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Gloucestershire

Amphibian and Reptile Group (GlosARG)

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Slow Worm (Anguis fragilis)

The Slow Worm is probably our most frequently encountered lizard, it can be found in almost any habitat, and is often found in gardens. It is commonly mistaken for a snake due to it's appearance, but is in fact a legless lizard. The lack of ventral scutes (large underside scales) and the presence of a broad and flat tongue, and eyelids distinguish this species from any snake.

 

An adult Slow Worm will grow to 35 - 40 cm and can sometimes be found longer. The adult male is usually grey/brown with a lighter underside, whilst an adult female is usually brown and will have a darker brown side with a black underside.

 

Slow worms like to bask underneath flat objects, which also help generate the heat they need. Slow Worms if threatened or injured can lose their tails, which will grow back, but it is nearly always shorter and stumpier than their original tail.