Often mistaken for a snake, the Slow-worm is a legless lizard and totally harmless. They are secretive animals and rarely seen basking openly but are often found in compost heaps.
Slow-worms often live in gardens completely unnoticed and are welcomed by the well informed gardener because they will avidly eat slugs!
If you would like to attract Slow-worms to a garden they will benefit from areas left unmown and a little untidy and the construction of a large compost heap.
Often occurring in large numbers on undisturbed ground, they are particularly vulnerable when so called ‘brownfield’ sites are developed.
Adult male and female Slow-worms are usually easily distinguished. Males tend to have few markings and a relatively large jaw. Females usually have a dark vertebral stripe and darker flanks than males.
Though not often seen in the open, Slow-worms can very often be found under objects that absorb the heat from the sun, such as corrugated tins and carpet squares.
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Distribution in Kent
Other / Similar Species
The Adder is Kent's only venomous snake though it is unlikely to bite unless handled. It is a species of great conservation concern and its habitat is being lost or managed unsympathetically.
A common garden visitor and often found in and around ponds, the Grass Snake is Kent's largest reptile.View Profile