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New species of snake discovered in the UK

Posted on Monday, 7 August, 2017 | Comment icon 11 comments

The grass snake is native to the UK. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Lukas Jonaitis
The find brings the total number of distinct snake species in the British Isles from three to four.
Scientists studying the barred grass snake, which was thought to be a subspecies of the common grass snake, have discovered that it is actually a distinct species in its own right.

Both snakes are typically found in lowland regions in the south of England and are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, meaning that it is an offense to injure or kill them.

"We discovered that the barred grass snake, previously considered a subspecies, is in fact a distinct species," said Professor Uwe Fritz from the Senckenberg Research Institute in Germany.

"We now have to pay close attention to which species of grass snake is involved in each case, in order to be able to assess whether one of them may be more threatened than previously thought."

Source: BBC News | Comments (11)

Tags: Snake, UK

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by paperdyer on 7 August, 2017, 16:50
Just keep it where it is.  No need to export.  We have plenty of snakes here already. In fact we have too many, at least the poisonous ones.
Comment icon #3 Posted by seanjo on 7 August, 2017, 17:18
We have many dangerous animals in Britain, Angry Badgers and Snakes that smoke grass are the worst....
Comment icon #4 Posted by BeastieRunner on 7 August, 2017, 17:24
Just what Britain needs, another snake.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Still Waters on 7 August, 2017, 19:45
My father-in-law got bitten by a snake once. He was cutting a hedge in his garden at the time, he didn't see the snake but certainly felt its bite, it left 2 puncture marks on his hand. He thought it was an adder because his hand became inflamed and swollen, luckily the swelling didn't spread up his arm so no real harm done. I've only seen one snake too, and that was in Wales around 40 years ago. We were out walking and spotted it slithering away from us, a grass snake I think. At least that's what my dad said it was.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Matt221 on 7 August, 2017, 19:47
I've got grass snakes in my Orchard little beauty's they are
Comment icon #7 Posted by Matt221 on 7 August, 2017, 19:51
My dad got bitten by an adder when we lived in a house near a marsh his ankle swelled up went black and all puffy but to be fair we did know snakes were there
Comment icon #8 Posted by Stiff on 7 August, 2017, 19:56
Yes, the one I saw was definitely a grass snake too. I think that's all there are in the wild here. It was crossing a road that leads up to a farm I was just leaving from. Luckily I noticed it and managed to brake in time 
Comment icon #9 Posted by Myles on 7 August, 2017, 20:52
Sounds like grass snakes are similar to garter snakes here in the states.   Not really the look, but being harmless to humans.  I seen a garter snake yesterday.   I almost caught it, but it avoided me.  
Comment icon #10 Posted by seanjo on 8 August, 2017, 11:20
We have Adders and slow worms as well, Adders are poisonous and can kill small kids or old folk. They are very rare though and only live in certain parts of the country.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Matt221 on 8 August, 2017, 12:50
Ive only ever seen one smooth snake here in the uk it was down in Dorset in fact I've seen all the reptiles and amphibians apart from natterjack toad oh and the small colony of green lizards down on the south coast somwhere

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