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Fife Amphibian and Reptile Group


Reptiles old

Adder (Vipera berus)


The Adder is a UK BAP priority species. In Fife there have been no recorded sightings during recent times. There are however, historical records of sites where these snakes have been found, particularly around Dunino, Peat Inn, Thornton and Wemyss. These snakes are known to be very lazy, they are most often seen when basking in the sun. Their ideal habitats are heathland, open woodland, hedgerows and bogs. They prey on smaller animals such as frogs, toads and lizards.

Grass Snake (Natrix natrix)

female grass snake

There have been only two reported sightings of this UK BAP priority reptile within Fife, these were in Anstruther and Elie in 1960. It is widely believed these finds were the result of released or escaped, captive bred snakes.

Slow Worm (Anguis fragilis)

slow worm

The slow worm is a UK BAP priority species, it is not a native species of Fife although there have been four recorded sightings. At least one of those sightings was confirmed as an escapee from a neighbouring garden. Despite this it is widely believed through local knowledge that the slow worm inhabits the woods between Burntisland and Aberdour. Preferred habitats are wet and include heathland, hedgerows, railway embankments and open woodland. The slow worm is a very secretive species and as such incidental sightings are unlikely to occur, the best chance of spotting these reptiles is during the evening, or after a rain shower.

Common (Viviparous) Lizard (Lacerta vivipara)

common lizard

The common Lizard is a UK BAP priority species. There have been forty eight recorded sightings within Fife, of the common lizard. Population numbers nationally have been in decline. The best time to see these lizards is on a sunny day in the Autumn, this is when they are often found basking in the sun.

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