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Small white snake /slow worm .

I was picking up some soil and got a bite / sting on my finger.
After some expletives I carried on.
About 5 minutes later I saw a 6" long pale snake come slowly out of the soil just where i had been working..
It had a desigh on the back of its head...possibly a diamond.

2 hours later no after affects..............Im still as mad as ever  ;)

I Managed to set it free under a bush on some leaves.

I have tried to identify it from the web but no matches.

Ant ideas friends.
Everyone is just trying to be Happy.....So lets help Them.


  • Could it be a juvenile grass snake? But these don't bite. Maybe you got stung by a bee?
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,838
    Probably a young slow worm as they have a black dot on their head and a black stripe down their back.  They would be buried in the soil at this time of year to hibernate. While they do have teeth and can bite stuff it is very rare for them to bite humans but they are not poisonous.
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,481
    If the design could have been a letter 'V', it may have been an immature adder whose sting/bite wasn't developed enough to hurt.
  • A Slow worm can get hold of your finger or loose skin but can't bite in the way that a venomous snake does. You wouldn't feel anything in the way of a sting or fangs penetrating the skin.  They have a serrated edge to their upper and lower jaws that simply allows them to grab and hold things. I'll assume you live in or very near Bristol and as such Slow worm, Grass Snake and Adder are recorded. Smooth Snakes are not.  So it'll be either an Adder, Grass Snake or an exotic escapee!   Consider where you live and what's nearby..... moorland or heath for Adder and Low wetland and waterways for Grass Snake.  Although White forms of both are rare, it is possible as are double headed Adders. (There have been at least two double headed Adders in recent years).  What a shame you didn't photograph it before releasing it as it would have created a great deal of interest.
  • ErgatesErgates Posts: 2,902
    Found a small slow worm on the path by the river this morning. Thought it was a worm at first, very pale and playing dead, until I looked closer and saw that it had a proper little head. Managed to pick it up and transfer it to a safe place in the undergrowth. One side was very pale, the other side a silvery grey. Once it was in the leaves, it perked up and slid away. Very surprised to see it, I thought they should be asleep this time of year. We used to see a lot when we lived near Bath, leave anything flat out in the garden and look under it the next day and there would be at least one slow worm. Very cute things.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,690
    Baby slow worm See the source image

    Baby adder
    See the source image

    Your description sounds more like the slow worm, but they aren't capable of doing anything more than weakly pinching the end of your finger and it's doubtful they would be able to muster up the energy to do even that. Maybe the 'sting' was unrelated and the reptile's appearance a coincidence?
    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour". 
  • ErgatesErgates Posts: 2,902
    Very helpful pictures. Confirmed our suspicion that the one we found yesterday must have been picked up by, and escaped from, a predator, as it was missing the end of its tail. Assume it had shed it to aid its escape.
    I can’t imagine that a slow worm wouldn’t be capable of biting an adult finger, they have fairly small mouths, and are quite peaceful, I could pick them up to move them to safety without any worries.
  • Ante1Ante1 Posts: 3,063
    Interesting fact about slow worms is that they are actually lizards. Extremely useful in the garden and I like to see them in my beds and around veggies. 
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,690
    Slightly ashamed to admit I kept some for a while as 'pets' when I was a kid; they were extensively handled and the worse thing that happened to me was a very light 'nip' - they are very placid creatures and don't have a lot of power in those jaws.
    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour". 
  • jfbwiltsjfbwilts Posts: 1
    Plenty of slow worms in our compost heap!
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