Scientific name: Natrix Natrix
Size: 3 – 5ft
Lifespan: 12 – 25 years
Wild Population: Unknown
Endangerment: Endangered (Protected Species)
Habitat: United Kingdom
What do they eat? Mice, Small Rats, birds and eggs.
Eggs or Live birth: Egg baring snake.
Venomous: None venomous/ None poisonous
Are they kept in captivity? No, protected species of snake.
About Grass Snakes
This species of snake is found within the grasslands of the UK. Most grass snakes will always live close to water, so a pong or river nearby is more suited to a grass snake.
This is because grass snakes are a semi aquatic species and spend a lot of their time in water.
Grass snakes are spotted during the UK summer months from April to September. On hot days local walkers regular sight grass snakes swimming across lakes or basking in the sun.
Grass Snake Diet
These snakes have quite a varied diet for a snake, ranging from rodents to birds and fish. The grass snake is one of only 3 species in the United Kingdom and this is because of how well adapted to their environment they have become, not limiting themselves to one primary food source has proven a key to the grass snake’s survival in this cool country.
From April to September finding consistent food is vital for a grass snake in the wild.
As they hibernate throughout the remaining months, the grass snake must have enough nutrients to keep healthy throughout the winter period.
What Does a Grass Snake Look Like?
The most distinct way of identifying a grass snake is the yellow colour collar around their neck.
Grass snakes have a brown/greenish main body colour (this is to blend and create camouflage for the snake). If you are close enough, grass snakes have black spots and stripes all the way down their body.
These snakes are long and a slender snake, and often look bigger when curled up in a ball.
Grass snakes if feel threatened, will actually play day to seem as though they are going to be a bad meal. If you do see a grass snake that appears to be dead, do not approach as if they are playing dead this could cause more stress to the snake, or result in getting bitten (grass snakes do not have venom so the bite will be harmless)
Top Threats To Grass Snakes
- Predatory birds
- The weather
Grass snakes are the only snake in the United Kingdom which are egg baring snakes.
When grass snakes come out of hibernation it is important for them to breed and find a male as soon as possible.
This is because if a snake breeds too late, they would lay the eggs in towards the winter months and highly unlikely to be conditions for a successful hatching.
Therefore, she must find food and a breeding partner as quickly as possible.
Grass snakes will then lay their eggs in a very discreet location and a place which is moist so that the eggs do not dry out and always have a medium to high humidity throughout the egg development.
Over the years there has been a decline in grass snakes in the UK. This is due to multiple reasons.
Grass snakes are harmless snakes and do a good job of keeping the rodent population in check in the UK.
To hurt or kill a grass snake in the UK is illegal and if you do come across a grass snake, simply leave them be.
If you must take a picture, make sure you are at least 5 meters away and try your best to not disturb the snake.