Snakes of Spain: southern Spain is well known for a couple of things: cheap flights to fancy places, good beaches, Brits abroad, and one more thing: SNAKES! Yes, there is no shortage of these scaly reptiles that can be found on the Iberian Peninsula. So why not explore them all?
Spain has one of the most diverse collections of snakes in Europe. The most venomous snake in Spain is the Montpellier Snake (Malpolon monspessulanus), which can be found throughout the country.
However, there are many other non-venomous species that live among us, like ladder snakes (Zamenis scalaris) and grass snakes (Natrix natrix).
The Horseshoe Whip Snake (Hemorrhois hippocrepis) is also common in Spain, but it doesn’t bite humans unless provoked or threatened. Snakes are cold-blooded animals that rely on external sources for body heat.
They often seek out secluded areas such as caves and rock crevices during the hottest hours of the day, where temperatures remain cooler than outside under direct sunlight exposure.
Snakes of Spain
Spain has a wide variety of snakes and other reptiles. Although most are non-venomous, there are some venomous species that can be dangerous to humans. The following is a list of the snakes found in Spain.
The most well-known snake in Spain is the European viper (Vipera berus). It lives throughout Europe but is most common in southern Europe.
It is usually between 60 and 90 cm long and has a triangular head with very sharp teeth. It is brown with darker spots on its body and has a grayish underbelly.
The smooth snake (Coronella austriaca), also known as the small whipsnake or grass snake, can reach 1 meter long and has a triangular head with small eyes and small fangs at the front of its mouth.
It is a brown color with dark blotches on its back, neck, and tail and white spots on its belly. The common adder (Vipera berus) lives all over Europe, except for some parts of Scandinavia and the islands in the Mediterranean.
It is generally between 50 and 100 cm long but can reach 1 meter when it stretches out after being threatened or disturbed by humans or other predators. Its color varies from pale gray to brown, often with darker bands or spots on the body.
The common smooth snake (Coronella austriaca) is also known as the smooth snake, grass snake, and European grass snake. It has been introduced into North America and is now common in Massachusetts.
Connecticut, Ohio, and New York State This snake typically grows to a length of about 50 cm, but some specimens can reach a length of up to 1 meter.
It is commonly found in moist areas such as wetlands, marshes, and forest edges, where it feeds on amphibians such as frogs and salamanders as well as small mammals such as voles and shrews.
Points to keep in mind
- Venomous snakes in Spain
- False Smooth Snake (Macroprotodon Cucullatus)
- Montpellier Snake (Malpolon monspessulanus)
- Viper of Lataste (Vipera latastei)
- Asp Viper (Vipera aspis)
- Non-venomous snakes in Spain
- Friendly snakes in Spain
- What should you do if you encounter a snake in Spain?
Venomous snakes in Spain
There are many venomous snakes in Spain, but the chances of you finding one and getting bitten are very slim. If you do happen to come across one, don’t panic. You will have time to react calmly as long as you follow these simple steps:
- Don’t try to catch it or handle it.
- Don’t try to kill it.
- Don’t try to eat it.
Get a stick or something like that and poke the snake with it. This will tell you if it’s venomous or not, because only venomous snakes have fangs that can inject poison into you.
If it doesn’t have fangs, then you can safely leave it alone. If it does have fangs and is acting aggressively toward you, then get away as quickly as possible.
False smooth snake (Macroprotodon cucullatus)
The False Smooth Snake (Macroprotodon cucullatus) is a non-venomous snake found in the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa. It is commonly found in rocky areas and can reach up to 1.5 meters in length.
Their diet consists mainly of small mammals, such as mice and rats, but they will also feed on other small reptiles, amphibians, birds, or insects if given the opportunity.
The False Smooth Snake has a very wide head and smooth scales that look like those of a catfish. This is how it got its common name, which was first used by Carl Linnaeus in 1758 (Linnaeus C., 1758) when he was putting together his system for classifying animals.
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Montpellier snake (Malpolon monspessulanus)
The Montpellier snake is a venomous species that can be found in Spain and Portugal. It is a small snake, with a maximum length of 60 cm. The Montpellier snake has a triangular head and a pointed snout.
