Western Whip Snake

Western Whip Snake

Western Whip Snake - Hierophis viridiflavus

Rather slender, robust snake, with quite a small head. The adults, which reach 80-100 cm in length, are yellowish-white with greenish-brown horizontal bands across the foreparts, becoming longitudinal in the hindparts. Locally completely black or dark individuals also occur.

Western Whip Snake

The young have yellowish heads with a large black marks, whilst their body is a greenish-grey with irregular brown bands.

It normally live in woods and thickets typical of the Mediterranean climate. It frequents sunny places with open woodlands, stony grounds, roads, paths and river banks; it sometimes occurs in wetlands.

Lethargy begins in September-October and ends in March-April; it overwinters in burrows in the ground but also in stables, cellars and little-frequented buildings in general. Very swift and agile snake, it is also capable of climbing vegetation.

Breeding takes place in summer when 5-15 eggs are laid in holes in the ground or dry walls etc. It catches its prey on sight, taking lizards, small mammals, other snakes and birds.

The young also prey on insects like grass hoppers and crickets. Together with the Grass Snake (Natrix natrix), it is one of the most common snakes in Europe.

It is harmless to man, but when disturbed it can look aggressive, giving the impression it will bite.