Slow worms.


Anyone who knows me, knows I am a huge reptile lover. Especially lizards! It's a shame we don't have many native reptiles in our country. Do you know, I use to have pet Iguana? (He was four, almost five foot long! But that's a post for another day!) Anyhow.. onto todays post..

Our garden is full of slow worms (Anguis fragilis). One might ask what a slow worm is. Slow worms look like snakes but they are actually a legless lizard! You can identify a slow worm by looking at the eyelids. Slow worms (and lizards) have eyelids but snakes do not. Slow worms feel very smooth, the scales don't over lap!

Charlie holding a slow worm.

Don't fear! They're harmless. They are quite friendly and don't really mind being held for a few seconds not that get much choice when I'm rescuing them from a cats paws, better to be rescued than hurt.. or worse though, right?! Even if they tried to bite I doubt it'd hurt. Of course though, like any animal it's always good to be cautious and wash your hands after touching! I find it quite fascinating that our back garden is full of them. We have a spot at the end of the garden under the conifers with a small bit of old carpet, slow worms love old carpet to wiggle under! Or any object really, especially tin or black plastic, which absorbs heat. They love it when the ground is damp because they are carnivores, they eat slugs and other bugs. They like long grass, too. A male slow worm can grow up to around 50cm long. They have quite long life spams, too! I think around 20 0r so years in the wild and longer in captivity! 

We are forever spotting them in the garden (along with frogs, too!) and forever rescuing them from cats. Cats find slow worms fascinating because "wiggle" and they try to play with them with there paws. However, when a slow worm feels threatened by a predator it will automize aka drop it's tail/tail falls off. I have come across many that have 'dropped' there tail and I have also come across many that have had puncture wounds from the cats. I'm just going to state the obvious here but slow worms can't defend themselves against cats!! They always recover though, I've never found a dead or really badly injured slow worm! They seem to be quite 'hardy' creatures. 

I was a little freaked out at first but once I realised what the "snake" was, it was all fine. We love having these around our garden. They are certainly different! Just wish the cats would leave the poor things alone. Charlie loves them and often goes on a "slow worm hunt" he loves just sitting watching them wiggle around, disappearing under the grass and then reappearing again! Ellie doesn't mind them either but Harry. my eldest? He runs a mile if he spots one, lol. Bless.

My next thing to spot is a real lizard that is native to Britain.. That's on my summer bucket list. Lets see if we can find one... Watch this space!! 

Sarah xXx

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  1. Loads of worms out at the mo. I am not so keen on them but I do feel so sorry for them when I see them squashed on pathways! I wish nature gave them the sense to keep on the grass and soil!


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