Prakatan180's picture

Snake or slow worm head (sadly dead)

Observed: 15th June 2013 By: Prakatan180
Snake or slow worm (sadly dead)
snake or slow worm head (sadly dead)
Description:

Silvery brown topside, dull light brown underside, slim body, 30 cm long approx (although tail tip missing)

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Amadan's picture

I love these little creatures -

People mistake them for snakes, but there are clues: there is no real distinct neck, and if you watch closely, they can blink, which snakes can't.
See -
http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/slow_worm.htm
and you can probably tell which sex your specimen is.

Prakatan180's picture

Thanks Amadan, interesting

Thanks Amadan, interesting stuff. From that I would definitely say this was a male and as the eyes were both shut I can confirm the presence of eyelids :-)

Masked Marvel's picture

It is unusual that the eyes

It is unusual that the eyes were closed all the time and that it stayed on its back for you to get the photo of the underside. It looks like it might be injured or ill, I'm afraid.

Prakatan180's picture

masked marvel

Yes, sorry I probably should have said, this little creature was dead unfortunately. He was lying motionless on some cut grass and it looked like his tail had been sliced off so I assume killed by grass cutter, poor chap

DavidHowdon's picture

Tails

They can shed their tails as a way to escape so that may not have been what killed it. I've added an example of a shed tail I found to iSpot some time ago - see http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/154129?nav=comments

--
David Howdon

Prakatan180's picture

Wow

What a fantastic find! I know some lizards can do this but never actually seen one that was shed.

Amadan's picture

The eyes also become opaque

Before they slough their skin. It tends to come away in patches in this species, unlike most other UK reptiles, whose sloughed entire skins can sometimes be found.

Masked Marvel's picture

Slow worm skins do come off

Slow worm skins do come off in one piece although the skin is thin compared to snakes and breaks easily. When you do find a whole skin its like a crumpled stocking.

Amadan's picture

That's interesting -

I've never found one - so had no reason to doubt the book-wisdom!
Looking closely, you may be right about it not being in good form.