slow. The slow worm (Anguis fragilis)

The slow worm is also called a deaf adder, and a blindworm, and it is neither a worm nor a snake. It is in fact, a legless lizard - its identity is given away by its abilities to shed its tail and blink with its eyelids.

This animal is in my UK garden, and does not live in Hong Kong. We have a couple of new words for today for you. Slow worms are semifossorial (a fossorial animal is one adapted to digging which lives primarily, but not solely, underground). These burrowing lizards spend much of their time hiding underneath objects.

The next word is automise. this means - like many other lizards - that they have the ability to shed their tails to escape predators. While the tail regrows, it does not reach its original length.


According to the Wildlife Trust, one of the biggest causes of mortality in slow worms in suburban areas is the domestic cat.


Statistics Length: 40-50cm Weight: 20-100g Average lifespan: up to 20 years

Conservation status Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.