Up to 40 centimetres long, the slow-worm resembles a snake but is actually a legless lizard. It can live up to 30 years in the wild. With a cylindrical body, it is a shiny greyish-bronze to dark brown, with smooth glossy scales. It can be plain or with dark stripes.
Living in grasslands, shrubs, parks and gardens, the slow-worm can be found in Europe, northern Africa and southwest Asia.
The slow-worm feeds on snails, insects, worms and spiders. It hibernates from October to March, sometimes in groups in holes. Although mainly active at twilight, they occasionally bask in the sun. The young are born from eggs that the mother retains until they are ready to hatch. The slow-worm is able to shed its tail to escape from a predator.