RAUK - Archived Forum - Grass Snake Identification

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Grass Snake Identification :

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INFORMATION
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
No. of posts: 16


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Posted: 18 Feb 2003

A description and images of the Grass Snake Natrix natrix may be found at:

 

http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/grass_snake.htm

 

® Alan Hyde


 

 

 

administrator37898.9619444444
INFORMATION
Member
Joined: 17 Feb 2003
No. of posts: 16


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Posted: 05 Apr 2003

Grass Snake Distribution

Date Species Location Stage Notes Sex Sighting Submitted by
22/03/03 Grass Snake Hartland Moor
Female and Small Male Mating
T. Phelps
27/03/03 Grass Snake Matchams


T. Phelps
28/03/03 Grass Snake Hartland Moor
Female and Four Males in mating ball
T. Phelps
31/03/03 Grass Snake Purbeck Adult 2 Males 1 Female mating
T. Phelps

Please add your Grass Snake sightings below so they may be added to the above table and the RAUK distribution map.

If you are unsure of the forum policies regarding accuracy of site descriptions and sighting reports please review them before posting.

http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/Forum%20policies.htm

 

administrator37856.8347569444
Tony Phelps
Forum Specialist
Joined: 09 Mar 2003
No. of posts: 575


View other posts by Tony Phelps
Posted: 16 Apr 2003

April 12

Mendips  -  Grass snakes mating - 2 males + female other males nearby

April 15 Chobham Very warm and sunny

2 nice size females, one basking on side of path est 85cm

other moving casually across parh in shade nicely marked est 80cm

also another male I think (ask Gareth M. he was with me)

Frensham stil very warm biggie female moving slowly across path 127cm

very aggressive - got sprayed - don't really mind the smell, get used to it I suppose. The wife thinks differently, had to eat dinner in garden with the dog.

April 16 2 nice size males, 70cm & 75cm at a rescue site in Hampshire Nr Fleet.

Tony

 


Tony Phelps
Forum Specialist
Joined: 09 Mar 2003
No. of posts: 575


View other posts by Tony Phelps
Posted: 23 Apr 2003

View from a bus.

Had an unusual one today.

My landrover had to go in for service - meaning had to take bus from Swanage to Poole to collect same vehicle.

I was on the upper deck - enroute to Poole the bus had to pause on a narrow bridge crossing a small stream. On looking down from my high vantage I saw a large grass snake moving along the edge of the stream, said bus was stationary for a minute or so and I had a good view. The snake was obviously hunting, it would pause and dip its head in the water, looking for ??. It was a big snake at least 4ft in old money.

Will have a proper look at this site ASAP.

 

Tony 

 


Wolfgang Wuster
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Joined: 23 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 326


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Posted: 24 Apr 2003
April 20th, north of Newbury - 1 male, 1 specimen of unknown sex. Photo is of the male.



Cheers,
Wolfgang
Wolfgang Wüster
School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor
http://sbsweb.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/
Alan Hyde
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 1416


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Posted: 24 Apr 2003

Hi Wolfgang , great pic as always.

One question though , well two actually ... how do you sex natrix in the field? Also , you said you borrowed a dig camera for the pics , do you know wht make it was?

 

Cheers.

Alan


O-> O+>
Wolfgang Wuster
Senior Member
Joined: 23 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 326


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Posted: 25 Apr 2003
Camera: Canon EOS DX30 - an SLR. Very expesnive, but slightly dated.

Sexing: in this case, I just looked at the tailbase, which was clearly swollen - this indicates a male in most species, but I am more than willing to be corrected if someone here knows better in the case of N. natrix.

Cheers,

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Wüster
School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor
http://sbsweb.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/
-LAF
Senior Member
Joined: 03 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 317


View other posts by -LAF
Posted: 29 Apr 2003

Wow, never found any of these on the Island. Lots of Adders but never Natrix. I'd heard they occured on one of the RSPB sites there but the only place I ever saw one in N. Wales was on the Llyn peninsula. Arnold's Atlas shows a few sites on Anglesey but, like I said, they always provided me a no-show. Do you know what their status is like on the island? Are they doing as well as the Adders are there?

Cheers, Lee.


Lee Fairclough
Wolfgang Wuster
Senior Member
Joined: 23 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 326


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Posted: 29 Apr 2003
Lee,

This was Newbury, Berkshire, not Newborough, Anglesey ;-)

I have never seen any at all anywhere in N. Wales and certainly not on Anglesey. Apparently, some years back, one used to frequent the disused pond beind the Brambell Bldg. in bangor, though. I have heard that they are reasonably common around Porthmadog, though.

I have to say that I am more than a little skeptical about the various Biological Recording Schemes - too many people tend to confuse things, and the recording bodies themselves screw up as well. I remember sending records of slow worms and common lizards to one county recorder, and when I later went to see some more of his records, I found that the information for the two species had been transposed. Moreover, the supposed adder localities in the county that I checked out all yielded grass snakes (and generally looked likeperfect grass snake habitat), but no adders.

Go figure...

