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Biology

This snake is extremely secretive, spending much of its time in a variety of crevices and holes in the ground (7), under stones (6), in loose sand and soil (2) and concealed in litter and vegetation (7). When basking, they often wrap themselves around heather in order to camouflage themselves (6). The diet consists of lizards, small mammals, and snakes (including other smooth snakes), which are caught by a quick strike and subdued by being squeezed in coils of the body. Prey is then swallowed whilst alive. Juveniles feed entirely on reptile prey, and this factor may restrict the range of the species to areas where reptile densities are sufficiently high (2). Very little is known about the reproduction of this species; it is thought that they breed every other year (7), and mating occurs in April, May and early June. Smooth snakes are ovoviviparous; eggs are produced but the young hatch out of these internally and are born live (6) in September and October (7). The young snakes may hibernate immediately after birth, emerging the following year usually in March (2).

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Source: ARKive

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