RAUK - Archived Forum - slow worm eating a slow worm

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slow worm eating a slow worm:

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ben rigsby
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Apr 2010
No. of posts: 337


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Posted: 26 Sep 2010
hi folks,

today i had my usual weekly peek under my mums rubber mat for slow-worms.


glad i did. saw different specimens than previously
eyeballed.

AND WHAT WONDERFUL SURPRISES THEY WERE TOO!!

FIRST, i saw this slow worm eating a slow worm;



yes its a SLOW WORM eating a SLOW worm.

IE one that didnt get away in time.

well what did you think i meant?

the earthworm was a pretty big prey item.
half the size of the AF!
it could hardly get its mouth around it.

the SW was a beautiful youngster. shiny as new coin;

'


there were 3 under the mat.

number TWO;



and last but BEST OF ALL, how about this tiny baby barely 3 inches long;

clearly from a different "litter" too.

what does it eat?

aphids? dust mites? amoebas?









heres a couple of pics from today in my own garden;

Mr grossly RAUK under-represented Toad;
ok so hes never going to win any beauty contests - unless its a toads-only one.
he hardly moves with the grace of an ice skater either.

but never mind the glamour, a very successful and interesting herp species!

and my, what beautiful eyes you have Mr Bufo;



i often find newts grouped together under rocks or logs
are they gathered together in a safety-in-numbers
type strategy or other reason, or is it simply that theyve all found the best crevice under the refuge?
there are plenty of refugia options here.

i see it quite often and havent noticed frogs doing it.

thoughts anyone?









spot the new metamorph in this 2 frog pic?;



here he/she is;

















frogs and smooth/palmate newts together in refugia;





long live garden habitat!

ben






Diversity.
dave fixx
Senior Member
Joined: 13 Mar 2007
No. of posts: 319


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Posted: 26 Sep 2010
you rascal Ben had me going then.Excellent finds mate.
Dave Williams
davewilliamsphotography.co.uk
Caleb
Forum Coordinator
Joined: 17 Feb 2003
No. of posts: 448


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Posted: 27 Sep 2010
[QUOTE=ben rigsby]
i often find newts grouped together under rocks or logs
are they gathered together in a safety-in-numbers
type strategy or other reason, or is it simply that theyve all found the best crevice under the refuge?
there are plenty of refugia options here.
[/QUOTE]

One theory is that it's for moisture retention- the newts retain moisture better when balled up together. I've certainly only seen it in captive newts when they're pretty dry.

I've no idea why they come together, though- do they actively seek out other newts, or just accumulate at the best spot? How often do cross-species newt balls occur? (I've seen a few crested/smooth aggregations, but smooth-only seems more common).
AGILIS
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Feb 2007
No. of posts: 694


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Posted: 27 Sep 2010
Ben its a good job we have digital cams as you would have gone bankrupt in the past on film processing keith
   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID
Vicar
Senior Member
Joined: 02 Sep 2004
No. of posts: 1181


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Posted: 01 Oct 2010
Really good stuff Ben. That toad photo is a cracker! I've always had trouble getting the depth of field right with larger amphibians.
Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).

- slow worm eating a slow worm

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