Slow worm (Anguis fragilis) protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, look like snakes, but are legless lizards. One way to identify them is that they have eyelids. Snakes do not.

Slow worms have smooth and shiny bodies 30-50cm long. Males vary in colour from grey, to light brown or bronze with a pale belly. Females are typically browner than the males, and have darker brown flanks, a dark belly and a black stripe running along the back. Both sexes, but more commonly males, will sometimes have blue spots on the body. This blue colouration is more common in coastal or island populations, and may vary over the year. It does not usually occur until an animal is at least three years old.

Slow worms are thought to be the most commonly distributed of all European reptiles, although they are absent from the far north, Ireland and southern Spain. In Britain, they are commonest in the south west of England and Wales.

Slow worms prefer humid habitats, including grassy meadows, gardens, farmland, woodland margins and open fields.

They emerge from hiding places to hunt at dusk or after rainfall. Slow worms feed on slow-moving prey such as slugs, snails, spiders, insects and earthworms.

They are not often seen in the sun and prefer to hide under rocks and logs. If caught by a predator, they have the ability to lose their tails, which never fully grows back. They hibernate from October to February/March under piles of leaves, tree roots and in crevices.

The photograph was taken on the other side of the Burry/Loughor estuary to Gower, in Llanelli though they are also plentiful on Gower itself.