Sunday, May 12, 2013

Slow Worm: Anguis fragilis - Coitus Interuptus

As regular readers of our blog know we love Slow Worms. They are a legless lizard and are known to be semifossorial (burrowing) in their nature but spend a lot of time, especially at twilight, looking for food i.e. slugs and worms. They enjoy basking in the warm sun and especially like damp places such as long grass and cavities in rocks. Like other lizards, they have the ability to shed their tails if captured by predators (autotomise) but it will re-grow, only smaller.

Our compost heaps are like magnets to the local population of Slow Worms. They love the warm and damp conditions and can often be found under the black plastic covers. This week we were just about to empty one of the compost bins when Luis screeched as he unveiled a pair of magnificent specimens in the middle of mating. On first sight he thought it was a snake (he hates snakes but loves Slow Worms).

Needless to say we couldn't move them and left them to carry on with their Friday afternoon affair. Later in the day we returned, they had finished their coupling and we carefully moved them to another compost bin where they could lie back, listen to a bit of Barry White and whisper sweet nothings to each other.

They give birth to live young so we eagerly await their arrival and the future decimation of our slug population. More about Slow Worms here.


  1. Well worth waiting for Ian :)

  2. Thank you Anne and Andrea - it's always good to get feedback.

  3. Composting is a great way to recycling your current biodegradable waste materials. Rather than losing your current kitchen waste in addition to backyard waste materials for being sent to the landfill exactly where it will advantage nobody, you may input it in the can that you just designed with
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  4. Thanks for the info! Just saw our first specimen the other day and weren't sure what it was.


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