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Statistics

Length: 90-150cm
Weight: 240g

Average lifespan:
15-25 years

 

Conservation status

Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.

 

Adders, Grass Snakes and other Native UK Reptiles

Reptiles and Amphibians you may see in the UK

You can find more information about Adders, Grass Snakes, Slow Worms and other UK Reptiles here in the UK. 

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Species information
 

Category

Reptile
 

Statistics

Length: 40-50cm
Weight: 20-100g

Average lifespan 
up to 20 years

 

Conservation status

Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.
 

When to see

March to October

About

 

The slow worm is neither a worm nor a snake, but is, in fact, a legless lizard - its identity is given away by its abilities to shed its tail and blink with its eyelids.

Slow worms can be found in heathland, tussocky grassland, woodland edges and rides where they can find invertebrates to eat and a sunny patch in which to sunbathe. They are often found in mature gardens and allotments, where they like hunting around the compost heap. However, if you have a cat, you are unlikely to find them in your garden as cats predate them. Like other reptiles, slow worms hibernate, usually from October to March.

 

How to identify
 

The slow worm is much smaller than a snake and has smooth, golden-grey skin. Males are paler in colour and sometimes sport blue spots, while females are larger, with dark sides and a dark stripe down the back.

Slow Worm (Limbless Lizard)

The grass snake is usually greenish in colour, with a yellow and black collar, pale belly, and dark markings down the sides. Females are bigger than males.

Our largest snake, the grass snake, is particularly fond of wetland habitats, but can also be found in dry grasslands and in gardens, especially those with a pond nearby. During the summer, grass snake can be spotted basking in the sun near their favourite ponds or swimming in the water.They hunt amphibians, fish, small mammals and birds. Like all reptiles, grass snake hibernate, usually from October to April.

The UK's only venomous snake

Adders

The adder is the UK's only venomous snake, but its venom is generally of little danger to humans: an adder bite can be painful and cause a inflammation, but is really only dangerous to the very young, ill or old. If bitten, medical attention should be sought immediately. Adders are secretive animals and prefer to slither off into the undergrowth rather than confront and bite humans and domestic animals; most attacks happen when they are trodden on or picked up. Instead, they use their venom to immobilise and kill their prey of small mammals, nestlings and lizards.

Sand Lizard

The slow worm is neither a worm nor a snake, but is, in fact, a legless lizard - its identity is given away by its abilities to shed its tail and blink with its eyelids.

Slow worms can be found in heathland, tussocky grassland, woodland edges and rides where they can find invertebrates to eat and a sunny patch in which to sunbathe. They are often found in mature gardens and allotments, where they like hunting around the compost heap. However, if you have a cat, you are unlikely to find them in your garden as cats predate them. Like other reptiles, slow worms hibernate, usually from October to March.

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Natterjack Toad

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Common or Viviparous Lizard

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