Wildlife in Italy: Biscia Tassellata

Wildlife in Italy: Biscia Tassellata

Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Reptiles
Order: Squamata
suborders: Sauri
Family: colubrids
Kind: Natrix
Species: No. tessellated

The tessellated snake (Natrix tassellata) is widespread throughout Italy, except in the islands. It is not poisonous and it is not biting. It defends itself from predators by pretending to be dead or by spraying a foul-smelling substance from the cloaca. He lives in wetlands along waterways and shows particular swimming skills.

Distinctive characters

It can reach the length of a meter and sometimes exceed it. The color varies from gray to brown, with irregular spots. Sometimes it has greenish shades. The abdomen is lighter, tending to white.


It feeds on amphibians, fish and small mammals.
The eggs are laid in June-July preferably in piles of rotting vegetables (for example in compost), where the temperature remains around 21 ° C, ideal for incubation. After 2-3 months, already autonomous babies are born that do not require parental care.

Biscia Tessellated - Natrix tessellata (photo Peter Oefinger www.euroherp.co)

Biscia Tessellated - Natrix tessellata (photo Josef Hlasek www.hlasek.com)

curated by Ivana Stella

Video: Wildlife of the river North of Italy