20 Different Types of Snakes in Greece

Types of Snakes in Greece
Photo by Vikas Shankarathota on Unsplash

Would you like to know what kinds of snakes may be found in Greece? If so, you’ve arrived at the ideal location.

I have included a list of the types of snakes in Greece you can anticipate seeing in the post.

Our article will examine the traits, distribution, habitat, venom intensity, and behavior of some of Greece’s most common types of snakes.

It will become evident to you that the snakes found in Greece are not the same.

They include snakes that use constriction to render their prey immobile and venomous

Furthermore, it’s not uncommon to discover some snakes residing close to humans.

I assume you have encountered at least one of the following snakes in your backyard. 

1. Smooth Snake

Smooth Snake
by cygnus921 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Smooth snake is starting our list of types of snakes in Greece. Although these types of snakes in Greece are visible while enjoying the warm sun, they are probably lurking beneath leaves or in a hole.

They hibernate in prepared animal caves underground throughout the winter.

Smooth snakes blend nicely with their sandy surroundings due to their slim build. They have spots all over their back, either gray or dark brown.

On their heads is a crown marking in the shape of a heart. This snake has glossy, smooth skin, as its name would imply.

This kind of snake is uncommon in the wild, so it is protected in some places. They are occasionally killed because of their resemblance in appearance to an Adder.

This decrease in snake population has also been attributed to low breeding locations, fires, and population growth. The diet of smooth snakes includes tiny rodents, birds, lizards, and worms.

2. Aesculapian Snake

Aesculapian Snake
by dellfalconer is licensed under CC BY 2.0

There are Aesculapian snakes on the Greek mainland. This species lives in stony fields, farms, and open forests. Perfect housing sites are those that are well-vegetated and moist.

This species climbs and is often spotted investigating elevated regions like treetops. To avoid the heat, types of snakes in Greece are busy during the day and emerge later. 

In Greek mythology, this snake represents the god of healing. In contemporary medicine, it is represented by the image of a snake encircling the staff. 

Black, brownish-green, and olive green are typical adult colors. They have smooth scales and are long and thin. Freckled white-edged scales are a common motif. 

They have a light yellow belly. Youngsters will turn from bright green to brown at that time. Their cheeks and back are ringed in a black pattern.

Their primary food sources include lizards, eggs, squirrels, rats, and other small rodents. 

This snake kills its prey by constriction rather than poison. This snake is considered a “Special Concern” species in Europe. 

Road deaths, illegal collection, and habitat damage have raised concerns about the populations of this species.

They help manage rodent problems and have a healthy population in some locations. 

3. Blotched Snake

Blotched Snake
by Life Lenses is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Greece is home to blotched snakes, mostly found on the mainland. This snake belongs to the rat snake subspecies. Its preferred habitat is narrow woodlands and ravines.  

These types of snakes in Greece stay along the margins of rivers and marshes during the day.  Due to its reclusive nature, little research has been done on this freshly found species.

Large, round eyes and robust, thick bodies characterize blotched snakes. Its hue might change based on where it is—from brown to yellow. Their rough, speckled black scales are painted on.

These snakes consume birds and mammals as food. Steps have been taken to protect this species in most of its habitat.

Poaching and deforestation are the causes of these types of snakes in Greece’s population problems.

4. Meadow Viper

Meadow Viper
by Ryzhkov Sergey is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

In Greece, meadow vipers can be found in rocky places, rice paddies, temperate grasslands, and wetlands.

These snakes live alone and are busiest in the spring and early autumn. They can be observed swimming or on land during the day. They are visible, clambering up the tree limbs.

Meadow vipers have narrow heads and stout bodies. They have extremely keeled, rough-looking scales. They might be gray, yellow, or tan with a black stripe running down their back.

This stripe is wavy and has a black border. This snake has a big head covered in scales and an upside-down nose. This is a tiny snake, and the females are often bigger than the males.

These types of snakes in Greece prey on small mammals, lizards, and insects. This species is now endangered because of changes in its native environment brought on by climate change.

Another purpose is to capture them to be kept as pets. Despite its poison, this snake is benign.

