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Old 20.08.2008, 10:18
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Snake in my garden

I've seen three different kinds of snake in my garden this year. One was a grass snake and one was a viper. Our garden backs onto south facing, dry sunny vineyards so I guess that's where they live, feeding on lizards and mice up there. Yesterday I saw a third type. It was quite big - 1.5m - quite slender, pointy head, pale yellow underneath with grey/olive back. Very pretty as far as snakes go. It definitely wasn't a grass snake and it was way too big to be a smooth snake. I've tried googling but couldn't find anything useful. Does anybody know what it might be?
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Old 20.08.2008, 10:21
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Re: Snake in my garden

I spotted a snake a few weeks back while out cycling. The thing freaked me out quite a bit. Someone posted some good links that might be usefull to you.

Spiders [and poisonous things]
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Old 20.08.2008, 10:29
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Re: Snake in my garden

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I spotted a snake a few weeks back while out cycling. The thing freaked me out quite a bit. Someone posted some good links that might be usefull to you.

Spiders [and poisonous things]
Thanks for this. HeatherM's thumbnail is exactly what I saw. Can anybody identify it?
http://www.englishforum.ch/attachmen...nake-trail.jpg


Last edited by gooner; 20.08.2008 at 10:49.
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Old 20.08.2008, 10:39
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Re: Snake in my garden

That looks like a western whip snake (Hierophis viridiflavus viridiflavus)

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Old 20.08.2008, 10:39
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Re: Snake in my garden

I grew up with adders in our garden in the UK, loved to hate the things, there are two types of adders (vipers) in Switzerland, the grass snake and the smooth snake. Here are some pics:-

http://www.reptil-gr.ch/deutsch/dtho...kungen%20Fotos

With language translations.
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Old 20.08.2008, 10:47
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Re: Snake in my garden

¨
mmmmmmm .... what about scorpions ? Have heard that they are common in parts of Ticino, but Mk II got all excited at the bus stop yesterday, looked exactly like a scorpion, except no curly tail .... about the size of my pinky finger thumbnail & terracotta-red

any ideas arachnophiles ?
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Old 20.08.2008, 10:49
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Re: Snake in my garden

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Thanks for this. HeatherM's thumbnail is exactly what I saw. Can anybody identify it?
http://www.englishforum.ch/attachmen...nake-trail.jpg

I never EVER want to encounter one of those...<shudders>

Freaky
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Old 20.08.2008, 10:50
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Re: Snake in my garden

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I never EVER want to encounter one of those...<shudders>

Freaky
It is harmless.
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Old 20.08.2008, 10:50
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Re: Snake in my garden

Snake in the garden, naked neighbour... what's happening to the good ol' Switzerland I've gotten used to?

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Old 20.08.2008, 10:54
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Re: Snake in my garden

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Thanks for this. HeatherM's thumbnail is exactly what I saw. Can anybody identify it?
http://www.englishforum.ch/attachmen...nake-trail.jpg

Looks like "couleuvre jaune et vert" (Western whip snake/Zornnatter, Coluber viridiflavus, also Hierophis viridiflavus). Not poisonous, does bite though and doesn't let go. Makes chewing motions while attached to you. That's where it got its German name: Rage adder. Very protected in CH, though not really endangered.

Cool!
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Old 20.08.2008, 10:55
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Re: Snake in my garden

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I grew up with adders in our garden in the UK, loved to hate the things, there are two types of adders (vipers) in Switzerland, the grass snake and the smooth snake. Here are some pics:-

http://www.reptil-gr.ch/deutsch/dtho...kungen%20Fotos

With language translations.

The common viper is the prettiest.

I had a laugh trying to pronounce Asp Viper. It turned out more like @ss wiper.

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Old 20.08.2008, 11:09
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Re: Snake in my garden

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Snake in the garden, naked neighbour... what's happening to the good ol' Switzerland I've gotten used to?

