26 Jul 2010

Slow worm seen

Slow worm on gravel, seen through grass.
A slow worm (a legless lizard) seen in the garden today. We usually see several of these a year, often in the heaps of lawn cuttings. The slow worm is a protected species like all the UK's native reptiles. It's harmless, and is good in the garden for removing pest insects.

They grow up to 50cm long and live about thirty years in the wild. Slow worms shed their tails as a defence mechanism, as other lizards do. The shed tail continues to thrash about on the ground as a decoy to predators whilst the slow worm escapes and grows another.

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