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I was walking with my friend Sharon around Cosmeston today when we spied a refugia and couldn’t resist having a look underneath. This is what we found … but what is going on?

190411 slow-worm (1)

These are Slow-worms (Anguis fragilis), and there look to be two of them intertwined. We assumed they were mating but I’ve been reading that they don’t usually mate until May, and that males and females differ in colour and appearance – these appear to be two females. And what’s with the ants? Are they trying to attack the Slow-worms, irritate them so that they move away?

190411 slow-worm (2)

Answers on a postcard … or in the comments below. Thanks, and if/when I find out more, I’ll update this post.

p.s. I’ve been told by a friend that if one Slow-worm finds a nice warm place to bask, others will join it – so just friends enjoying the warmth together, I think. And the ants don’t like them ’cause the Slow-worms will eat their pupae but the ants can’t harm the Slow-worms.