Nocturnal activity of the Aesculapian snakes

Nocturnal activity of the Aesculapian snakes

Postby Ruggero Morimando » Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:37 am

Yesterday night, at about 11,30 P.M., on a road where in the past Aesculapian snakes were a "rather" common sighting, I found this female: unfortunately I had no time to take in situ pictures, because I noticed a car behind me. Anyway I saved the life of this female, which was not in very good health conditions.


Aesculapian snakes are very active in the night, and I also photographed (probably a couple of years ago) this baby (a female too I think), active at night in spring at rather low temperatures.


Other european snake species I've observed active in the night are:
Vipera aspis
Vipera ammodytes
Telescopus fallax
Zamenis situla
Coronella girondica
Natrix maura (but if I remember well also tessellata - in the late evening for sure - and Natrix natrix).

Incredibly, where I found the adult Aesculapian female, it was a long time that I had not seen Aesculapian any longer! They still manage to survive, not far from my home, but every year less than the previous one... :cry:
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Re: Nocturnal activity of the Aesculapian snakes

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:07 am

If only it were a bit warmer in Belgium...
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Re: Nocturnal activity of the Aesculapian snakes

Postby Gabriel Martínez » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:44 am


I heard a herpetologist in Spain that told me that he also found some Zamenis crossing roads in summer in northern Spain...

In Spain is very typical to see Natrix maura active at night (specially in urban gardens and other places with many people around during day time). Macroprotodon, girondica or Rhinechis are commonly crepuscular and nocturnal. Also Hemorrhois hippocrepis, Natrix astreptophora, Vipera latastei or Malpolon can be found at night. With more than 50º during day time is easy to became a nocturnal creature ;)
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Re: Nocturnal activity of the Aesculapian snakes

Postby Will Atkins » Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:48 pm

I've been told by zoo keepers that the feral Zamenis population in central London is sometimes seen after dark in the not very warm conditions of a British summer... ;)
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Re: Nocturnal activity of the Aesculapian snakes

Postby Mark Hanger » Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:30 pm

I once found Natrix n. helveticia at night in SE England, actively hunting in water. This was at a "doomed" site where there were many Triturus cristatus .
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Re: Nocturnal activity of the Aesculapian snakes

Postby Peter Engelen » Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:09 am

A few years ago I found a subadult Coronella austriaca on a very hot night in Belgium. It was on a sandy path on a military site. We were searching for B. calamita.
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Re: Nocturnal activity of the Aesculapian snakes

Postby Ilian Velikov » Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:35 am

I know we're talking about snakes but most of them are known to exhibit some crepuscular/nocturnal activity especially in hot summer months. I was more surprised when I once found Lacerta viridis active at night on the bank of a huge lake.
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