Grass Snake

Full name: Natrix natrix (Linnaeus, 1758)

Endemic subspecies N. n. cypriaca (Hecht, 1930)


Individuals of the species can reach a length of one meter and are distinct in three different colorations.

Standard coloration: gray, yellowish color with black spots or stripes in the middle and the flanks of the body. A characteristic dark crescent is located behind the cheeks.
Black coloration: uniform black coloring.
Brindle coloring (picturata): uniform black color body in which distinct whitish spots can be seen.

Very calm snake which does not exhibit aggressive behavior not even when disturbed. As a defense mechanism it secrets malodorous liquid from the vent.


Found in lakes, streams and rivers with banks of rich vegetation. It is an excellent swimmer and hides beneath algae in the water.


Frogs, tadpoles and small fishes.


It can lay from 4-18 eggs under rocks during the end of summer (July-August).


Distribution in Cyprus:
Highly restricted distribution in specific areas of the island

Distribution worldwide:
Norhwest Afica, Europe (not in the northern par), west Asia (but Arabian peninsula), parts of central Asia.
The subspecies Natrix natrix cypriaca is endemic of Cyprus.



Special protection:
• Endemic subspecies of Cyprus
• Priority species
• Strictly protected by European directive 92/43/EC
• Strictly protected by national law 153(I)2003




About Us



Herpetological Society of Cyprus (HSC) was established in 1990 with the aim of promoting, studying and conserving Cyprus’ herpetofauna. As part of its work, HSC fulfill presentations, educational seminars, studies and researches, along with other activities that relates with informing and educating the public about reptiles Cyprus.

Contact Details
           Address:   Herpetological Society,
                            P.O box 61435,
                            Paphos, Cyprus
           Tel:          +357 26 967600
           Fax:         +357 26 967007
           Email: HerpetSocietyCy@gmail.com


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