The Montpellier snake has a grey or reddish-brown background color and darker speckles. The belly is white with black spots.
The Montpellier Snake is an adaptable species that can be found in many different habitats, including grasslands, shrublands, and forests. The belly is white with black spots.
It is a small snake, with a maximum length of 60 cm. The Montpellier snake has a triangular head and a pointed snout. The Montpellier snake has a grey or reddish-brown background color and darker speckles.
The belly is white with black spots. The Montpellier Snake is an adaptable species that can be found in many different habitats, including grasslands, shrublands, and forests.
Boots to stop snake bite
Viper of lataste (Vipera latastei)
The Viper of Lataste (Vipera Latastei) is a venomous snake that belongs to the genus Vipera. It is found on the Iberian Peninsula, mainly in Spain and Portugal.
The maximum length of this small snake is 30 cm, but it averages 25 cm. It has a black dorsal side and a white underside.
The head has large eyes with vertical pupils, while its body has a very smooth appearance with no scales or visible glands around its mouth.
The tail ends in an arrowhead-like shape, which makes up about 60% of its total length.
This species prefers dry open areas such as shrublands and grasslands where they can find shelter underneath rocks or vegetation during the day or night, depending on their activity.
They feed on small rodents such as mice or rabbits that they capture by constricting them until they suffocate due to a lack of oxygen circulation through their bodies (largely due to being squeezed tightly).
A bite from this creature will cause severe pain immediately after being inflicted, but there are treatments available if it’s not treated quickly enough—though nothing will completely prevent infection unless one receives immediate medical attention after being bitten by one!
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Asp Viper (Vipera aspis)
Asp vipers are a small, venomous snake that lives in Spain and Portugal. They’re nocturnal and will bite if provoked. The Asp Viper has a triangular head, large eyes, and long fangs that can extend up to 1 inch.
Asp vipers grow to be about 2 feet (60 cm) in length on average and can weigh less than 1 pound (0.5 kg).
Their body color is light brown or gray with dark spots along their back. Their belly color varies from white to yellowish white depending on their diet, i.e., whether they eat mostly lizards or mice!
They can be found in most of Europe and the Middle East, including countries such as Italy, France, and Greece. They like hot climates and prefer to live near wooded areas where they can hide during the day.
The Asp Viper is a small, venomous snake that lives in Spain and Portugal. They’re nocturnal and will bite if provoked. The Asp Viper has a triangular head, large eyes, and long fangs that can extend up to 1 inch.
Non-venomous snakes in Spain
Non-venomous snakes are present throughout Spain and include the following species:
- Horseshoe Whip Snake (Hemorrhois hippocrepis)
- Viperine Water Snake (Natrix maura)
- Ladder Snake (Zamenis scalaris)
- Aesculapian Snake (Zamenis longissimus)
Caspian Whip Snake (Hemorrhois hippocrepis): The Caspian whip snake is a very large species of snake that can grow up to 2 meters in length. They are the only species of snake in Spain that can reach this size and have been known to prey on birds, small mammals, frogs, and lizards.
They are also a very aggressive species of snake and will strike at anything that approaches them. This makes them an excellent choice as a pet for anyone who enjoys watching snakes in action.
The whip snake is a small snake that can reach a maximum length of about 20 cm (8 inches). It has an elongated body and is generally black with yellow and white markings. The head is pointed, with a pair of small eyes on top.
Snake bite kit
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Horseshoe Whip Snake (Hemorrhois hippocrepis)
The Horseshoe Whip Snake is a species of snake in the Colubridae family. It is found in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. The color pattern of this snake varies by region.
- Central European snakes have a black and yellow-striped pattern that resembles a horseshoe; these snakes also have two thin white lines running down their bodies.
- North African specimens are mostly olive or brown with dark spots, while South African ones may be completely black or brown with lighter patterns running down their bodies.
The whip snake is a small snake, growing to an average length of 1.5 meters (5 feet). Its color pattern changes depending on where it lives. Snakes in Central Europe have a pattern of black and yellow stripes that looks like a horseshoe.
These snakes also have two thin white lines running down their bodies. North African specimens are mostly olive or brown with dark spots, while South African ones may be completely black or brown with lighter patterns running down their bodies.
