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Tralee Bay

The Slow-worm is often mistakenly thought to be one of our native snakes. Slow-worms have very few markings other than the vertebral stripe of the female. This is thin and straight and not similar to the indented zigzag stripe of the Adder (Vipera berus).

The Slow-worm has a noticeably blunter tail than any of the native snakes and the head is quite indistinct from the body. They have very small, highly polished scales, giving a glassy appearance.

On very close examination, it might be seen that the Slow-worm has eyelids, a typical feature of lizards. Another typical feature of lizards displayed by them, is the shedding of the tail when captured. The shed tail falling to the ground and thrashing makes a very effective decoy to predators, whilst the Slow-worm makes for cover.

The Slow-worm is a harmless creature, please remember, whether it is a Snake or Legless Lizard, it is a criminal offence to kill or injure any of the UK's native reptiles.

slow worm
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