Viperine Water Snake

Viperine Water Snake

Viperine snake

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Natrix maura
Population size
Unknown
LENGTH
102 cm

The Viperine water snake is a nonvenomous, semiaquatic snake that was given its common names due to behavioral and aesthetic similarities with sympatric adder species. It is gray, brown, or reddish dorsally, with a black zigzag vertebral stripe, and lateral series of black ocelli with yellow centers. The labials are yellow with black sutures. It has a diagonal dark band on each temple, and another behind it on each side of the neck. Ventrally, it is yellow or red, checkered with black, or all black.

Di

Diurnal

Ca

Carnivore

Pi

Piscivores

Se

Semiaquatic

Pr

Predator

Te

Terrestrial

Ov

Oviparous

Pr

Precocial

No

Non-venomous

Ge

Generally solitary

Hi

Hibernating

V

starts with

Distribution

Geography

Viperine water snakes are found in southwestern Europe and northwestern Africa. They live in meadows and open woodlands near rivers, lakes, ponds, streams and have also been recorded from areas of brackish water.

Viperine Water Snake habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Viperine water snakes are not aggressive and rarely bite. They are active during the day spending most of their time in water hunting aquatic animals. They may gather in groups to warm in the sun, shelter, or hibernate together under rocks. Viperine water snakes look like an adder and behave like one. They are known to strike like an adder, but not bite. However, when in water, Viperine snakes look like Grass snakes and hunt their prey in the same way.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Viperine water snakes are carnivores (piscivores). Their diet includes fish, frogs, and other aquatic animals.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
starts in March
FEMALE NAME
female
MALE NAME
male
BABY NAME
snakelet
BABY CARRYING
20 eggs

The breeding season of Viperine water snakes starts in March when they emerge after hibernation. Females lay up to 20 eggs in moist soil usually in close proximity to water.

Population

Population threats

The main threats to Viperine water snakes include modification and pollution of their wetland habitat. These snakes are also sometimes killed by people, who mistake them with venomous vipers.

Population number

According to IUCN, the Viperine water snake is locally common throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.

References

1. Viperine Water Snake on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natrix_maura
2. Viperine Water Snake on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/61538/12510365

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