Herpetology revisited

Reptiles are out in force these days; for one reason or another, most of the snakes I’ve seen recently have escaped my lens, but yesterday I got luckier. On top of our Hausberg, I spent some quality time with this gorgeous fellow:

He’s an Aesculapian snake: quite large by European standards (up to two metres), but not venomous. Apparently they can give you a nip if annoyed, though. Here’s part of him, with a water bottle for scale:


These snakes are apparently quite comfortable around people, and this one certainly was. He came and basked a little beside me, then turned round:

snaketurningand gradually inserted himself into an impossibly tiny crack in a wall:

snakecrackOnce his head was safely inside, I ventured a gently stroke of his tail.

While trying to get far enough away from him to focus, I almost stepped on his friend:


There turned out to be at least three around there, and presumably more, enjoying the sunny hilltop.


Also cute, if not quite so magnificent, was this little lizard — probably a wall lizard, I’m told. These little guys are interesting because they come in six different morphs, which have not only different colours, but different reproduction strategies, differing in territoriality and number of young.


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1 Response to Herpetology revisited

  1. Flora Alexander says:

    What a fabulous snake! But I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to touch him, ever! I do like lizards, very much. I encountered lots of lovely lizards long ago when I spent some time in Trier.

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