Western whip snake France

 

INDEX

 

 

 

Share on Facebook  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

           

  

Couleuvre verte et Jaune ~~ Hierophis, (Coluber), viridiflavus  

( syn. Française Zamenis)

(various English names)

Green/Yellow snake – Dark green snake – Western whip snake

The Couleuvre verte et jaune is present in the southern three quarters of France and is difficult to confuse with any other snake in this country. As its name implies it is predominantly  dark green with yellow dashes or bands which are transversal on the main part of its body and are longitudinal towards the tail, although as can be seen in the photos various forms exist depending on the stage of development with young snakes up to about 45cm being a grey / brown with a marbled head.  Being up to 2 metres adults can be a large snakes, prominent eyes with round pupils.

 
Photo.Couleuvre-verte-et-jaune.Coluber-viridflavus.Pale-juvenile.France
Photo. Juvenile or transitional Western whip snake with pale coloration
 

It occupies all types of habitat with a preference for dry, quiet areas – open woodlands and land which is left to scrub or fallow, sometimes to be found near rivers or other wet areas. It is an extraordinary hunter; its prey varies with local availability and it will take small mammals, small birds, frogs, lizards etc. It has also been known to eat adders and even its own species. 

 

The couleuvre verte et jaune is above all else a powerful snake, though normally discreet it can be obstinate and aggressive, thrashing the ground with its tail and hissing when angered, sometimes tilting its head back and then striking and biting with force, it is this force which gives it the ability to overcome its victims but is of no serious concern to humans. It is also an agile climber weaving its way with speed through bushes and hedgerows.

 
Photo.Western_whip_snake.France.Photo.(Lesley Hanmore).

Photo. Juvenile western whip snake. France.(Lesley Hanmore).

 

Hibernation takes place from October until April using spaces in the ground, low cavities in trees, stone walls etc.

Coupling takes place in May and can result in violent fights between males for a female, this can also occur between the sexes. During copulation the partners roll and twist themselves around each other, keeping their heads raised upright, photos below . Between 5 and 20 eggs are deposited under stones, old tree stumps or in rotting vegetation in June/July, the young hatching 6 to 8 weeks later.

 
Photo.Western-whip-snakes-breeding.France.(Jenny McGowan)
 
Photo.Western-whip-snakes-breeding.France.(Jenny McGowan)

Photos above: Western whip snakes coupling, France (Jenny McGowan)

Western-whip-snakes-mating-Photo-Molly-France
Photo of a pair of western whip snakes mating taken by a young girl called Molly in France. Perhaps a future naturalist?
 

Hibernation takes place from October until April using spaces in the ground, low cavities in trees, stone walls etc.

Coupling takes place in May and can result in violent fights between males for a female, this can also occur between the sexes. During copulation the partners roll and twist themselves around each other, keeping their heads raised upright, photos below . Between 5 and 20 eggs are deposited under stones, old tree stumps or in rotting vegetation in June/July, the young hatching 6 to 8 weeks later.

 
                       
 

Population: in decline.

NOT VENOMOUS

 

Larger Couleuvre verte et jaune should be handled with caution! If you do not know how to handle snakes, gently use a long stick or something similar if you need to move one, left alone they will soon move away. Any strike will not be harmful.

 

 

More photos below.
 
Photo.Western-whip-snake..Coluber-viridiflavus..Couleuvre-verte-et-jaune.France.Peter-Williams

Photo. Western whip snake. P. Williams

 
Photo.Western-whip-snake..Coluber-viridiflavus..Couleuvre-verte-et-jaune.Hatchling.France.Roger-Meek

Photo. Western whip snake, hatchling. R.Meek

 
Photo.Western-whip-snake..Coluber-viridiflavus..Couleuvre-verte-et-jaune.Juvenile.France.Roger-Meek

Photo. Western whip snake, juvenile. R.Meek

 
Photo.Western-whip-snake..Coluber-viridiflavus..Couleuvre-verte-et-jaune.Preparing-to-strike.France.Roger-Meek.

Photo. Western whip snake, preparation to strike. R.Meek

Photo.Western-whip-snakes-breeding.France.Janet-Desforges.

Photo. Western whip snakes breeding. France, Janet Desforges.


 

hit counter