Slow Worm or Blindworm

Anguis fragilis

preview hoet 00002 anguis fragilis blindschleicheBecause of the missing legs Slow Worms is are often mistaken for snakes. But it belongs to the reptiles and is related to lizards. Moreover the animal is not blind but has small eyes with eyelids. The naming is probably in connection with the smooth and somewhat dazzling or reflecting shed skin.

Adult slow worms grow to about 50 cm length whereby the small head changes directly into the trunk. These reptiles are mostly active during the twilight and in the morning and evening hours. Then they hunt for snails, worms, insects and other small animals. Damp soils with a dense, herb-rich vegetation are preferred.

Picking up a Slow Worm should only be done with extreme care. Once stressed the animals shed their tails in order to escape predators, like lizards. The tail regrows, but remains smaller.