|Copyright: Siarhei Biazberdy (biazberdy)
|Date Taken: 2005-09-25|
|Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-F828|
|Exposure: f/3.2, 1/80 seconds|
|Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2006-08-30 14:34|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Grass-snakes in the pine forest preparing for hibernation.|
The Grass Snake, sometimes called the Ringed Snake or Water Snake (Natrix natrix) is a European non-venomous snake.
The Grass Snake is typically dark green or brown in colour with a characteristic yellow collar behind the head, which explains the alternative name ringed snake. The colour may also range from grey to black. The underside is lighter in colour. In Britain the Grass Snake is the largest reptile reaching up to 120cm total length.
They prey almost entirely on amphibians, especially the common frog, although they also occasionally eat mammals and fish. Grass Snakes are strong swimmers and are usually found close to fresh water.
Grass Snakes hibernate over the winter and mate soon after they emerge in the spring during April or May. The leathery skinned eggs are laid in batches of 8-40 in June to July and hatch after about 10 weeks. As eggs require a temperature of at least 21° C to hatch, rotting vegetation, including compost heaps are preferred locations. The young are around 18cm long when they hatch and are immediately independent.
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