Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Another Snake in the Grass


Professor Fritz of Germany has identified a new species of Grass snake, the Barred grass snake (Natrix helvetica) which is distinct from the Common or Eastern grass snake (Natrix natrix) in the UK (www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40853286). The new species has stronger dark markings on a grey background and lacks the distinctive yellow 'collar' of its cousin (as shown above). There are, apparently, reproductive barriers between the two species in areas where their ranges overlap (which is why they can be classed as species rather than local variants). This brings the number of UK species of snake to 4. 

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