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Slow worm?

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: General
Forum Name: What is it?
Forum Description: Seen something in the wild and wondering what it is? This is the place to ask
Printed Date: 05 Apr 2020 at 2:54pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 -

Topic: Slow worm?
Posted By: JKLawrence
Subject: Slow worm?
Date Posted: 06 Sep 2004 at 8:07pm
I spotted a "snake" in my compost heap today. I didn't know how to identify slow worms at the time, so I just made a mental note of features: greyish brown, dark brown/black spots down its back alternating in neat rows, large yellow patch on the back of its head. It had a black, forked tongue. I did not notice its head shape.

From its behaviour (in a compost heap at egg-laying time) I am guessing it's a slow worm. However, it didn't look like any of the pictures I've seen. Does anyone know whether the description I've given is a plausible variant for a (presumably female) slow worm?

Posted By: frogworlduk
Date Posted: 06 Sep 2004 at 9:34pm

umm... how long was it? i've never seen a slow worm with a large yellow patch behind the back of its head. i would say it is probably a grass snake.but i've also never seen a greyish brown grass snake . so anyone else have a suggestion? but i would say a grass snake.



Posted By: Robert V
Date Posted: 06 Sep 2004 at 10:44pm


I'd go along with you there Brett, try " pictures and questions from robert" if you'd like to see a colour variation on the usual Grass Snake. anything with a yellow collar has to be one, and at this time of year its probably a neo coming out of a compost heap!

By the way Brett, I did get the info you sent on the canon 300, thanks very much. I'm going to shoot down a camera shop soon and see if my lenses will fit it. Did you see the reply with the big bunch of adders? have a look and let me know what you think.


Posted By: JKLawrence
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2004 at 10:55am
Thanks everyone - yes, looking at the pictures, it must have been a grass snake. It didn't even occur to me to look that up, since mine wasn't green - but clearly a lot of them aren't. The markings make it certain. Maybe this brownish one chose the compost heap because it blended in well there. Well, it should be very happy, as we've got lots of mice and voles for it to eat. Thanks again!

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