31st May 2015

IMG_9421

Female Slow-worm

Slow-worms in Sussex- It is many years since I have seen several Slow-worms in one place so this is a treat. Neither worms nor snakes, these harmless, legless Lizards are actually really good for the garden, eating many invertebrates. Found all over the UK except the Scottish Islands, they like gardens, allotments, heathland and woodland edges. They can be predated by cats though-  and by Hedgehogs and Badgers (strange because these are very near Badgers). They hibernate from October to March, and hide up under stones, logs or sheets of wood or tin and, being ‘crepuscular’, come out at dusk to feed. They have two defences against being predated- they defecate a foul smelling fluid when caught and, like our other Lizards IMG_9412IMG_9409IMG_9411 they cast off their tails which wiggle for a while to distract the predator while the Slow-worm wriggles off to hide and regrow its tail! These are females, which are bigger (up to 30cm), and have dark sides and a dark stripe down their back. If I find a male I’ll post it another day! Conditions: Drizzle for hours in the south, cloudy in Sheffield. Temperature: Max 13- Min 7c.

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