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Female & Male Smooth Snake

Female & Male Smooth Snake
Photo Information
Copyright: Bayram Gocmen (boreocypriensis) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6774 W: 207 N: 2989] (9571)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-05-30
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Nikon D-80, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, @ ISO 400, SIGMA 62MM EX DG MC UV Filter
Exposure: f/8, 1/400 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Turkish Herpetofauna [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-06-16 14:34
Viewed: 4200
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 58
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Coronella austriaca (Smooth Snake) [in Turk. Avusturya Yılanı] (Female)

Today a very beautiful and familiar snake from the slopes of Uludağ Mts above Orhaniye village (approx. 1200 m asl., Kestel, Bursa). I also attached a WS to show a handsome male’s general appearance from lateral POV while resting on a rock.

TFL and Have a nice day!

©Bayram GÖÇMEN, All Rights Reserved.


Smooth Snake is a harmless, non-venomous species of snake, which rarely grows larger than 80 cm (average length isabout 50 cm). It has smooth, unkeeled body scales, and hence, as a result of the smooth scales, the body and head have a shiny appearance. The head is relatively small and flat and only little distinct from the neck. Pupils are rounded. The body is relatively stout and ends with a moderately long tail that tapers to a point.

Some scalation (pholidotic) characteristics as follows: The rostral plate is visible from above, and its tip invades the suture between the internasal plates, which may even become completely separated by it as an exception; 19 (in rare instances 17 or 21) dorsal scale rows around midbody; one large preocular; two postocuIars; no suboculars; seven supralabials; 150-200 ventrals (males 150-182, females 170-200); 40-70 pairs of subcaudals; the anal plate is usually divided as is in other whip snakes (family Colubridae).

The basic coloration of this snake can vary from beige brown to medium gray, with females showing a tendency toward gray and males toward brown in many places. Very dark and black specimens are occasionally found but albinistic animals are extremely rare. The body is usually patterned with small dark spots that are arranged in pairs. These spots may occasionally be fused across or longitudinally, which, in the latter case, gives the impression of a striped pattern. These markings are most intense in the anterior part of the body, fading gradually toward the tail. Specimens with no body pattern are occasionally found. The small, ovoid head that is little distinct from the body and always appears a little darker than the body. Besides a dark stripe that runs from the nostril via the eye to the neck, there is a typical horseshoe- or U-shaped marking on the nape of the neck. The latter marking is in most cases open posteriorly, in contrast to the situation in the Southern Smooth Snake (Coronella girondica). The venter is usually uniform brown or gray, often reddish brown in juveniles, and patterned with fine dark spots only in rare exceptional individuals. Females appear distinctly more muscular and stouter than males; they also grow larger than these.

Copulation can often last for several hours and is preceded by a rather brief courtship. It consists of testing the female by means of tongue-flicking, crawling over her, and often ends with the male placing a holding bite on the female's neck. Small males occasionally position this bite on the mouth of the female if the latter is much larger than the former. Copulation may, however, also take place without any of this, and it would appear that a holding bite is most often used if the female shows herself more or less unwilling to mate. Depending on their physical condition, females may engage in reproduction every year, or only every second or third year. Common Smooth Snakes are ovoviviparous, giving birth to 2 to 16 young. Juveniles become sexually mature in their third or fourth year of life, with males often turning to reproduction-related activity before females of the same age.

It is distributed almost throughout Europe (except Ireland, northern UK, the northern parts of Scandinavia, large portions in the center and south of the Iberian Peninsula, and on many islands of the Mediterranean), Turkey (N, W and C), Caucasus and the northernmost parts of Iran. The snake inhabits open, sun-exposed, dry habitats with low vegetation that nevertheless provides good cover. Although occasionally found near bodies of water, it is rarely encountered in outright moist or wet situations. It is slow moving, calm and rarely biting species. It feeds mainly on lizards, may also prey on small rodents, chicks and snakes.

Three subspecies are recognized in its distribution area as follows:
• the nominate form, C. a. austriaca
• C. a. acutirostris. It is distributed in the western parts of the Iberian Peninsula and, differs from the nominate form in having a differentiated head scalation (slender, tapering pileus) and a larger number of nuchal scales.
• C. a. fitzingeri. It is restricted to southern Italy and Sicily and it is thought of as smaller, having a distinctly reduced spotted pattern and very often a strongly arched rostral plate that pushes deeply between the internasals and often separates them entirely.

1. Göçmen, B. (Unpub. results). The results of herpetological trips.
2. Budak, A. & Göçmen, B. (2005). Herpetology. Ege Üniversitesi Fen Fakültesi Kitaplar Serisi, No. 194, Ege Üniversitesi Basimevi, Bornova-Izmir, 226 pp. [2nd Edition, 2008].
3. Kreiner, G. (2007). The Snakes of Europe.Edition Chinaira, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 317 pp.

CatherineD, CeltickRanger, anemone, siggi, cypturk, smitha, ramthakur, bahadir, yasemin, Alex99, nkasot, montivipera, rommel, maurydv has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

İyi akşamlar sevgili Bayram,
Audacious capture, with great focus on the pretty purple tongue. I like your WS-1 very much, with an handsome male: nice colours and composition. (No WS-2 !?) İyi uykular arkadaşım,

hello Bayram

2 great photos abd for this one WOW !
excellent portrait photo shooted at the best moment
with fine POV, fine focus sharpness and details,
superb focus great sharpness and details for the one in the WS,



Hola Bayram

Guau, que cerca estas de este animal, casi su lengua te toca, perfecta sincronización con el movimiento de su lengua perfectamente nitida y su difuminado del cuerpo, que ha quedado perfecto. Gran Pov.

