Monday, September 28, 2009

Lowly Worm

Not a worm at all, of course. Nor a snake. Anguis Fragilis, the slow worm, is in fact a legless lizard. Quite what it ever did to deserve the removal of all its limbs, I've no idea. Must've been something pretty bad though.

This one was found lurking under the rolled up plastic sheeting that is all that's left of our collapsed polytunnel. I'd put the cover in the Ty Bach (without a roof, due to earlier explosive catastrophe), and when the Horse Doctor went to move it so she could dump some rubble, there was a startled beastie looking up at her. She, of course, ran excitedly round to where I was pressure-washing the house and told me to come see.

Apparently slow worms have been known to bask in the sun during the day, especially pregnant females. More often they like to lurk in damp cool places - under rolled up polytunnel cover, for instance. This one, or one of its mates, has been spotted lurking in the grass-cutting pile as well. The photo doesn't really do it justice, even once embiggened. It's the most amazing copper colour, all shiny and sleek.

Slow worms mostly eat slugs, which is fine by me as the garden is hooching with the slimy wee buggers (slugs that is, not slow worms). I'd really have expected this one to be bigger, given the abundance of food. You'd think there'd be hundreds of the things (slow worms that is, not slugs), lurking under every scrap of might-be-useful-sometime plastic hanging around the place, but so far we've only seen the one.


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