Common Slowworm

Anguis fragilis

Identification 2

Slowworms are best distinguished from snakes by scales on their bellies, meaning snakes have one scale following the other showing a regular pattern as for slowworms their bellies have numerous scales next to each other with similar pattern to that of the rest of their bodies. Of course the shape of the head also plays a role where in slowworms the head fuses with neck and rest of the body without a discernable joints.
Up until recently the common slowworm was described to have two subspecies (the western and Eastern forms). Now thanks to genetics we know these are two separate species of slowworm. You can discern these two species by configuration of their head scales.

Ecology & Behaviour 2

Slowworms are diurnal animals and can be found mostly under rocks or debris where they are heating themselves up. They eat various invertebrates or small vertebrates. They can be often found in forrest floor rummaging unseen through. Slowworms can detach their tail when hunted by predators which is why I must discourage you from trying to catcht them as the autotomy can result in death of the animal.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) bathyporeia, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  2. (c) Martin Vohralík, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

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