Natrix maura is a natricine water snake of the genus Natrix. Its common name is viperine water snake or viperine snake. Despite its common names, it is not a member of the Subfamily Viperinae. This nonvenomous, semiaquatic, fish-eating snake was given its common names due to behavioural and aesthetic similarities with sympatric adder species. It looks like an adder and behaves like one. It is known to strike like an adder but not bite. On the other hand, when in water, the viperine snake then looks like a grass snake and hunts its prey in the same way. The viperine snake should really be called the viper grass snake. In the small areas of England where it breeds in the wild it is usually mistaken for an adder and vice versa. This snake is diurnal.[1]

Geographic rangeEdit

The viperine snake is found in southwestern Europe and nothwestern Africa. Specifically, Natrix maura is found in the European countries of: Portugal, Spain, France, northernwest Italy and even into Switzerland. It has spread to areas of England as well. It is found in African countries of Morocco, northern Algeria, northwestern Libya, and northern to central Tunisia.[1]


The viperine snake is found in rivers and lakes, and has also been recorded from areas of brackish water.

See alsoEdit


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