Cheers,

Wolfgang

Cheers,

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Wüster
School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor
http://sbsweb.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/
-LAF
Senior Member
Joined: 03 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 317


View other posts by -LAF
Posted: 29 Apr 2003

Ooops!, In hindsight I seem to remember something about a Newbury that had a by-pass built neer it on the news now. My brain obviously doesn't function too well at 9am.
Grass snake in Bangor wouldn't totally surprise me. Slow worm and common lizard both do well there and local kids all seem to have seen grass snake in the same places behind Bangor mountain (one description was perfect - "they're green and their s**t stinks to **** yeah"). After checking them out they did look likely spots.  The one I saw was crossing a road nr Nefyn (was in a car full of shapees who wouldn't have appreciated stopping to take a closer look - and we were after a pub...) The woods around Llanderfel (nr Wrecsam) are apparently a good place too. Anyway, I'm gonna go off and brush up on my geography!

Cheers, Lee.


Lee Fairclough
GemmaJF
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Joined: 25 Jan 2003
No. of posts: 2090


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Posted: 01 Jun 2003
Harry, I moved your post to "unwanted grass snakes"
Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant
penbox
Member
Joined: 15 Jul 2003
No. of posts: 2


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Posted: 15 Jul 2003
[QUOTE=Tony Phelps]

April 12

Mendips  -  Grass snakes mating - 2 males + female other males nearby

April 15 Chobham Very warm and sunny

2 nice size females, one basking on side of path est 85cm

other moving casually across parh in shade nicely marked est 80cm

also another male I think (ask Gareth M. he was with me)

Frensham stil very warm biggie female moving slowly across path 127cm

very aggressive - got sprayed - don't really mind the smell, get used to it I suppose. The wife thinks differently, had to eat dinner in garden with the dog.

April 16 2 nice size males, 70cm & 75cm at a rescue site in Hampshire Nr Fleet.

Tony

 

[/QUOTE]
paul D.
penbox
Member
Joined: 15 Jul 2003
No. of posts: 2


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Posted: 15 Jul 2003
I have seen one (possably two) grass snakes in my garden pond in cranbrook kent. it is about 3 feet long and swims in the pond in full view. deffinaitly a grass snake dark olive green (almost black) with a white flash behind the head. the second one hasnt been seen as often and is slightly shorter and lighter in colour. we used to have an abundance of frogs but now there are non. i am just hoping that they dont start eating the fish!!!
paul D.
Tony Phelps
Forum Specialist
Joined: 09 Mar 2003
No. of posts: 575


View other posts by Tony Phelps
Posted: 08 Aug 2003
Called out to 'nest of vipers' yesterday, Stoborough Nr Wareham. Hatchling natrix evrywhere, one had climbed two metres to the top of conservatory. Went down to large compost heap, cause of 'eruption', counted 85 then gave up. Persuaded residents that the snakes were harmless, and although the lady of the house had a real phobia they were happy to leave all as is. Nice one. They have a pond, as does next door, and all properties adjoin good habitat.

Tony
pauldunf
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Joined: 19 May 2004
No. of posts: 1


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Posted: 19 May 2004

Male and female grass snakes seen today, 19/05/54, in my garden in Chaldon, Surrey.  Female something like 1.5 metres and male about 1.0 to 1.2 metres.  Female laying by side of the pond before swimming across into a dense conifer garden adjoining the pond.  Male emerged from the centre of the pond and eventually disappered into the same conifer garden after laying on the outskirts for five minutes or so.  Both snakes olive green/brown.

This is the first spotting I have made for about 2 years.  I'm sure they're always there - just don't get to see them too often.  Lots of tadpoles around right now - must be an abundance of food.  The pond itself is about 20 feet long by 15 feet wide with a natural surround of long grasses and water plants - with the conifer garden adjoining the pond at one end.

The compost heap is about 150 feet or more from the pond.  Is this likely to be used for egg laying or is it more likely they use natural compost from fallen leaves etc in the dense conifer garden?


frogworlduk
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Joined: 19 Aug 2003
No. of posts: 72


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Posted: 27 May 2004

hello all.

i think i have read about this before, but i can't remember. i have a grass snake that i keep finding under one of my tins, but it has blue eyes. they are pale blue and look like they completely cover the complete eye. it's  a sub adult i believe, male.

any thoughts on what is wrong with it?

mark jacobs

 


GemmaJF
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Joined: 25 Jan 2003
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Posted: 27 May 2004

Mark,

It's 'in the blue' coming up to shed it's skin. Grass snake are often found under tin in this state, it's a time when they seem to seek extra heat. As the old skin breaks away the eyes become opaque with a distinct bluish tinge. In a few days it will shed and look like new :0)


Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant
Wolfgang Wuster
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Joined: 23 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 326


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Posted: 28 May 2004
Mark,

You say you keep finding it - how many times have you found it, over what period of time, and were the eyes always blue?

Normally, as Gemma said, blue eyes simply mean the approach of shedding, but that only lasts for ~ 1 week, so if you found it week after week after week, always with blue eues, then there is soemthing pecuiliar going on.

Cheers,

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Wüster
School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor
http://sbsweb.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/
frogworlduk
Senior Member
Joined: 19 Aug 2003
No. of posts: 72


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Posted: 28 May 2004

i have only seen it this week, but everyday so far this week. today i found it again and it only had a slight bit of blue left the rest was clear. so i take it from this that the snake was just shedding it's skin.

but it did look rather odd and cool.

mark

 


GemmaJF
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Joined: 25 Jan 2003
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Posted: 28 May 2004

Mark, the eyes will clear for 1-3 of days before the snake sloughs (usually), they do look lethargic and ill when in this state.

I would guess once it sloughs you won't see the same snake under the tin anymore, let us know if you do though, and if you find the sloughed skin.


Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant

- Grass Snake Identification

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