Log in Register

Portrait of a slow worm

Its head is not visibly separated from the main body, unlike other native lizard species.

(photo: Gábor Szelényi)

The SLOW WORM's body is snake-like, without legs. Head smaller and less flattened than in snakes, and lacking defined neck. Tail end rounded. Total length up to 50 cm. Eyes small with movable eyelids. Scales smooth and shiny. Dorsal colour variable, light or dark brown, silvery, pinkish, or often coppery; females and juveniles frequently have a dark vertebral stripe. Flanks are of similar colour but lighter in males, and darker in females. Ventral side grey, sometimes almost black. In Eastern Hungary A. colhica occurs where – especially in males –the back has bright blue spots. Back of juveniles usually yellowish-white, or gold, sides and belly black.

Distibution map by our National Herpetological Mapping Program:

Juvenile slow worm

Dorsal colour of juvenile slow worm is lighter than adults.

(photo: Nikola Rahmé)

Copper-brown coloured slow worm

Its scales are usually shiny in copper-like reddish brownish colour, easily distinctive character from any native snake species.

(photo: Judit Vörös)

Crawling slow worm

While crawling its body is moving like a snake, however never bending in so tightly like a snake.

(photo: Judit Vörös)

Lateral view of slow worm

When watched closer from the side its head is more lizard-like.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Frontal view of slow worm

Its head is fairly high, while mouth is relatively small, cannot be opened too wide. Its tongue is forked, but with much shorter stalks, than in snakes. 

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Vöröses árnyalatú lábatlan gyík

Üvegszerűen merev teste miatt kapta tudományos nevében a "törékeny - fragilis" jelzőt.

(fotó: Vörös Judit)

Slow worm next to piles of log wood

While hiking in forests it is often spotted next to piles of log wood.

(photo: Tibor Kovács)

Arrangement of head scales of slow worm

Apical (red) and Frontal plate (blue) never in touch (at Eastern slow-worm they are in touch -see there)

(graphics: Dely O. Gy. (1978) et Vörös J. (2012)