I'm not a snake

Did you know that the slow worm is actually a legless lizard?

Having no legs allows the slow worm to glide through their grass habitat with ease. They're classed as a lizard because they have eyelids and can blink! Snakes can't do this as their eyes have a fixed lens, therefore do not need eyelids.   

Unlike other lizards, this species is rarely seen basking in the sunshine, but prefers to hide away beneath large stones or rocks, pieces of bark, logs or discarded sheets of metal.

Slow movers

They like to emerge in the evening to hunt for their prey. Slow worms move more slowly than common lizards, so are restricted to eating slow-moving prey, such as snails, slugs, worms, smooth caterpillars, spiders, insects and larvae.

Slow worms, like the common lizard, can evade predators by shedding their tails when seized. The severed portion never regrows to its original length, but a short stump replaces it.

Females give birth to on average 6 – 12 young in late summer or early autumn, although as many as 26 young have been recorded from a single female. The young will be immediately left by the mother to fend for themselves.

Did you know?

  • Slow worms belong to the lizard family
  • They shed their tails when seized by predators