5. Bosnian Adder

Bosnian Adders are starting our list of types of snakes in Greece, usually found in the northern alpine regions of Greece’s mainland.

This snake inhabits open meadows, rocky hillsides, sandy heaths, and the edges of wooded regions. 

Adders are nocturnal creatures that spend their days hunting or tanning. Since they like to travel to wetter locations, they can occasionally be observed close to bodies of water.

Bosnian Adders are modest in stature and can be gray, black, brown, white, or yellow. There are snakes with zigzag patterns down their backs. 

They also have a dark V or X pattern on their large heads. Male adders are more likely to be gray and females to be brown.

These types of snakes in Greece are somewhat dangerous to people and feed on small mammals with their potent venom.

They hunt many animals, including lizards, frogs, newts, mice, rats, and voles.

Occasionally, they are observed rummaging through bushes and shrubs in search of eggs and young animals.

They use the ambush approach to pursue prey. After biting and releasing its victim, it waits for it to pass away.

6. Whip Snake

Whip Snake
by -MattHewitt- is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Greece’s mainland and the isles of Corfu, Crete, Zakynthos, and Kefalonia are home to Balkan whip snakes.

Its natural habitats include grasslands beside roadsides, open forests, shrubby areas, and rocky areas close to the coast.

Although it mostly lives on land, this snake occasionally climbs low foliage. It hibernates alongside other snakes in underground tunnels throughout the winter.

Whip snakes have smooth scales and are long and lean. Their neck and head are colored from olive-gray to brown. It becomes a spotted, striped pattern close to their tails.

They have pale yellow or white stomachs. There are two enormous eyes with rounded pupils on their large skulls.

These types of snakes in Greece are active during the day and sleep throughout the night. It hunts lizards, insects, birds, and small mammals with its swiftness.

Although not poisonous, this snake will bite if it feels threatened. Due to fires and pollution, the number of Balkan whip snakes has not decreased significantly despite being widespread.

7. Javelin Sand Boa

Javelin Sand Boa
by The Reptilarium is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Greek Mainland and the Greek Isles of Corfu, Samos, and Chios are home to the Javelin Sand boa.

It was reported that they were thrown at opponents in Ancient Greece and utilized as projectiles.

This snake’s habitats include deserts, shrublands, grasslands, woodlands, and the margins of deserts. The snake prefers areas that are arid and have a sandy floor.

The heads of sandy boas are tiny and stout. These types of snakes in Greece can burrow better because of their pointed noses.

Their skin is camouflaged to help them blend in with the desert sands. They have black spots and are gray, brownish, reddish, or tan.

Their tails are blunt and short, and their bodies are thick. Despite having a slight-keeled appearance, their snake scales are smooth.

This snake typically consumes small mammals, birds, frogs, lizards, and bats. They ambush to murder. 

These types of snakes in Greece are primarily underground dwellers that emerge to prey.

They are more active in the morning when it’s hot outside but become less active at night when it gets colder.

8. Grass Snake

Grass Snake
by twoody291 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Greece’s mainland and the Greek isles of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Corfu, Zakynthos, and Rhodes are home to grass snakes.

They are the most common and widely distributed species in the world.

This snake inhabits areas with dense vegetation and bodies of water. This snake can live in meadows, forests, woodlands, coastal environments, and residential areas. 

This snake is frequently observed hiding beneath garbage for protection and sunbathing. Their native color is dark green or brown, although they can also be gray or black in colder climates. 

Grass snakes are sometimes called ring-necked snakes because of the white or yellow mark surrounding their head. Their tummies are black and white.

Grass snakes use tiny insects and frogs as food. These types of snakes in Greece use their acute sense of smell and sight to forage along water banks. They swallow their prey fully when consuming it. 

Most likely, the snake won’t bite if it feels threatened. Its defense actions consist of feigning death and releasing a foul-ordered musk.

Grass snakes are symbolic of meaning in Baltic and Roman cultures.

9. Four-lined Snake

Four-lined Snake
by Greg Schechter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Greece’s mainland and the Greek Isles of Corfu, Kefalonia, and Zakynthos are home to four-lined snakes.

They are primarily found in mountainous areas, sparse forests, abandoned houses, and low-stem streams.