Ahh, that would be the common trouser snake (Levi vulgaris)...
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Old 20.08.2008, 11:12
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whipsnake?

http://images.google.com/images?q=ca...=1&sa=N&tab=wi
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Old 20.08.2008, 11:21
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Re: Snake in my garden

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Looks like "couleuvre jaune et vert" (Western whip snake/Zornnatter, Coluber viridiflavus, also Hierophis viridiflavus). Not poisonous, does bite though and doesn't let go. Makes chewing motions while attached to you. That's where it got its German name: Rage adder. Very protected in CH, though not really endangered.

Cool!
Thanks Marmoset - I think you've got it - the couleuvre! Funny you should say about it biting because it was trying to strike at our dog who actually found it and was barking like crazy. That's how I noticed it. Having googled under couleuvre though I think it was this variety:
http://www.planetepassion.com/SPECIE...longissima.htm
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Old 20.08.2008, 11:57
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Re: Snake in my garden

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Thanks Marmoset - I think you've got it - the couleuvre! Funny you should say about it biting because it was trying to strike at our dog who actually found it and was barking like crazy. That's how I noticed it. Having googled under couleuvre though I think it was this variety:
http://www.planetepassion.com/SPECIES%20FACT%20SHEETS/SNAKES/Couleuvre_d'Esculape_Elaphe_longissima.htm

Yep, I was hovering between the whip snake and the Aesculap snake too, but settled on the whip snake given HeatherM's pic.

Quite a few non-poisonous snakes posture and bite to frighten assailants. This tropical rat snake that I removed from a friend's master bedroom (with bbq tongs and a rice sack) made a big show of spreading his neck ribs cobra-style, hissing and snapping at me. One other I met on a jungle path actually leapt off the ground snapping at me from 3 yards off. Impressive! I backed off and let it slither off to safety.

As for the chewing bit, there's one notorious poisonous snake, the coral snake, that needs to chew because it's fangs are in the back of the (very small) mouth to actually deliver the venom. Very sedate snake, you'd really have to scare/annoy it before it bites.

Oh, and couleuvre is a generic French term for any non-poisonous snake. The poisonous ones are honored with full names
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Old 20.08.2008, 12:04
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Re: Snake in my garden

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It is harmless.

Until it gets hold of your hand and starts chewing
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Old 20.08.2008, 12:07
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Re: Snake in my garden

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Until it gets hold of your hand and starts chewing
It's most likely trying to dislodge its teeth. Snakes with teeth (not venom injecting fangs) have rows of teeth that slant backwards so that they can get a good grip on their prey.

So if it gets a good bite then the chewing is either a reflex to sink in and hold to possibly constrict, or it is trying to get loose. Teeth can break off as well.

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Old 20.08.2008, 13:32
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Re: Snake in my garden

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It's most likely trying to dislodge its teeth. Snakes with teeth (not venom injecting fangs) have rows of teeth that slant backwards so that they can get a good grip on their prey.

So if it gets a good bite then the chewing is either a reflex to sink in and hold to possibly constrict, or it is trying to get loose. Teeth can break off as well.

All sounds pretty harmless then! God I hate that skull you posted. It looks pure evil!
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Old 20.08.2008, 13:34
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Re: Snake in my garden

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All sounds pretty harmless then! God I hate that skull you posted. It looks pure evil!
Intended, but that is the skull of a python. A little snake like the whip snake has much smaller, finer teeth that will snap off on a good bite.
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Old 13.06.2011, 14:08
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Re: Snake in my garden

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That looks like a western whip snake (Hierophis viridiflavus viridiflavus)

Yesterday it was a lovely day and we sat on the bench overlooking the lake in Luzerne. There was a bunch of ducks in the water screaming loud from no reason and my wife wanted to come closer to take a pic of them. Then she stumbled across the snake with whom she made a short eye contact and the reptile quickly retreated to get lost in the rocks. Needless to say she was excited and started panicking which drew my attention out of the EF and made me attend to lead the investigations

I checked both sides of the rocks and saw a small snake similar to the one above (but slightly more grey with green head) crawling backward as he saw me. Unfortunately, I was too slow with my iPhone's camera to capture the little creature's motions and the question araised in my mind. What kind of snake it was and what the heck was he doing near the lakes waters. Never seen anything like that. Can someone help to identify it? TIA
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