Drama in the compost heap

Just something to share with you: we have a big compost heap, one section of which is maturing under a layer of old carpet. In warm weather we get slow worms basking under the carpet, and occasionally a grass snake. Then one day I saw a fat frog, about two inches long, sitting near the slow worms. The next time we looked, there was a small grass snake too, with the frog's head in its mouth! The frog was wriggling, and as we watched it gave a big kick and freed itself. We haven't seen either the frog or the snake since, but the slow worms are still there.

Do grass snakes eat slow worms, I wonder?


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICTPosts: 10,227

    Yes, Natrix natrix, the European grass snake lives almost exclusively on amphibians but will also eat small fish and smaller snakes. So I suppose it would eat a slow worm too.

    A long time ago when these things were seen as harmless fun, my brother used to keep grass snakes in a vivarium. He captured them in a small pond near the house and we used to sit and watch them both swimming in the pond and living in the tank in his bedroom. Beautiful things. 

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • LynLyn Posts: 8,059

    Nature is hard, my daughters little froglets came out of the water(a while ago now) and a big frog eat one she was so upset having reared them from spawn.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    So what is the large Grass Snake in my garden living on? There is no pond here, some years there are a few toads, but nothing really for this kind of creature.image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,721

    They cover quite a wide range and eat fairly infrequently - he'll be finding plenty of frogs and toads, nestlings and small mammals to keep him (or more likely her) alive.


    A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in - Greek proverb 
  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168


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