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Help & Reference : Learn About Nature : Reference Guide : Reptiles : Slow worm

Slow worm

Common name: Slow Worm

Also known as: Slowworm or blindworm
Scientific name: Anguis fragilis
Size: Adults can grow to 50cm
Colour: Shiny looking. Males are greyish brown, females are brown with dark sides and thin line down the back. Young are about 4cm long with black bellies and gold or silver backs with a thin black line down the middle.
Life Span: It is said that they are one of the longest living lizards, living to about 30 years old in the wild.


These are not snakes, but in fact a legless lizard. They have eyelids, a flat forked tongue and can lose their tail to escape from predators (snakes can't!). They are active during the day, but are often hidden away from view. They occasionally will be seen basking in the sun.


Found throughout the UK including Corfe Mullen. We often find slow worms in our compost heap.


Slow moving prey such as slugs and worms.


They are common in gardens, often hiding in long grass and under old logs. They also burrow a lot in the soil and love compost heaps (which they like because of the heat and the supply of prey).

Did you know

In areas like Corfe Mullen, the cat is their biggest predator, as they have no defence from them.

The females give birth to live young in September.









Extra Information

The Herpetological
Conservation Trust (HCT)

Reptiles and
Amphibians of the UK