The Western Whip Snake has been protected in Malta since 1992.
Malta-based environmental activist and park ranger Cami Appelgren took to social media to share some rare footage of a Juvenile Western Whip Snake in search of prey at a Maltese nature reserve.
The Western Whip Snake (Coluber viridiflavus) can grow to up to one-and-a-half metres in length and is the largest and most common snake in the Maltese islands.
This creature is characterised by its rounded snout, large eyes, round pupils, and a long, tapering tail.
Whilst the Western Whip Snake can be found in a variety of habitats, the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) says that it tends to stick to dry and quiet places – such as valley sides, maquis, and open rocky ground.
“It is an extraordinary hunter, using its vision to locate prey, which varies with local availability. However, it typically takes other reptiles and small mammals, including lizards and their eggs, mice, shrews, other small snakes, frogs, and large insects,” ERA wrote.
“Though normally discreet, the Western Whip Snake is a powerful snake, and when angered, it hisses and thrashes the ground with its tail,” the authority added.
Luckily for us, this species lacks venom, although it would not hesitate to bite its aggressor in defence.
Cami Appelgren noted how the “hunting behaviour seen” in the video “is rarely captures, since the snake wouldn’t do this when it’s aware of anyone nearby.”
“I was very well hidden and used a camcorder with 90x optical zoom,” she added.
The Western Whip Snake has been protected in Malta since 1992 and is also considered to be ‘of importance’ across Europe.
Have you ever spotted this species?
Cami Appelgren / Facebook