Close-up of a slow worm head (c) Graham Hall

Slow worm

Slow worms look superficially like snakes, but are actually legless lizards. One way to identify them is to see if they have eyelids. Lizards (and therefore slow worms) do while snakes are lidless.

How to identify UK reptiles.

Scientific name: Anguis fragilis

Rank: Species

Common names:


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Map showing the distribution of the Slow worm taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Slow worm can be found in a number of locations including: Asia, Europe, Mediterranean, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Slow worm distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

BBC News about Slow worm

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