The morning and early afternoon are when this snake is most active. Although they can ascend well, they are primarily terrestrial and sometimes can be observed in treetops. 

The four lines that run down this snake’s back are the source of its name. Their bodies range from yellow to brown, and their lines are black. 

These are long, white snakes with dark markings on their bellies. Their primary food sources are squirrels, mice, lizards, rabbits, and weasels.

These types of snakes in Greece are mild-mannered and rarely bite or hisses.

10. Montpellier Snake

Montpellier Snake
by Sílvia Martín is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Greece’s mainland and the isles of Corfu, Kefalonia, and Zakynthos are home to Montpellier snakes. They inhabit hot, dry regions with moderate flora and rocks.

You can observe them in open woodlands, vineyards, and stone walls, among other places. During the day, this species is active and venomous.

Although less lethal, bites are nonetheless painful when made by rear teeth.

Montpellier snakes have lengthy, robust bodies. Their pupils are round, and their eyes are big

Adult snakes have a pale yellow belly, either dark gray or green. They have keeled, coarse scales.

This snake’s ability to adapt to locations with a high human population is the reason for its robust population numbers.

This snake inhabits lizard-filled habitats since they comprise a significant portion of its diet. This species devours rodents and small mammals as well.

11. Ottoman Viper

Ottoman Viper
by berniedup is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Ottoman vipers are next on our list of types of snakes in Greece. Grasslands and rocky, densely overgrown forests are home to this aggressive species.

It is poisonous and can bite without warning occasionally. Mostly active during the day, they may turn nocturnal in the summer months.

Ottoman vipers have big, triangular heads and are of middling size. Their back is covered with a black zigzag stripe, and they are either white or gray.

Their head and flanks are speckled with black, and their scales are coarse and keeled.

These types of snakes in Greece mostly feed on rodents and other small mammals. It can hunt birds and lizards as well.

This snake rarely bites, and it may hiss to warn others. It is one of the biggest deadly vipers due to its size, but it is also one of the most prevalent.

12. Caspian Whip Snake

Caspian Whip Snake
by Wildlife Travel is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The Greek isles of Samos, Lesvos, Rhodes, Skiathos, and Chios are home to Caspian whip snakes. This species is found in open, forested environments. 

Habitats with edges and rocks close to water are typical places to find this species. They are primarily active throughout the day and are swift and hostile.

The largest snake species in Europe are Caspian Whip snakes, the largest being 98 inches long. Its scales have black edges and range in color from gray to brown.

Whip snakes prey on rodents and other small mammals. Being a generalist predator, they aid in controlling pest populations.

Occasionally, it will bite without notice. Though not poisonous, the teeth on both jaws aid in grasping prey.

13. Cat Snake

Cat Snake
by zleng is licensed under CC BY 2.0

European cat snakes are also one of the types of snakes in Greece. Although this species has some venom, humans are not in danger. They are awake at dusk and nocturnal.

This species may reside in residential areas, rocky areas, woods, and beaches. They live in the trees or on walls and are excellent climbers. They have oval-shaped, short, and flat heads. 

Cat snakes can blend seamlessly with their environment thanks to their earthly patterns.

Their back is painted with black streaks, and their scale is brown or tan. Their eyes are round and resemble cats, and their scales are smooth.

These types of snakes in Greece primarily feed on geckos and lizards, but they occasionally consume small animals and birds.

Using their mild poison, they can make their prey rest. This species of snake is found throughout Europe and has a robust population.

14. European Rat Snake

The Greek islands of Samos, Crete, Kefalonia, Corfu, Skiathos, and Rhodes are home to European Rat Snakes. Their natural habitats include rural gardens, pastures, and.

They are more attracted to moist, vegetated environments. In certain islands, individuals introduced this species into their cellars to manage the rodent population.

Because of their distinctive pattern, these types of snakes in Greece are also known as the Leopard Snake.

They have brown or gray coloring with patches of dark red on their sides and back. 

They have dark markings on their head and black edges around the blotches. Its belly has black markings that are checkered and white.

Rat snakes ambush and devour rodents, lizards, and young birds. Such a species is drawn to areas where the population of rats is high. 

