Photo: Savvas Zotos

European cat snake

Telescopus fallax

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Family:  Colubridae



Small sized and thin snake that does not exceed one meter in length. Its body has gray-beige color with dark broad stripes placed alternately on top of its back. When disturbed it coils, wheezes loudly and tries to bite. His eyes have a vertical pupil which expands during the evenings to facilitate night vision.

Basic biology:


Found in hot, arid rocky foils and in old house ruins. It becomes active mainly during morning hours or during late afternoon and the evenings. It eats lizards and large insects. It can lay from 9-19 eggs, under rocks, during summer (Julne-July).

Distribution at Cyprus:

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

Global distribution:

Southeast Europe, 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


Common although not easily detected

Protection status:


Map of confirmed presence:

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