ARC’s Dorset Field Officer, Rick has recently managed to get back into the office to sort through the snake and lizard sloughs (shed skins) donated to our Reptile Genebank. It took a whole day but they are all now safely ensconced in our store. A big thank you to everybody who has donated to this project over the last few months, we had just over 70 sloughs donated since the last update in January 2020, including 27 adder sloughs from Thorne and Hatfield Moors nature reserve.

The most surprising donation was a Boa slough found in some woods! This is probably from an escaped pet, these animals seldom survive our winters even in the milder areas of the country. As a non-native this slough can’t go into the Reptile Genebank but we were able to identify the species for the donor.

The Reptile Genebank is a national store of our reptile heritage and open to academics for all sorts of different studies including species genetics, disease prevalence and pigment studies. We would love to have more so please have a look at the map and see if you can fill in any of the blank spaces.

If you do find a snake or lizard (including slow-worm) slough anywhere in the UK please visit our Reptile Genebank page to find out how to donate it.