Photo: Haris Hadjistyllis

Eastern Montpellier snake

Malpolon insignitus

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Family:  Colubridae



Big and strong snake whose length can reach two meters. Juveniles have brown body color with numerous white or yellow dashed stripes while adults have a uniform gray to olive green color. The chin has white dots and the belly is usually yellow.

Basic biology:


Found in numerous types of habitats. It can be located from hot, arid and rocky habitats, to cultivated lands, forest or shrubs. It feeds on small mammals, lizards and other smaller snakes. It reproduces during late spring and can lay up to 20 eggs in summer. The eggs hatch approximately one month after their deposit.

Distribution at Cyprus:

Widespread from the coast to the high peaks of Troodos mountain.

Global distribution:

North Africa, Greece, Cyprus, west Asia from Turkey and the Mediterranean coast of middle East to Iran.


Opisthoglyphous - Poisonous fangs in the back of the mouth

Harmless to humans



Protection status:



Map of confirmed presence:

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