Snakes in Spain
There are some 13 species of snakes in Spain, of which 5 are venomous (shown in red).
Horseshoe Whip Snake
Southern Smooth Snake
Western Whip Snake
Seoane’s viper lives in Galicia, León, the Cantabrian coastal strip and the Basque Country.
The most prevalent of the vipers, Lataste’s viper, is present throughout the Iberian Peninsula, though not actually considered to be common. It is grey, around 50cm in length and is distinguished by its triangular head and zigzag pattern on its back. It lives in dry, rocky areas and away from humans as it is timid. Viper bites can be fatal.
The 2-metre long Montpellier snake is blue with a white underbelly and has prominent ridges over the eyes. The position of its venom fangs means that it would be unlucky to have poison injected into you. The venom is much weaker than the vipers.
Viperine Water Snake
Viperine Water Snake (or just Viperine Snake), Natrix maura, which looks, behaves and strikes like an adder but is quite harmless. It is semi-aquatic and hunts and eats fish.
The Viperine Water Snake can grow up to 85 centimetres in length.
If bitten by a snake, try to remain calm and seek medical attention immediately. Bites only occur in the spring and summer as snakes hibernate. Of an estimated 50 snakebite deaths a year in Europe, only 3-6 occur in Spain. More people die from bee and wasp stings.