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: 12,666

    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 DevonPosts: 10,544

    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. 
    Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. 
  • 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: 48,986

    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.


    "...tea and toasted buttered currant buns, can't compensate for lack of sun because the summer's all gone..."   Autumn Almanac - Ray Davies
  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168


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