Natrix natrix natrix


Natrix natrix natrix (West Denmark)
The grass snake has a wide distribution that includes most if Europe and NW Afrika and far into Asia. There are many subspecies, and it is the nominate form, that is found in Denmark. The danish grass snakes are somewhat different in coloration depending on, where they are from. The eastern form is solid black and the western form is more grayishblack sometimes with black spots. There are found some very light gray and even reddish brown grass snakes to the west. Both forms has 2 yellow or cream spots in the neck, but there are found very very few animals without these spots. Females are far bigger than the males and the largest female found in Dk is 132 cm. Males are normally 60 - 90 cm.
Natrix natrix natrix (East Denmark)
The grass snake is mainly found in close connection to water. Here it can find its prey, that consists of frogs, toads, newts and worms, slugs and fish. Amphibians are their main prey especially as adults. These snakes often hibernate many together and copulations takes place in the early spring emidiatly after the females have ended their hibernation. Suitable places for their eggs are rare, so females often travel far to the same compost or sawdust pile to lay their eggs. We found in 2004 1800 eggs and 82 females in a compost pile from where they couldn`t escape. An escape way was made to secure, that the babies could leave the pile. Hatchlings are very small 10 -15 cm and gets mature after 3 -5 years.
Compost pile
Natrix released back in nature from pile

These snakes are easely kept in the terrarium. They don`t need a very high or large terrarium. Some people keeps them in terraria with lots of plants, ponds UV- light but they only need a water bowl, a heating places and a hiding place. They like to swim but needs dry areas to insure they don`t get skin infections. They are day active, very curious and easely tamed. They are fed on fresh water fish or small mice scented with fish. They are very good hunters and can easely catch live fish. If frozen fish are used, it must be suplemented with vitamin B. A long and cold hibernation is natural, but not necessary for breeding. The females lay up to 58 eggs in a clutch, but normally about 18-25. They hatch after 52 - 60 days at 25 - 28*C. Juveniles can be difficult to start up. A little trick is to feed them in water with small live gubbies or pieces of fish moved in front of them.

Thie snake is protected in Europe under the Bern-Konvention

Natrix playing dead