Cyprus -Nature- Snakes
There are six type of snakes in Cyprus, (two types of Whip snake) of which
three are poisonous: Only one of these, the blunt-nosed viper can be dangerous
to humans. The other two are the slender cat snake and the Montpellier snake.
Cat snake (Telescopus tallax cyprianus) Up to about 80cm in length. The snake
is distinguished by its broad flat head, vertical slit eyes and the large scales
on its forehead. Along its whole length one can discern square shaped markings
in a diamond like pattern. The colour of the snake can be beige, brown or green,
while the square shapes always stand out.
Montpellier snake (Malpolon monspessulanus insignitus) It has lids over large
round eyes. The markings on young snakes are very variable basically brown but
with either yellow stripes or spots or lines. Adults however, are either grey or
olive-green with the underside of the snake being pale or slightly yellow.
Blunt-nosed viper (Macrovipera l.lebetina cypriensis) This snake can reach a
length of 130cm and the thickness of your arm. It can be easily recognized by
it's blunt nose. Sandy in coloure. geocities.com
The Large Whip snake (Coluber jugularis) The most common of all the snake. It
can reach a length of as much as two and a half metres. Olive-brown but as the
snake gets a bit older, the colour changes to a blue-black, with only the
underside of the head a light colour, and smooth scales.
Worm snake (Typhlops vermicularis) Pinky-brown in colour and is often found
hiding under stones, and just looks like an earthworm.
Cyprus Whip snake (Coluber cypriensis) The only endemic reptile in Cyprus. The
young Whip snake is beige, its underside pale pink, after about a year its
colour starts to change to an olive green. Then after about two and a half years
it becomes all black in colour with a green tinge.
Cyprus Grass snake (Natrix natrix cypriaca) The colour of the normal variant of
the Grass Snake is light to dark brown. The second is Dark brown to black and
the animals belong to the "Picturata" variant. The third variant, named "Melanotic"
has a uniform deep blue-black colour and does not have any markings.
Coin snake (Coluber nummifer) The markings of this snake are very similar to the
venomous Blunt-nosed viper. The head stands out from the body and is relatively
big. The pupils are round; the body is strong, but slim; the tail tapers to a
long thin end. Its head has large scales and the body has a glistening sheen.
All these characteristics distinguish it from the Blunt-Nosed Viper.