They have been observed hiding beneath rubbish and other things in the wild to keep humans at a distance. It’s also well-recognized that this species is not good to keep in captivity.

15. Dice Snake

Dice Snake
by anabis is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Greece’s mainland and the Greek islands of Lesvos, Samos, Crete, Kefalonia, and Corfu are home to dice snakes. They are primarily found in wetlands, rock pools, lakes, streams, and seashores.

Most of a dice snake’s life is spent swimming quickly through fresh and saltwater in search of prey. They frequently inhabit dry holes near bodies of water.

The dice snake has dark patches on its back and can be olive green, dark brown, or gray.

They range from medium to giant, with females larger than males. Their tummies have black dots and are vividly colored orange or yellow.

Frogs, tadpoles, and other amphibians that they come upon serve as food for dice snakes in the water.

Generally speaking, this snake is not hostile and won’t bite. These types of snakes in Greece strive to stay away from people. They will act scared and either fake dead or commit a foul.

16. Dahls Whipsnake

The Greek Islands of Chios, Samos, Corfu, and other regions of Europe are home to the Dahls Whipsnake.

This snake lives in woodlands, rocky places, forests, and deserts. They bear the name of Georg Dahl, the Austrian entomologist, and are among Greece’s quickest types of snakes.

The snakes from Dahls are graceful and lean. They have large eyes and little heads. They are olive-gray with dark specks on their head and throats.

Their belly is a vivid yellow color, while the remainder of their body fades to a brownish color.

It captures small rodents and lizards with its swift quickness. Autumn is when they hatch, having bred in May/June.

Although keeping this species as a pet is difficult, it is occasionally caught and traded.

17. Dwarf Snake

Dwarf Snake
by gtveloce is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Along with other Mediterranean islands, the Greek islands of Samos, Chios, and Alzoniss are home to the dwarf snake. They live in open fields, forests, and arid shrubby environments. 

These types of snakes in Greece are also known as ring-headed dwarf snakes. They hide in cracks and beneath rocks during the day. They start to hunt as dusk falls.

Little and slender are dwarf snakes. Their scales are gray or whitish, with darker margins. 

They have a dark patch on top of their head speckled with white. A band of blotches in the shape of a crescent around their neck.

This species feeds on insects, lizards, centipedes, scorpions, and spiders. Due to their high adaptability, dwarf snakes can be found in various environments.

They are not in immediate danger, and their population is robust.

18. Coin Marked Snake

Coin Marked Snake
by Wildlife Travel is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The Greek mainland and the islands of Samos and Rhodes are home to coined marked snakes.

This species has a long, slender tail and is modest in size. Their camouflaged, keeled, and rough scales aid in their ability to blend in with their surroundings. 

The brilliant brown markings, which resemble coins, give it its name. During the day, this snake is active and mostly hunts lizards, rodents, insects, and birds.

Although it resembles a viper, it is safe for people to handle and has no venom. 

19. Worm Snake

Worm Snake
by cotinis is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Samos and Corfu, two Greek islands, are home to worm snakes. This species, which likewise lives in the soil, resembles earthworms quite a bit.

They spend most of their time underground and are found in locations with loose, damp soil.

This species is tiny, slender, and brown. Its two tiny eyes are located in its small head, which resembles its tail.

The snake can climb and move around more easily because of the pointed tip of its tail.

It has a shiny, silky body. Their primary food source is small insects. This species is elusive and reticent in the wild, even in healthy populations.

20. Black Whip Snake

Black whip snakes are ending our list of types of snakes in Greece, usually found on the island of Rhodes. They live in grasslands, woods, savannas, open woodlands, and coastal heaths. 

They are somewhat venomous and are mostly active throughout the day. Slender bodies and narrow tails characterize Black whip snakes.

They have white dots all over them and have the color of bricks. They become a deep black color as they get older. Its eyes are big and round, and its neck is thick.

These snakes consume small animals, lizards, and rats that they come across in the wild. 

Farmers once purchased these types of snakes in Greece to help control the rodent population. To get eggs and birds to eat, it can also climb trees.

Despite their aggression and potential for biting, they rarely hurt people.

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