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Friday 25th May 2007
Old Lodge - Slow Worm

An evening visit to Old Lodge with Robert produced a slow worm hiding under a small piece of corrugated iron. It didn't move a muscle as we took a good long look at it. Finally we put the cover back and left it to sleep. There were woodcock roding around us, the sound of nightjars churring and two cuckoos having a duet as well. Much better than the sounds of Crawley on a Friday night!

The Slow worm (Anguis fragilis). Not a snake but a legless lizard (I think someone called me that once). The clue is in the fact that a slow worm has eyelids and a snake does not. The slow worm can even do the lizard trick of shedding its tail if it is in serious danger. But please don't pick them up to find out.

It is very difficult to tell the sex of this slow worm because it is a sub-adult.
It was about 30 cm long and a full grown adult is around 50 cm long. The adult female has a thin, dark line down her back and has dark flanks whereas the adult male is usually light brown in colour with no central line. All things considered I think it may be a male.