Malpolon insignitus Geoffroy de St-Hilaire, 1809
Common names: Eastern Montpellier Snake [En], Couleuvre maillée [Fr], Östliche Eidechsennatter [De], Σαπίτης [Gr], Çukur Başlı Yılan, Çukurbaşlı Yılan [Tu]
Mut, MERSİN ● Turkey
Description: Total length up to 200cm, rarely up to 240cm. Variable in colouring. It has a characteristic head with strong ridges between eyes and snout.
Biology: Diurnal and very common snake. It moves fast, swims and climbs capably and has great vision. It has 2 large glands under the skin between eyes and nostrils that produce a liquid secretion, which when spread over the body makes it “waterproof”, so that body fluids loss is reduced considerably. This makes the snake capable of being active even at high temperatures. It breeds from April to end of May and females give birth to 4-20 eggs which hatch in about 2 months. It feeds mainly on lizards but also on rodents, birds, amphibians, and snakes too. It will defend strongly if threatened, by hissing loudly, raising its head, flattening the neck and pretend attacking. It will bite if caught or stepped on.
• M. i. fuscus Fleischmann, 1831 – Greece, Montenegro
• M. i. insignitus Geoffroy de St-Hilaire, 1809 – North Africa
Habitat: Occurs at variable habitats but seems to prefer dry Mediterranean ones. Occurs usually at altitudes between 0 and 600m, but it can also be seen at altitudes up to 2000m.
Distribution: E. Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, N Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Greece (Corfu), Cyprus, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon
Caution : Venomous with weak venom. Opisthoglyphous: Its fangs are at the back of the upper jaw, so venom injection to human is very difficult. Even if injection occurs, its venom is weak and doesn’t consist a danger. Pain and swelling, and maybe fever (on sensitive people) are the symptoms that may occur after an injection of large amount of venom. Those symptoms usually relent in a few hours.
Herpetofauna of Greece
AdaMerOs Herptil Türkiye