Coiled smooth snake

Smooth snake

Smooth snakes are Britain's answer to the boa constrictor. Though harmless to humans, reptiles and small mammals have much to fear. Smooth snakes kill or subdue their meals by squeezing the life out of them before finally swallowing the unfortunate victim whole. They hibernate communally through the winter and, after emerging, the males fight for females. Rearing up, they push their opponents to the ground and coiling around each other until one gives up. They are incredibly rare in Britain being restricted to southern heathland, but widely distributed throughout Europe.

How to identify UK reptiles.

Scientific name: Coronella austriaca

Rank: Species

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Map showing the distribution of the Smooth snake taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Smooth snake can be found in a number of locations including: Asia, Europe, Mediterranean, Russia, United Kingdom. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Smooth snake distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

BBC News about Smooth snake