A New Reference – Snakes Of Portugal

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There always seems to be some confusion about Snakes in Portugal. I often hear things like “There are no poisonous snakes in Portugal” or “That’s the nasty one, keep away or kill it”. Before I continue, poisonous refers to actually eating it, the term is venomous.

The truth is, apart from two Vipers (one of which is found right up in the Northern far reaches of Portugal, there really isn’t too much to be worried about. Even the Vipers are not particularly dangerous.

There has always been a lack of a good reference guide to the Snakes that can be found here in Portugal, so I have compiled this reference with links to further information to help you identify any snakes you may find.

I’m not a snake expert by any imagination and therefore I am open to advice if there is something not quite right.

You can find it in the Resources menu or by clicking – Snakes Of Portugal.


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Morning Dog Walk: The Viperine Was Back In The Same Place

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Yesterday I posted about a Viperine at the river but I was only armed with my smartphone. This morning, I had a camera and it was back there again.

In fact there were 2 there, it was joined by a much larger and lighter-coloured Viperine which wasn’t in the water, as soon as it saw me it slithered into the water and moved away in the current.

The existing one actually popped its head out of the water for this great top down shot.


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All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.

Dog Walk: Viperine Snake At The River (Video)

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UPDATE : I have much better photos in this blog post – Morning Dog Walk: The Viperine Was Back In The Same Place

Whilst walking the dogs, I spotted this Viperine partially submerged where the water runs through the tubes on the bridge/ford near the house.

The Viperine is a harmless semi-aquatic snake that takes it’s name from the fact that it’s head is shaped like a Viper. I think this was quite young, it was only around 25-30cms in length, they can grow up to 85cm.

I watched it for a while and it was being very clever. Due to the recent rain, the river is flowing well and it was catching small fish as they get sucked through the tube.

Photos aren’t great as they are from my smartphone which struggles to see through reflections in water.


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All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.

Morning Dog Walk: A Ladder Snake Basking In The Morning Sun (With Video)

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I take a camera along on my Dog Walks to bring you some of the sightings that I see on my morning walks, these photos are rarely going to be great quality as its hard enough keeping an energetic Dog entertained and get close enough to anything. They also help me identify where species are so that I can plan to return.

Walking in one of my favourite areas with Wally this morning and we spotted a Ladder Snake basking in the sun. I think it had also recently eaten a meal which is maybe why it was in no rush to move away.

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Ladder Snake - Cobra-de-escada - Zamenis scalaris
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All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.

I Didn’t Have To Look Yesterday!

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For those that don’t know anything about Rugby might not know that Saturday was a huge celebration as I watched my home nation of Wales win the 6 Nations Grand Slam (means they beat all the other 5 nations!). In Wales, this is a big deal, so to cut a long story short, Sunday wasn’t a day for me being out and about with a camera.

However, first up was a False Smooth Snake on our patio enjoying the heat of the afternoon sun (yes, I didn’t see the morning!). It couldn’t stay there as either the Dog or one of the Cats would probably see it as a new toy.

The False Smooth Snake is small, this one no longer than about 20cm. It is a venomous snake, however, due to its small size it poses no threat to a human, even if it does manage to sink its teeth in. I helped him on his way to an area outside of the garden and it did take a strike but missed!


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All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.

Morning Dog Walk: Viperine Snake Sunbathing

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I take a camera along on my Dog Walks to bring you some of the sightings that I see on my morning walks, these photos are rarely going to be great quality as its hard enough keeping an energetic Dog entertained and get close enough to anything. They also help me identify where species are so that I can plan to return.

This morning I sat on the river bank letting Wally run around in the water when I spotted a Viperine in one of the river pools (the river is now dry with just pools remaining). I watched it swim to the opposite bank and it eventually climbed out to sunbathe on the rocks.

It was really tough to photograph as there was a lot of contrast between the bright sunlight and the dark rocks.

The Viperine (Natrix maura) is a small snake that spends a lot of time in the water catching fish and although you may think by the name, it is not a Viper. It’s name comes from being similar in appearance to a Viper. It is non-venomous and although when threatened it can act like a Viper and strike, it will not bite. It is Diurnal which meaning it is active during daylight only. In adult-life, they can grow to 85cm long, this particular one was no larger than about 40cm.

Viperine Snake (Natrix maura)

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All images are protected by international copyright!
All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.