Caspian Whipsnake, Dolichophis caspius/Coluber caspius

The Caspian whipsnake (Dolichophis caspius, sometimes also Coluber caspius) is among the largest European species of snake as alluded to in its common name, the Large whipsnake. Commonly found on the Balkan Peninsula and throughout Eastern Europe, this snake is a member of the Colubridae family.

This species of whipsnake often reaches lengths of 5-5.5 feet, although it has been recorded reaching lengths as long as 8.25 feet.  Typically, males measure longer than females. Prominent eyes with round pupils sit on its rather small head. The Caspian whipsnake can be yellowish brown, olive, or reddish in color.

The Caspian whipsnake inhabits areas ranging from rocky hillsides, embankments, gardens, open woods and sometimes desert. The snake prefers dry, open habitats plush with vegetation.
The Caspian whipsnake is oviparous, generally laying 5-18 eggs per clutch. The male snake is known to grasp its mate firmly by the neck while breeding and can begin at approximately 3 years old.

This species is known for its aggressive nature. When provoked, threatened or even simply approached the snake will strike repeatedly and/or forcefully bite. The Caspian whipsnake is non venomous, however mostly active during the day and precautions should be made if stumbled upon.

The Caspian whipsnake feeds mostly on small mammals but lizards, smaller snakes and birds are not off limits. Hunting during the day, the snake uses bushes and trees to climb and plot its attack.

Image Caption: Caspian whipsnake (Dolichophis caspius/Coluber caspius). Credit: Yurly Kvach/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)