The whip snake is a small snake that grows to an average length of 1.5 meters (5 feet). Its color pattern varies by region. Central European snakes have a black and yellow-striped pattern that resembles a horseshoe.
These snakes also have two thin white lines running down their bodies. North African specimens are mostly olive or brown with dark spots, while South African ones may be completely black or brown.
Viperine Water Snake (Natrix maura)
The viperine water snake is a non-venomous snake, but it can bite. It is an aquatic snake that lives in the south of Spain and eats fish, frogs, and water insects.
The viperine water snake is native to Spain and Portugal and can be found along the Mediterranean coast from north of Cádiz to northern Morocco. The snakes prefer semi-aquatic environments like marshes, lakes, or slow-moving rivers with muddy banks.
They hunt for food during the early morning or late evening hours when prey are most active. The viperine water snake is a medium-sized snake that can grow to be up to 1.5 meters long.
It has a light gray belly with a dark gray stripe running down the middle of its back. The snake’s head is round and pointed, with black eyes and nostrils on either side of its snout.
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Ladder Snake (Zamenis scalaris)
Ladder snakes are small, non-venomous, and common in the Iberian Peninsula. These snakes are nocturnal, so you will probably not see them during the day unless you live near their habitat.
Ladder snakes have a grayish brown color with darker gray blotches along their backs. People have seen ladder snakes living in both temperate and tropical areas, as well as semiarid ones.
They spend most of their time underground or under rocks and logs, where they hunt for lizards and other small prey animals such as frogs or rodents. As adults, they can grow up to 60 cm long, but they usually only reach 30 to 40 cm at maturity.
Snake bite kit
Aesculapian Snake (Zamenis longissimus)
The Aesculapian snake (Zamenis longissimus) is a small harmless snake that has been found in Spain and Portugal. It is more common in Spain, where it feeds on small rodents, lizards, and frogs.
The Aesculapian snake can grow up to 160 cm long, but it is not venomous, so humans do not need to worry about being bitten by it! The Aesculapian snake is named after the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius.
This is because the snake gets its name from a strange belief that it can cure various illnesses in humans. The myth says that if you are bitten by this snake, you will not die from your wounds but instead be healed!
Southern Smooth Snake (Coronella girondica)
The southern smooth snake is a small, slender snake that can grow to be up to 36 inches long. It is usually dark brown with pale stripes down the back and sides.
The belly is white or cream-colored. They live in southern Spain and northern Morocco, where they tend to avoid dry areas but can also be found in places like the mountains of Spain.
The southern smooth snake eats an assortment of prey, including insects, frogs, lizards, and sometimes small mammals such as rats. They’re not venomous, so they kill their prey by constriction, squeezing it until it suffocates (or dies from lack of oxygen).
Southern smooth snakes reproduce by laying eggs between June and August each year after mating during springtime months earlier that same year; females lay anywhere between 6 and 15 eggs at once, which hatch within 10 weeks of being laid!
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Western or Green Whip Snake (Hierophis viridiflavus)
The western whip snake is the largest indigenous snake in Spain. It has a green coloration with dark spots and stripes on its back, which helps it blend in with the foliage.
This non-venomous snake can grow up to 1 meter (3 feet) long, although most specimens are half this size or less. It mostly eats rodents and lizards, but it will also eat small birds every now and then.
The western whip snake is naturally aggressive and will often bite if humans or other animals get too close or startle it. If you see one, be careful.
The good news is that this species is not venomous; however, its bites can still cause pain (and possibly infection).
You might see western whip snakes around your home if there are plenty of rodents nearby; they like our gardens because they provide both cover and food sources for them!
Keep an eye out for them while you garden this summer—you might even catch one hunting mice among the flowers next time you visit your grandma’s house.
Grass Snake (Natrix natrix)
The grass snake is a medium-sized snake that can reach up to 1.8 meters (6 feet), although they tend to be around 1 meter (3 feet) long. Their body colors vary greatly, but most of them are green or brown with darker spots, and some have yellow stripes on their sides.
They’re often found in meadows and fields where there are plenty of small animals for them to eat, including frogs and newts as well as mice and other small mammals.
