Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Reptiles & amphibians

Dice snake (Natrix tessellata)


Most male dice snakes stay at a length between 60 and 80 cm, while females can get up to 1.3 m. The snakes’ colour may vary from olive-green to dark-brown, always with a row of white-yellow spots. The scientific name tessellate means chequered, which refers to the pattern of the scales. This pattern is more clear on the belly, but can be seen on the back as well.


The species is largely aquatic and can be mostly found in rivers, coasts, lakes or other water parties and their surrounding terrestrial habitats. It can live in fresh, brackish and salt water, and stay under water for over 15 minutes.


The dice snake mostly hunts fish, although they may also catch frogs and other amphibians.

Protection status

This species is listed as “Least Concern” by IUCN Red List.

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