Background

The Slow Worm has a somewhat deceptive name, as these animals are neither slow nor are they worms. They are in fact legless lizards, and when threatened or surprised they can move exceptionally fast. When attacked by predators, like lizards, they can shed their tails, in order to escape.

Habitat

Slow Worms live mainly in woodlands and heathlands. But they can sometimes be found even in your garden. They key to looking for these reptiles is to look in warm and protected areas, such as artificial refugia.

Diet

Anguis fragilis feeds upon slow moving prey, such as slugs, snails and worms. They can also be found eating insects and spiders.

Predators & Threats

It is not fully understood but populations of Slow Worms have been decreasing. This is most likely however due to human disturbances and habitat degradation. They are therefore protected and killing them or selling them as pets are illegal. Predators of Slow Worms include adders, grass snakes, many bird species, Hedgehogs and Badgers.

Facts

  • During hibernation, there can be up to 30 Slow Worms in one area.
  • Slow Worms are able to suck snails out of their shells.
Common Name(s)Scientific Name
Slow WormAnguis fragilis
Size
 30-40 cm
Lifespan
 Upto 20 years

Best Time to Look

April to September

Where to find Slow Worm