Name: Slow Worm
Scientific name: Anguis fragilis
Nature Stars: 50
About: Up to 30 or 40cm long, golden-grey in colour. Slow worms can be found in heathland, undisturbed, tussocky grassland, woodland edges and rides, anywhere they can find invertebrates to eat and a sunny patch in which to sunbathe. They are sometimes common in mature gardens, where they like hunting around the compost heap. However, you are unlikely to find them in the garden if you have a cat, as cats can easily catch and eat them. They spend much of their life underground, where they hunt earthworms and slugs. Like other reptiles, slow worms hibernate, usually from October to March.
Read more fascinating facts about this amazing animal on its Feature Creature page!
How to identify: Much smaller than snakes, usually smaller than 30cm, smooth, golden-grey. Males are paler and sometimes have blue spots, while females are larger with dark sides and a paler stripe down the back.
Where: Widespread, found throughout the country, except for most Scottish islands and absent from Northern Ireland, the Isles of Scilly and most of the Channel Islands.
Fantastic fact: The slow worm may look like a snake but it is actually a lizard with no legs.
Photograph credit: Steve Dallison