Barred grass snake


Natrix helvetica


Typically gray and occasionally brown in color, I have a distinctive white collar. Adult males can reach up to 65 cm long, adult females 1.40 m.



I generally feed on small amphibians that I capture in water or on land. I also eat small fish, lizards and micro-mammals.


After mating in April-May, I lay between two and 30 eggs in June that will hatch one or two months later.


I live for between 25 and 28 years.

Where and when can you find me in the reserve ?


An excellent swimmer, I have a preference for wet sites but you can also find me some distance from water too. The alluvial forest and river banks are ideal for me.

When to spot me

Like all reptiles in our latitude, I hibernate in the cold months so you can spot me between March and October.

Did you know?

When I am threatened, I emit a foul-smelling odor and can play dead by lying open-mouthed on my back.

Possible mistaken identity

Although I have a distinctive light collar at the base of my head, people can easily confuse me with a viper, even though in Alsace vipers are extremely rare and never found on a plain.

Conservation status

  • Red list of reptiles in metropolitan France: Least Concern (LC).
  • Red list of endangered reptiles in Alsace: Vulnerable (VU).
  • Protected in France

Over a hundred species referenced