Grass snakes don’t usually bite people unless they’re handled uninvitedly; however, if one does bite you, it won’t hurt much more than a bee sting!
Grass snakes mate in late spring after hibernating during the winter months under logs or rocks in woodland areas.
Females lay 2–5 eggs at a time, which hatch after about three weeks of incubation, depending on the temperature conditions inside the nest chamber—higher temperatures result in faster hatching.
lead to faster development times, so eggs laid later will hatch sooner than those laid earlier within the same season (this means there could be multiple clutches per season).
Snake bite kit
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Friendly snakes in Spain
A snake may be encountered while hiking the trails of a Spanish national park. Don’t panic! These reptiles are not aggressive and won’t attack unless provoked. Follow these tips to ensure your safety:
Don’t try to catch it! Snakes have tiny little brains that don’t allow for much thinking beyond “eat, mate, and survive.” The last thing they want is to be picked up by humans, even if it’s just for fun.
If someone does attempt to pick them up anyway, chances are good that snake will bite them—and likely hold onto their jaws until help arrives or until they decide they’ve had enough torture and let go of its head. It’s safer just to leave them alone!
Don’t kill them! Killing snakes is illegal in Spain and punishable by fines or jail time depending on how many times you’ve done so before (the first offense comes with an automatic fine but no jail time).
Most people think it would be okay because they’re “just” pests who eat mice; however, this isn’t true either—they also eat rats, which could wipe out entire populations if left unchecked.
In addition, killing snakes takes habitat away from other creatures, such as birds that nest in tree hollows where snakes live during warmer months.
Don’t feed them! This can cause health problems for both humans and animals alike, since those who do so tend to not only feed these reptiles too often but also give them bad food choices, such as junk food.
like chocolate cake crumbs from their birthday parties, which often contain peanuts and could kill some species if they ate them often over a long period of time.
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What should you do if you encounter a snake in Spain?
When you encounter a snake in Spain, there are several things you should never do. First and foremost, don’t panic. Panic leads to irrational behavior, which can lead to injury or death for both you and the snake.
Second, don’t try to catch it or touch it, as this may cause injury or death for both you and the snake (and remember that most of these snakes are venomous). Third, don’t kill the snake on sight; this will only result in its unnecessary demise.
Finally, if there are any children around or pets nearby, make sure they stay far away from any danger zone with plenty of room between them and any nearby wildlife (as per usual).
Snake bite kit
1. Are there any dangerous snakes in Spain?
Seoane’s viper, Montpellier snake, asp viper, Lataste’s viper, and false smooth snake are the five poisonous snakes found in Spain.
2. What snakes live in Spain?
Snake of Seoane (Vipera Seoane) The poisonous snake Vipera seoanei is unique to Portugal, northern Spain, and southern France.
(Malpolon Monspessulanus) Montpellier Snake
The Lataste viper (Vipera Latastei)…
Horseshoe Whip Snake (Vipera Aspis): Asp Viper (Hemorrhois hippocrepis)
3. What poisonous snakes live in Spain?
The majority of the poisonous snakes in Spain are tiny, and they only strike when they are handled or feel threatened in any manner.
4. What snakes are in Malaga?
The snub-nosed viper or adder (Vipera latastei), which can be found in Málaga, is not more than 75 cm long. The Montpellier snake (Malpolon monspessulanus) is the biggest snake in the province and it can reach 2 m.
Keep in mind
If you’re planning a trip to Spain, it’s important to know about the local wildlife. As a general rule, most of the snakes in Spain are harmless and only bite if threatened or cornered.
If you do get bitten by one of these slithering creatures, don’t panic! Simply follow these steps, and you should be fine:
Clean away any venom that has entered your wound with soap and water. Don’t use alcohol, as it will irritate your skin even more!
Cover the wound with a bandage that can absorb fluids from leaking blood vessels (like gauze). Don’t remove this bandage until after 24 hours have passed without any swelling or pain in the affected area.
Take acetaminophen for pain relief if necessary, but avoid ibuprofen due to its antiplatelet effects, which could increase bleeding (if applicable). If symptoms persist beyond 48 hours, seek medical attention immediately!
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