The European Grass Snake (Natrix natrix) is a colubrid species which feeds primarily on amphibians.
This species can reach up to 190cm (6ft 3in), though such large individuals are rare, with females growing signifcantly larger than males. The average female reaches a size of 1m (over 3ft) long, with males usually 20cm (8in) shorter and much thinner in girth.
The European Grass Snake is only 1 of 3 snake species found (naturally) in Great Britain, distributed throughout England and Wales. It is mostly absent from Scotland and not found at all in Ireland (which has no native snakes). This species is also found in mainland Europe from Scandinavia to southern Italy, and as far as northwestern Africa and the Middle East. British grass snakes belong to the subspecies N. n. helvetica.
As shown by the above photo, the European Grass Snake is one species which employees “playing dead” as a tact to avoid predation (as do Hognosed Snakes and other species). Whilst playing dead (thanatosis) this species can produce a garlic smelling fluid from the anal glands and blood from the mouth and nose.
European Grass Snakes prey primarily on amphibians, particularly the common toad and frogs, though they will also eat mammals and fish. As their preferred prey is found near water, this is where Grass Snakes are often spotted, though their preferred habitat is woodland borders and field margins.
Grass snakes, as with most reptiles, are at the mercy of the thermal environment and need to overwinter in areas which are not subject to freezing. Thus, they typically spend the winter underground where the temperature is relatively stable.
Posted on Monday, 24 September
Reblogged from: reptilefacts
Posted by: reptilefacts
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