This morning I was searching an overgrown olive grove next to where I’m staying when I saw an absolutely stunning snake climbing almost vertically up an old stone wall straight ahead of me. It was moving so fast you wouldn’t believe. After recognizing it with excitement as a young Dahl’s Whip Snake, Patyceps najadum, I just managed to catch it before it disappeared. There are 3 species of Whip Snake that occur on Corfu and all have really slender bodies and extremely long tails. The Dahl’s Whip Snake is probably the most stunning. Although the body of the snake is plain tan brown in colour the head and neck area is olive green and features a striking row of light and dark patches. They also have large eyes, with round pupils framed by iridescent gold (pictured above). They mainly hunt small lizards during the day and have really excellent vision. Normally they spot you coming a mile off and I think they must be one of the fastest and most agile snakes for their size, so bearing this in mind I was well chuffed to actually catch and photograph this one. This is however probably the best time of year to see these diurnally active snakes as they are also reproducing now (They normally lay between 3-5 eggs at exactly this time of year). Hopefully I will see more, or maybe another species of whip snake over the coming week. If I do I will be sure to try and film it to show you just how gracefully and fast these amazing snakes move!
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