Although it looks a bit like a snake, the slow worm is actually a legless lizard



Order: Squamata

Family: Anguidae

Species: Anguis fragilis

IUCN Status: Near Threatened

Population Trend: decreasing

Distribution:  Found throughout UK, including Jersey, Guernsey, Herm and Jethou in the Channel Islands.  Not found in Northern Ireland, Scottish islands and the remaining Channel Islands (Alderney, Sark, Lihou and Brecqhou).  Found in much of Europe, except Ireland, northern Scandinavia, central and southern Iberia, most islands of the Mediterranean and Greece.  Also northeastern Turkey, northern Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, southern Russia and Georgia. Widespread in the forests of northern Eurasia.

Habitat:  Grassland, moorland, heathland and woods.

Life-span:  Usually up to 20 years (over 50 years on rare occasions).

Size:  Adults up to 50cm long.  Weight: up to 100g.

Description:  Have a shiny look to them.  Males are grey-brown without stripes (though some have bluish spots), while females are brown, with dark sides and sometimes dark stripes running down the back and sides of the body.  Both have grey to bluish bellies. Young slow worms are only about 7-10cm long and very thin, with gold or silver sides and dark bellies.

Food:  Slugs, snails and other slow-moving invertebrates.

Read More: Slow worm habits

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