Un saludo Antonio

  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2010-06-16 20:35]

Hi Baratom Bayram,
Splendid portrait of this Coronella austriaca, great sharpness and color, TFS! Yhis Snake it is not very rare by us.
Have a nice day!

very nice shot neighbour. I'm not a fan of snajes, at least not so close, I saw a grass snake at 30 cms on gotland and I know it is not dangerous, but otherwise I don't know anything so it's safer to stay away ;)

very good composition, maybe a bit more focus on the eye?

lovee the view tho

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-06-16 22:15]

Merhaba Bayram,
A superb close portait of the head of this male Coronella austriaca. The composition showing the head emerging from the blurry BG with focusing on the forked tongue is great!
The WS showing the whole snake is a real bonus too.
Thanks for sharing these dostum,
All the best,

ovvvv... muhteşem hocam. Dile odaklı, gerisi flu nefis ve dinamik arka plan ile favorilerde yer almayı hak eden bir foto.
WS deki telefoto lensli çekim de bir o kadar güzel.
Emeklerinize sağlık.

An absolutely breathtaking photo Bayram! Fantastic!
George Veltchev

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-06-16 23:08]

Hello MF Bayram,
Great portrait of this splendid species, with wonderful exposure and focus giving us a crisp and clear image to view, thank you.
Best regards Siggi

Harika fotoğraf.
Elinize sağlık hocam.
Selam ve sevgiyle..

Dayi super zamanlama. harika bir yakin cekim.
Ekline saglik. Selamlar.

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2010-06-17 3:15]

Harika bir odaklama ile çok net ve hoş bir alan derinliği eelde etmişsin dostum.Çok canlı ve ve dinamik bir sonuç olmuş.Eline emeğine sağlık.
Bi slavên germ,

Sadece dillerine bakılarak tür ayrımı yapılabiliyor mu acaba? :))) Geçen günkü Spalerosophis'in dili farklı renkteydi. Saniyelik ağza girip çıkan yılan dilini bu kadar net çekmek çok zor olsa gerek. Galiba Afyon civarına sokulmayan bir tür. Daha çok Kuzey Anadolu'da yayılış gösteriyor. Galiba Akdeniz'den de kayıt var.

Hello Bayram,
Hats off to you my friend. Magnificent shots- this portrait and the one in the WS.
Excellent clarity and details and the POV.
Well done!
Thanks and Regards,
Smitha. :)

Ciao BBB. An hard work MF to exalt your qualities! Impressive detaisl and sharp on tongue and face. Intrigant shade BG.


Ciao Bayram, splendid portrait of fantastic snake, wonderful blurry BG, splendid sharpness, good natural colors and fine details, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

Snakes frighten me, Prof Bayram!
Nonetheless, I stole a quick peek at this fellow showing its forked tongue and am convinced by the look of it that it is a great close-up shot.
Thanks and bye until your next picture, preferably of a butterfly!

Sevgili arkadaşım,

This photo is really breathtaking: Salome’s dance of the seven veils.

Salome, Richard Strauss’ beautiful music also comes to my mind.

This image is unique in EVERY sense; it proves what I always suspected: you are as much a romantic as a scientist!

How did you so sharply outline the front of the head thus “drawing a veil” across the forehead??

I add this 'Wow' photo to my favorites.

Thank you for adding the workshop image, which is very interesting

Paylaşımın için çok teşekkürler

Kendine iyi bak!

Selamlar sayın hocam,
bu ne şıklık böyle,
Özellikle dil ucundaki netlik mükemmel.
Gözleri ve burun pulları nefis.
En güzel dileklerimle.
Sevgiler saygılar.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-06-17 10:48]

Hi Bayram,
Fantastic photo with a great sharp focus. Good DOF and OOF BG. Beautiful colours. The WS is evenso very beautiful.

offf.. süper zmanlama Bayram hocam. Küçücük yılanda amma pabuç gibi dil varmış:)
Emeğinize sağlık hocam. Saygılar.

Aman... sanki ustume gelir Bayram:) gozleri cok guzelmis. Dili cok daha guzel:) sayende ben de artik herseye guzel diyorum.. eline saglik canim kardesim. Hepimizden selamlar.

Merhaba Bayram hocam,

Bizim oralarda çok konuşanlara dili uzamış derler. Bu dilberinde dili bu kadar uzun olduğuna göre çok konuşuyor demek ki:)
Baş üzerinde yoğunlaşan netlik zonu ve flu arka plan ile çok estetik bir çalışma olmuş üstadım.
Elinize ve emeğinize sağlık.


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2010-06-17 21:27]

Hi Bayram.
It is really fantastic macro shot. I am impressed a lot. Great DOF and timing. Composition and cropping are cannot be better too. My congratulations and all the best.

Bu da muhteşem olmuş bayram hocam. Elinize sağlık.
Selam ve saygılar,

Hocam bu da sıradışı. Zamanlama müthiş.
Emeklerinize sağlık.
İyi tatiller hocam.

Hi Bayram,

this is lovely capture. Amazing focus. I liked it. This really looks scary. Perfect moment to catch the tough out till this far. Superb!


Hellow Bayram,
I hope you enjoyed your trip and welcome back.You have captured this snake with extended tongue with perfection.The composition and angle making this a unique and interesting snake capture.

Hallo MF Bayram,
an impressive portrait of the Smooth Snake, perfect focusing with very good sharpness, splendid colours, a very nice close composition.
Best regards

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