Grass Snake Natrix natrix

Grass snake
Grass snake
The Grass Snake is the usual name for a common Eurasian, non-venomous snake with a white or pale yellow collar.
Grass snake
Grass snake head
Grass snake
It is also sometimes called the Ringed Snake because of the collar. A black collar follows the pale one. The name Grass Snake is also used for another species of snake in North America.
Grass snake
Grass snake head
Grass snake
In Britain (not present in Scotland or Ireland) the subspecies helvetica is grey (grey-olive, grey-brown, charcoal) with a pale lemon or white collar, black-striped flanks and a white, mottled underside. The collar usually has a small break in the centre. Other European subspecies have a continuous collar, a larger break or, in Spain, no collar; most have mottled rather than striped sides.
Grass snake The striped side
Grass snake forked tongue The forked tongue
Grass snake in garden The striped side (raiding garden pond for goldfish)
The Grass Snake is usually found by or in water. It swims well and its main diet is amphibians or fish. Where frogs are in decline it will raid garden ponds for ornamental fish.
Grass snake Typically reaching some 3 feet (1 metre) length but can be twice that.
Grass snake
Grass snake egg Unlike Adders and Smooth Snakes, Grass Snakes lay leathery, uneven-shaped eggs (above) rather than live young.
Grass snake, Central Asia
Grass snake in Kazakhstan
The Grass Snake in Kazakhstan, Central Asia, has a stronger, orange collar and yellow facial stripes. Photo by Alexandra Makhnina.
Grass snake, Rainham
Grass snake confronts frog
On the first photo on this page top left, the Grass Snake is setting out towards a Marsh Frog. Above, it encounters the enormous Marsh Frog. While not a small snake, the size of the frog puts it off the menu and even into potential predator category! The second photo on the page, top right, the snake retreats.