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Montpellier Snake – Mapolon monspessulanus (Hermann 1804)

August 20th, 2010 No comments

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Mapolon monspessulanus (Hermann 1804)
Family: Colubridae Boiginae

Montpellier Snake – venomous

CHARACTERISTICS
Very strong snake with a head indented in the middle and strikingly big eyes and round pupils. Head unicolour or bright and dark patches and lines. Body mostly monochrome, grey or greyish brown. Abdomen cream-yellow to light grey.

Habitat: Southern Europe, North Africa and South-West Asia.
Biotope: Above all open and dry landscapes in planes and hills. But also proceeds to the mountains. The species rather like to live in the sunny biotopes. Can live in humid areas, but rather seldom.
Habits: This is a remarkably fast and agile snake which is very shy and flees at the slightest danger uttering a strong hiss.
Food: Lizards, snakes and birds. The poison fangs sitting far behind in the upper jaw are effective only when the prey is already far deep in the throat. The venom serves to prepare the prey for digestion and so to relive the stomach.

This snake is not normally dangerous to man. Only when it succeeds to grip a finger deep enough in its jaw the venom can penetrate.

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