Large Whip Snake

Full name: Dolichophis jugularis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Endemic subspecies D. j. cypriacus (Zinner, 1972)


Probably the biggest snake in Europe with length up o 3 meters (although in Cyprus rarely we encounter a snake larger than 2 meters). The color pattern of juveniles and adults differ. Young individuals have olive green color with dark brown flakes in their back. While coming of age (3-4 years) this pattern is lost and individuals attain uniform black color. The abdomen is iridescent white, while the lower lateral surface of the head and neck may present yellowish or reddish colors. This species has a thick, muscular body is very agile and has the ability to climb with great ease.


Wide spread on the island without preference for specific habitat.


Small mammals, birds, lizards or even other smaller snakes. The young individuals feed on large insects.


Reproduction starts during late spring. Clutches are laid during June-July. Each clutch has 6-18 eggs with 50mm length. Juveniles are approximately 28cm in length and hatched in early September.


Distribution in Cyprus:
From the coast to an altitude of 1700m.

Distribution worldwide:
Greece (Dodecanese islands), south Turkey, Cyprus, coast of east Mediterranean until Iran.

Common and widespread on the island.

Special protection:
• 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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