The Montpellier snake is only to found in France in the Mediterranean region, it normally spends its time on the ground in hot arid areas with some shrubby low growth for cover. It can be seen on rocks, stone walls, vineyards, open woodland or by the side of rivers. Its diet is mostly lizards, but also eats small mammals up to the size of rabbits, killing by venom.
It is generally discrete and fearful and dislikes water, however when provoked it becomes very aggressive, inflating its neck, often rising up like a cobra, hissing loudly and invariably trying to bite. Hibernation takes place from October/November until March.
Coupling takes place in April/May and 8 weeks later up to 20 eggs are produced which take about 50 days to incubate.
Population: in decline VENOMOUS
The Montpellier snake can attain a length of more than 2 metres and has a menacing and ferocious appearance, large eyes with round pupils surrounded by clearly visible rims. It has a thick body which in adults is a dark grey/green, underside lighter and often yellowish with darker marks.
It is the only venomous Couleuvre to be found in France, but as its venom fangs are set at the back of the mouth it is unlikely to cause problems for humans. In the unlikely event of being bitten the result would be extremely painful but not dangerous for most individuals. A bite will result in stiffness and swelling where bitten and a state of general lethargy and weakness, this would normally last a day or two but BE SAFE - GET MEDICAL ATTENTION.
Couleuvre de Montpellier
(Syn.Française Couleuvre Maillée)