Photo: Marilena Stamatiou

Cyprus grass snake

Natrix natrix cypriaca

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Family:  Colubridae



Individuals of the species can reach a length of one meter and have three distinct colorations.

Standard coloration: gray, yellowish color with black spots or stripes in the middle and the flanks of the body. A characteristic dark crescent is located behind the cheeks.

Black coloration: uniform black coloring.

Brindle coloring (picturata): uniform black color body in which distinct whitish spots can be seen.

Very calm snake which does not exhibit aggressive behavior even when disturbed. As a defense mechanism it secrets malodorous liquid from the vent.

Basic biology:


Found in lakes, streams and rivers with banks of rich vegetation. It is an excellent swimmer and hides beneath algae in the water. Feeds with frogs, tadpoles and small fishes. It can lay from 4-18 eggs under rocks during the end of summer (July-August). 

Distribution at Cyprus:

Highly restricted distribution in specific areas of the island

Global distribution:

Norhwest Afica, Europe (not in the northern par), west Asia (but Arabian peninsula), parts of central Asia.

The subspecies Natrix natrix cypriaca is endemic of Cyprus.


Aglyphous - Non venomous



Protection status:


Map of confirmed presence:

Download the distribution of the species (kml format, Google Earth)