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Aesculapian snake

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st rick View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote st rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2008 at 12:10pm
I think the majority of snakes are found inside the zoo grounds.  Personally, I haven't checked that out yet as the admission price is quite hefty, especially if you spend all your time chasing a creature that isn't officially in the zoo collection! 

It makes sense that most are on the sunny north bank, but the only one I ever found was on the south bank, which is mostly shady and outside the zoo.  However, this area is much more secluded.  I have been back several times and never found another one.  I think I had beginner's luck....  Let us know how you get on.  Be warned:  they bite!
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Ophiuchus View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ophiuchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2011 at 3:37pm
My friend Mark (Arvensis) and I had a great day in London yesterday, we were there to see Roger Waters performing The Wall but we also planned to have a look for the Aesculapian snake, what better way to kill some time than herping in the capital!
We checked one location and saw nothing, and the weather was not ideal. I had the idea that these snakes liked it quite sunny, well it was rather overcast that day, although still quite warm and there was a few times the sun did manage to shine through the clouds, but it wasn't direct sunlight, we did decide to check one other location and to cut a long story short, we got one! It was not how i expected to find one, i thought it would be hidden deep in the undergrowth, not this one, it was out basking, right in the open with no apparent cover in the immediate area for it to retreat to, although we did discover that it does have cover even though there was no dense vegetation nearby, it was so exposed someone could have easily stepped on it if they wasn't looking where they were going.
I was able to get a few photos and a video, although the photo isn't great because the head  is partly hidden by grass, you can just see the eye and its unmistakable what it is, this could possibly be my only photo of Aesculupian snake so I am going to cherish the image even if its isn't amazing! it is  in situ, 
With regards to my video footage, I would like to put this on Youtube as i cannot see any videos of the London Aesculapian snake, i don't think I've seen any footage of the north wales ones either. But i would like to hear other opinions on if that is a good idea, or is it best left that non herp loving folks are not made aware of them? I didn't mention any specific location on the video, just said in London.
Well, here is the little beauty, actually it wasn't that little, we think it was about 4 ft, although i understand they can get bigger, its still a huge snake compared to what i am used to seeing!



Edited by Ophiuchus - 18 May 2011 at 3:43pm
Ophiuchus *~*the serpent bearer*~*
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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2011 at 4:35pm
Hi, you did well.  I think you know what I'm going to say re posting on Utube - these snakes will most likely be collected/killed by every Tom Dick and Harry so I'd advise against.  Personally I'd just be happy (as you rightly are) to have seen a brief glimpse of these normally shy animals, and leave it at that.
Cheers
Will
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Ophiuchus View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ophiuchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2011 at 4:53pm
You are right Will, I have to remember that although i want to share my enthusiasm for reptiles with everyone, there are those who are not so keen, and i would hate to think i was responsible for alerting a bunch of reptile haters to go and hunt them and kill them, so i will keep the video for private viewing.
Ophiuchus *~*the serpent bearer*~*
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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2011 at 4:59pm
I'm sure the snakes would be grateful!  it's true that their existence is, of course, available on the net, (and it's even in various books on London's wildlife and in the national press) but U-tube opens up a whole new potentially hostile and ill-informed bunch of snakephobes !
Cheers
Will
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JaySteel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JaySteel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2011 at 7:57pm
Hi Ophiuchus. Any chance of sharing your video on here with us? I'm interested in taking my camera up London next week in the hope of finding and photographing an aesculapian snake.

Best regards,
Jason
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Ophiuchus View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ophiuchus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2011 at 8:50pm
Hi Jaysteel, I dont know a way i can post videos to this site, and the video isn't that great really, you dont see the snake moving or anything it stays in the same position as it is in my photo but you just get the added benefit of me prattling on in the background about how happy we were about finding it! Good luck with finding a Aesculapian, if you do I look forward to seeing your pics, hopefully you'll get one that shows its head, unlike mine!
Ophiuchus *~*the serpent bearer*~*
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JaySteel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2011 at 9:40pm
OK thanks for your reply.

Best regards,
Jason
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dave fixx View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dave fixx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2011 at 5:49pm
Im pretty sure I had the pleasure of an aesculapian snake nr Alicante a few years ago ,I was in the pool at a villa when there was an almighty noise in a bush,a bird flew off and a large (4-6) foot snake similarly coloured fell out of the bush slithered alongside the pool and on into next door chicken run.My wifes face was a pictureLOL
Dave Williams
davewilliamsphotography.co.uk
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wolfgang Wuster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2011 at 7:14pm
Definitely not an Aesculapian - they only occur in NW Spain, nowhere near Alicante. Your choices are a ladder snake (Rhinechis scalaris) or a Montpellier snake (Malpolon monspessulanus) ;)
Wolfgang W├╝ster

School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor

http://pages.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/
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