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Smoothy , or not Smoothy?

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: Herpetofauna Native to the UK
Forum Name: Smooth Snake
Forum Description: Forum for all issues concerning Coronella austriaca
Printed Date: 30 Oct 2020 at 1:50pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 -

Topic: Smoothy , or not Smoothy?
Posted By: Alan Hyde
Subject: Smoothy , or not Smoothy?
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2005 at 6:53am
This is not my picture I was sent it by a friend .
I think it looks like a smooth snake , what do you think?

If it is a smooth snake it will be the first spotted in this particular area.

Posted By: Alan Hyde
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2005 at 10:18am
Hi Tony , and thanks .
The site is on MOD land and was due to have the bulldozers in . But thanks to a close friend this area will now be managed by hand .

Posted By: Wolfgang Wuster
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2005 at 10:20am
Alan, do oyu have a higher resolution version of that photo? My instinct says smoothy, but it's always nice to make double sure...



Wolfgang W├╝ster

School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor

Posted By: Alan Hyde
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2005 at 10:25am
Hiya Wolfgang ,
Not at the mo' , sorry mate . I phoned my friend this morning to ask for a higher resolution copy , if he has it i'll be recieving it in email and will post as soon as.

This is really confirmation for me as , I was out in the same area about 3-4 weeks ago and found a smoothy skin .

We have now laid out six tins in the area , and i'll keep you all informed


Posted By: Suzi
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2005 at 4:30pm

Has anyone got pictures of shed skins from adders and smooth snakes that they could post?

Reason I ask is a couple of weeks ago I found a skin when out with my brother and we both thought it looked to have strange markings for an adder. We looked for keeling on the scales but were a bit uncertain how obvious this would be on a shed skin. We felt it must be adder so left it. A week or so later I found it hadn't blown away so brought it home and have looked at it quite a bit. Unfortunately it is now very fragile and bits break off. I will photograph it before it completely falls apart but it won't be good enough for you guys to ID.

I am aware there is some distortion of markings etc. in shed skins but a decent pic or two might be helpful. Or is it best just to look at images of the snakes and try and match the markings up to the skins?


Posted By: administrator
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2005 at 6:13pm

Hi Suzi, I haven't got any smooth snake sloughs, but I hope this helps.

The keeling is fairly noticeable on both grass snake and adder sloughs. Do bear in mind though that slough will be inside-out when found (so the ridges are on the inside). Hold it up to the light and the central ridge on the dorsal scales should be pretty clear. (The colour in the adder slough is a wonder of digital photography, it looks kinda grey really, but the markings are just as recognisable).

Posted By: Suzi
Date Posted: 04 Aug 2005 at 7:49pm

Thanks Gemma,

I was holding the slough against a white sheet of paper with a magnifying lens on it but against a light is a much better idea.

Yes the keeling is obvious when held like that. The brown markings didn't look quite right but yes it is an adder.

Any chance of slough pix being incorporated in the ID page? I found them most helpful.


Posted By: administrator
Date Posted: 05 Aug 2005 at 5:45am

Yep, I'm sure it would be good to have some piccies of sloughs for the ID pages, be good to have some viviparous lizard and slow-worm sloughs too. If anyone out there can do some piccies for sand lizards and smooth snakes in the same format they would be appreciated.

Posted By: administrator
Date Posted: 05 Aug 2005 at 7:56am
Ta Tony

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