Slow Worms in the UK

Subject:  Slow Worms
Winchester, UK
April 1, 2014 7:47 PM
my sister and friends have “slow worms” in winchester.
they are all excited!
i’m not sure how i can send you a photo from FB…?
this photo is from our friend wendy, who is a very accomplished artist and excels in beautiful paintings of flora and fauna.

Slow Worms
Slow Worms

Dear c.
Thanks for sending us your photo.  We hadn’t heard of Slow Worms before, and the link you provided is of great assistance.  According to the Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK link you provided:  “The Slow-worm is often mistakenly thought to be one of our native snakes. Slow-worms have very few markings other than the vertebral stripe of the female. This is thin and straight and not similar to the indented zigzag stripe of the Adder (
Vipera berus).  The Slow-worm has a noticeably blunter tail than any of the native snakes and the head is quite indistinct from the body. They have very small, highly polished scales, giving a glassy appearance.  On very close examination, it might be seen that the Slow-worm has eyelids, a typical feature of lizards. Another typical feature of lizards displayed by them, is the shedding of the tail when captured. The shed tail falling to the ground and thrashing makes a very effective decoy to predators, whilst the Slow-worm makes for cover.  The Slow-worm is a harmless creature, please remember, whether it is a Snake or Legless Lizard, it is a criminal offence to kill or injure any of the UK’s native reptiles.”  Since the UK Slow Worm, Anguis fragilis, is in a different genus than our local California Legless Lizard, they are not that closely related. 

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