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Anguis fragilis

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 7 February 2015 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

Anguis fragilis

NL: Hazelworm
EN: Slow worm, Blindworm
DE: Blindschleiche
FR: Orvet fragile, Orvet commun

Although these limbless lizards are often mistaken for snakes, a number of features differentiate them from snakes. The most important one is that they have small eyes with eyelids that blink like lizards'; this feature is not found in snakes. They may also have visible ears as do lizards, which snakes do not have. They shed their skin in patches like other lizards, rather than the whole skin as most snakes do. Slow worms also shed tails (autotomy) by breaking one of their tail vertebrae in half, as a defence mechanism to escape predators, as lizards do. Also, the pattern of their ventral scales is totally different from that of snakes. These reptiles are mostly active during the twilight and occasionally bask in the sun, but are more often found hiding beneath rocks and logs. They are carnivorous and, because they feed on slugs and worms, they can often be found in long grass and other damp environments.

Image: Schilde (BE) - 27/08/2014

Canon EOS 7D 1/100 second F/5.6 ISO 200 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

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All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

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Maxine from Christchurch, New Zealand

Like a snake! Beautiful patterns and colors.

7 Feb 2015 6:52am

Marie-France from Angers, France

Charmante bestiole... bonne journée !

7 Feb 2015 9:20am

Aigleloup from Rebecq, Belgium

De toute beauté en photo ou au naturel

7 Feb 2015 9:34am

L'Angevine from Angers, France

oh mieux que je le vois qu'en photo!!!lol

8 Feb 2015 8:45am

Canon EOS 7D
1/100 second
ISO 200
150 mm