|Copyright: Dario Maric (DarioM)
|Date Taken: 2009-03-31|
|Exposure: f/5.2, 1/125 seconds|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2009-07-03 6:53|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
Adults are usually between 60-80 cm, males larger than females and can reach 100 cm. The only eastern European snake with a distinct nose-horn. Body relatively stout. Males are greyish, females are brownish, greyish-brown, reddish-brown. Rarely yellow (1), pinkish or greenish. Melanism (entirely black individuals) is very rare. A dark (black, brown-black) line that forms a zig-zag on back (doesn't have to be continuously connected). Only in rare cases is the zig-zag pale or more as a line. Belly is pink, greyish, spotted (darkly). Underside of tail is red, orange, pink, green, yellowish... Back scales are keeled.
There are 3 subspecies in Europe: V. a. meridionalis (S Balkans; maybe arround Dubrovnik & Konavle?), V. a. montadoni (E Romania, Bulgaria, european Turkey), V. a. ammodytes (Croatia, all other parts of distribution) and 1 in Asia- V. a. transcaucasiana.
Most favourite are dry sunny habitats with some vegetation and rocks (rock-piles, dry-stone walls, meadows with dense low bushes...).
Occasionally climbs low bushes and trees (in search of nesting birds, sunning), in dry-stone walls searching for lizards. In Spring and Autumn active by day, in Summer more active during dusk and night. Relatively slow, but fast if needed, often when surprised hisses and/or runs, or stays perfectly still. Although it's very easy to make them mad, rarely bites.
Feeds on mice, lizards, nesting birds and their young, other snakes. Young feed on lizards, insects, mice.
Mating takes place on the end of April and in May (20-30 days). Females give birth to live young (4-15(20), 15-18(23) cm) by the end of August or September. From the moment of their birth they are equipped with venom.
Europe's most venomous snake, in the past caused regular human deaths (today that possibility is rare, normally about a week's stay in hospital, severe symptoms of poisoning). Fangs can be up to 1 cm long. Dramatic swelling of the bite site, hurts a lot.
By venom strength (in Croatia), populations around Slunj have the most potent venom. Second are those on Velebit, third are those around Zagreb and furth are those around Krapina.
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.