Slow Worm’s in Jersey

(Written by Aurelie, Student at the Jersey Biodiversity Centre 2018.)

Sunday, I assisted with a lizard survey near La Grève de Lecq and I was very lucky because I discovered a slow worm. It looks like a grass snake, but it is not! The best way to identify them is to see if they have eyelids. They do while snakes are lidless.

They can be found in many areas including grassland, woodland, heathland, towns and gardens. They have a smooth and golden-grey skin with scales that do not overlap one other. Males are paler and can have blue spots whereas females have dark sides and a dark stripe down the back. They are carnivorous. Their diet is composed of slugs, worms, spiders, snails and other insects. To avoid predators, they can use their tail as a defense mechanism and try to escape. They can reach 50 cm in length and can live more than 30 years, which is quite long for a lizard. We can see them from March to October. They spend the winter hibernating  They are protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, and classified as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

Have you spotted a slow worm? Let us know by adding your signing to the database here

Slow worm, credit: Aurelie

Slow worm, credit: Aurelie

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