Slow Worm

Slow Worm - Chris ReesSlow Worm - Chris Rees

Latin name: Anguis fragilis

The Slow Worm is Alderney’s only known species of lizard, and has been the subject of a number of dedicated island surveys.  In appearance the Slow Worm can be said to resemble a snake, as it does not have legs, but unlike snakes the Slow Worm has eyelids and does not have a forked tongue.

This species is sometimes found in garden compost heaps, preferring humid and protected conditions.  Slow Worms give birth to live young (often no earlier than June), and hibernate from November to March typically in leaf litter or tree-root crevices.  The Vau du Saou Nature Reserve is known to support a number of these creatures.

Status in Alderney: Scarce

Status in UK: Protected under Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, Species of Concern

Worldwide IUCN Red List: not listed