<< Previous Next >>

Aesculapian Snake

Aesculapian Snake
Photo Information
Copyright: JeanMarie Mouveroux (Nephrotome2) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 599 W: 60 N: 660] (2538)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-12
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Olympus C770 UZ, no lens, (digital), No Filter
Exposure: f/3.5, 1/30 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Snakes - Serpientes - Serpents, Reptiles of Europe [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-05-13 5:50
Viewed: 4445
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Aesculapian Snake
Zamenis longissimus (= Elaphe longissima)
couleuvre d'Esculape

It is a snake native to Europe. 2m long.
It is a large slender non-venomous snake, which is an excellent tree-climber. When young, it feeds on lizards, as an adult its diet consists of rodents, moles, and shrews, young birds and eggs which it kills by constriction, or suffocation by eating its victim head first. Female lay clutches of 5-8 eggs in June/July.
For grieks this snake was a symbol of Asclepios. Then for romans the symbol of Aesculape. They had veneration for this snake and had special baskets to carry them. It is believed than the actual dotted repartition of this snake is due to the time of the roman invasion of Europe. The snakes were brought and some escaped.

The one we saw was progressing with a good pace. This was the only decent shot and I managed it at the only time it stopped. A few seconds only.
I had many tries to photograph it on the move. Getting close was easy. I was just going in its way and he would just carry on straight forward. Also no vegetation in the way: only dead leaves on the ground and large trees. The difficulty was the darkness in the wood. Lot of blur motion pics which would have been great if the unblur areas had been the head instead of the neck of some part of the body.
Snakes can be so good in hiding! There were no places to hide. It eventually went under some dead leaves (much similar as those on my pic). When we removed the leaves it had vanished! Probably underground into some vole holes. We were astonished such a large animal can just disappear so efficiently in this no-hyde place.

Capture values:
ISO 125

PP work:
crop below
levels adjustment.

Thanks for looking.


Alex99, Dave, boreocypriensis, Argus has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Buen conjunto, adecuado fondo y sobre todo una gran naturalidad en los colores. Saludos Jean Marie: Josep Ignasi.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-05-13 10:58]

Hi JeanMarie.
I like wonderful shot of the snake. Low POV is very impressive as well as crisp sharpness of the reptile image and excellent DOF. I also like excellent exposure, soft light and natural colours. Well done and TFS.

  • Great 
  • Dave Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 503 W: 43 N: 657] (2178)
  • [2008-05-21 22:35]

Great note and beautiful detail! I almost caught a big black snake in my yard earlier this month. They are very cool creatures and can manage to disappear mighty fast.
I've been so busy that I've not been spending much time here, however I really enjoyed your post on my copperhead bite and previous posts that helped me pick the better picture, Lamprey
I didn't even take the time to try any jumping trout pictures this past year. My children are old enough now that I probably would not kill another copperhead found nearby like in copperhead bite, but I can't say the same for my wife.
Very good job on "Aesculapian Snake"!
My regards,


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-05-22 19:43]

Hello Jeanmarie

A very good shot of this snake.The eye detail is excellent.
Very good texture and detail in the skin.
Good focus and sharpness.
The colours appear natural.
The low pov is very good.


Hi Jean Marie,
Perfectly focused and detailed potrait capture of this beautiful snake with nice compositon. TFS this beauty.


Hello JeanMarie,
Your photo does not stand out as a thumbnail, but the full version reveals a wonderfully camouflaged reptile in perfect focus-the colours are very natural & earthy.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-08-01 7:15]

Bonjour JeanMarie,
Technically excellent capture of the head and neck of the Aesculapian Snake from a pleasing POV and ina fine composition among the dead leaves. Good note too.
Thanks for sharing this,

Calibration Check