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SNAKES IN SARIGERME

I am not an Snake Expert, nor I do know an expert Guide in this region.

However, I will be more then happy if you share your knowledge on this page regarding Reptiles and Amphibians Species in South West Turkey.

I have tried my best to gather some information about the Reptiles and Amphibians seen in and around Sarigerme, I hope this will help. This section covers some information about known snake species in the area.

Hierophis caspius, Caspian whip snake, Hazer yilani

A very large and impressive snake that reaches 250 cm, sometimes even 300 cm length. The Caspian whip snake lives in some Balkan countries, in the Black Sea region, in Turkey and in southwest Asia. The species complex of the Caspian whip snake also includes Hierophis jugularis (Large whip snake) and Hierophis schmidti (Schmidt's whip snake).

These three species are very difficult to distinguish from each other, more so because there is almost no difference in their head scalation. Near Kumluca, in the Kemer region and in the Taurus Mountains , several specimens have been observed that, according to their coloration, could belong to any of the three species described above. The Caspian whip snake mainly feeds on rodents and can be regarded as a valuable pest control in cultivated areas. When encountered, it usually flees noisily, but can also attack viciously when cornered.

Although bites of this snake are painful, this species is not venomous and therefore harmless for man. In Phaselis bay, chances to observe the Caspian whip snake are best along hedges and forest rims, in talus areas, on rockslides and in harvested fields.

Coluber rubriceps, Red whip snake or Taurus whip snake, Toros yilani

The red whip snake is a slender, very elegant snake that can reach a length of 100 cm. It can be found in different Middle East countries. In Turkey it inhabits western and southern Anatolia .

It prefers dry, rocky and bushy places and feeds mainly on lizards and large insects. Being very shy it usually flees before even being spotted and it is even more difficult to catch this extremely fast snake. Several specimens of the red whip snake were observed along the Karacay River in October 2001. It can also be found high up in the Taurus Mountains .

Eirenis modestus, Dwarf snake, Uysal yilan

The dwarf snake can reach a length of 70 cm, but usually does not exceed 50 cm. It lives on some Aegean islands and in southwest Asia . In southern Turkey it inhabits a wide variety of habitats and can be found in wooded areas and places with sparse vegetation as well as around cultivated fields. The dwarf snake mainly feeds on insects. Several specimens were observed near Goynuk in June 2002, but it is well possible to encounter this small snake around Phaselis bay.

Natrix natrix persa, Striped grass snake, Yarisucul yilan

The grass snake can be found in Europe , northern Africa and eastward into central Asia in several subspecies that differ from each other mainly in coloration. The striped grass snake of the Balkans and Turkey shows two prominent yellow stripes on the back ob its body and tail. This harmless snake that almost never bites when handled can sometimes reach a length of almost 200 cm, but usually does not exceed 120 cm.

It mainly feeds on Amphibians, but large individuals also eat mice and other rodents. Due to its favourite prey the grass snake mostly lives in the vicinity of lakes, ponds, rivers and swamps where it also swims and dives in search of frogs and fish. Around Sundance Nature Village , several specimens were observed along the Karacay River and in water filled trenches. In the Taurus Mountains , it can be found along creeks and irrigation canals.

Vipera xanthina, Ottoman viper, Seritli engerek

The Ottoman viper is the only snake of southern Turkey that can be dangerous for man as it possesses a rather strong haemotoxic venom. Vipera xanthina is a stout snake that usually reaches a length of 80 - 90 cm, although specimens of 150 cm length have been recorded.

It can easily be distinguished from other snake species of southern Turkey by a black zigzag pattern of round or rhombic spots on the light grey ground of its back. The Ottoman viper lives in the western half of Anatolia , on some Aegean islands and in northern Greece.

It feeds mainly on rodents, birds and lizards. Usually shy and inoffensive,this viper will hiss loudly and bite readily when cornered.

Fatal accidents have been recorded. Therefore every bite of this snake should be immediately treated in a hospital!

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