Ladder Snake: harmless back fanged snakes – image, size, distribution, habitat, food, breeding, important notes(venomous or not)

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LADDER SNAKE Rhinechis scalaris

image

E. & D. Hosking

A moderately slender snake with a pointed snout and smooth scales. It is greyish brown or brown, with a pair of dark stripes running down the back. Hatchlings are pale yellow or cream with dark crossbars, forming a ‘ladder’ pattern.

Size To 1.5 m.

Distribution Spain, Portugal, extreme SW France and Menorca.

Habitat Rocky, scrubby hillsides, vineyards, olive groves, etc.

Food Small mammals and birds, including eggs and nestlings.

Bre e ding Egg-laying, with clutches of 6–12 eggs.

Note s The Montpellier Snake (See here) may be brown, but lacks the dark lines. Otherwise fairly distinctive. Young may be mistaken for vipers at first glance.

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