common or Viviparous Lizard. Lacerta vivipara, Jacq. Although not abundant the present species occurs at several places in the county, namely on a common near Claverdon ; in close proximity to Warwick, where the writer has seen it playing in and out of the rough stone wall around the Priory ; and in the sand- stone pits near the town. It has also ap- peared near Ragley, and at several localities at the foot of Edgehill, as at Avon Dasset and Burton Dasset. Mr. J. Steele Elliott records its former appearance in Sutton Park, where however it has been exterminated. 2. Sand Lizard. Lacerta agilis, Linn. The only localities in the county where the present species has been observed are the following : namely at two places on the Ridge- way near Alcester, and in the refuse at the mouth of some abandoned openings for gyp- sum at Spernal, also near Alcester. But it is rare at those localities. 3. Slow-worm or Blind-worm. Anguh fra- gi/is, Linn. Occurs in several places in the county but not numerously. It has been seen by the writer at Claverdon, also near Wootton Wawen, where it is not unfrequent. It is more common in that part of the county adjoining Oxfordshire, and occurs at Brailes and near Compton Wynniates. At the above places it has been observed by parties of geo- logists, most frequently beneath large stones. It was at one time found in Sutton Park, but as we learn from Mr. J. Steele Elliott is no longer to be seen there. 4. Common or Ringed Snake. Tropidonotus natrix, Linn. A common and generally distributed species. 5. Common Viper or Adder. Viper a berus, Linn. Though not abundant in the county the adder (the name by which it is known) is found wherever there are sandy or stony places and the soil is not too retentive, but is unknown on the fertile alluvial parts of the county. All the specimens which have been examined have possessed the normal colour, none of the described varieties having been observed. BATRACHIANS 1. Common Frog. Rana temporaria, Linn. Common and generally distributed. 2. Common Toad. Bufo vulgaris, Laur. Less abundant than the frog, but yet of hedgerows or trees. 187 common almost everywhere. The toad is frequently found in mid-winter in holes deep under ground, and brought to light by the removal of heaps of earth, or by the grubbing
Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/225
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