chameleonrose's picture

Slow worm skeleton

Observed: 15th November 2010 By: chameleonrose

I found this minute skeleton in the garden which must be either slow worm or grass snake: just a little wedge shaped head and long spine in 'ox bow' shape. Is there any way of distinguishing one from the other at this stage - like size at hatching? I have a compost heap but haven't found any eggs or shed skin as I would expect if there were grass snakes around, but have never seen slow worms here either. We do have lots of newts...

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) interacts


anonymous spotter's picture

Not Slow-Worm, I think:

The slow-worm, being a legless lizard, has more obvious vestigial pelvis and shoulder bones. These are absent here. I'm told that the teeth are also diagnostic, but there is no sign of those.
The head is also relatively large, more snake-like than the slow-worm.

chameleonrose's picture

fascinating, thanks! I

fascinating, thanks! I thought it was too small for a new born grass snake. I do hope this means there are grass snakes living in the garden!

anonymous spotter's picture

They are nomadic -

if you want to attract them -
A pond helps, because they eat amphibians and fish.
They tend to bask under warm surfaces (like slow-worms), so a tin sheet in a sunny spot would be good.
They lay eggs in compost heaps, so put a few crossed logs at the base to make space for them to get inside.

Blewit Boy's picture

Nice find!

Nice find!