Dice snake

species of reptile

The Dice snake (Natrix tessellata) is a European non-venomous snake belonging to the family of Colubridae, subfamily Natricinae.

Dice snake
Scientific classification
N. tessellata
Binomial name
Natrix tessellata
(Laurenti, 1768)
Distribution of the Natrix tessellata

The Dice snake lives a lot in eastern Europe and western Asia, though not as much as the grass snake. Only one species, N.t.heinrothi, is recognized, from the island of Serpilor (Osrov Zminyi) in the Black Sea.[2] Dice snakes are better in water and they have a more slender body.[2] They are mostly able to see easily in a woodland or desert, and sometimes in mountain streams.[2] They usually eat fish, and sometimes they may also eat amphibians. The dice snake is a bit shy.[3] They may grow up to 90 cm long, and has a brown or grey colouring. Although Dice snakes can be seen in Asia, they do not live a lot on Crete.[3] Dice snakes do not have any venom. They can let out a very bad smell, however, for defense. Another thing they use for defending themselves is playing dead. Dice snakes go into dry holes next to the water, and sleep from October to April. This is called hibernating.



The Dice snake lives in Europe and Asia: Lebanon, Palestine, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland,[4] Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Afghanistan, Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Egypt, Pakistan, and China.


  1. Aram Agasyan; Aziz Avci; Boris Tuniyev; Jelka Crnobrnja Isailovic; Petros Lymberakis; Claes Andrén; Dan Cogalniceanu; John Wilkinson; Natalia Ananjeva; Nazan Üzüm; et al. (2009). "Natrix tessellata ". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.1 (3.1). International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2009-03-25.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "The Dice Snake". reptilechannel.com. Archived from the original on 1 May 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Snakes on Crete - European Ratsnake, Dice Snake, Green Whip Snake, European Cat Snake". crete-guide.info. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  4. Vlcek, Petr; Bartlomiej Najbar and Daniel Jablonski. (2010) First records of the Dice Snake (Natrix tessellata) from the North-Eastern part of the Czech Republic and Poland. Archived 2010-04-14 at the Wayback Machine Herpetology Notes 3:23-26