The smooth snake is the rarest of the three snake species found in the UK.  It can only be found in isolated areas in a few counties of southern England.


Smooth snake habits

Adults emerge from hibernation in March/ April.  Mating takes place in April/ May, with females giving birth to up to 15 live young that look like miniature adults in September or October.  Females do not breed every year. They hibernate in groups from November through to March.

Smooth snakes are non-venomous constrictors and are harmless to humans.  They strike their prey swiftly and subdue it by crushing it in their coils. Once suitably weakened, the prey is swallowed alive.  Young smooth snakes feed exclusively on small reptiles.

In common with all of the UK’s reptiles, smooth snakes are ectothermic, meaning they cannot generate their own body heat.  They like to bask entwined in heather, so that they remain well camouflaged. They spend much of their time hidden in holes in the ground, loose soil and sand and in leaf litter or undergrowth.

Read More: Threats to the smooth snake

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