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Smooth snake - mating and parturition. New article!

Beate Strøm Johansen published a new article in The Herpetological Bulletin - Smooth snake, mating and parturition

Smooth snake mating. Photo: Beate Strøm Johansen
Smooth snake mating. Photo: Beate Strøm Johansen

The Herpetological Bulletin 1610 2022: 13-18. 


Mating activity and parturition of the smooth snake Coronella
austriaca in Norway

The smooth snake Coronella austriaca Laurenti, 1768, is distributed widely over the European mainland occurring as far south as Sicily and Greece and as far north as Sweden and Norway where it reaches 60° N (Artsobservasjoner, undated; Artportalen, undated). This is a slender snake with a total adult length of 70–90 cm that in Norway feeds mainly on slowworms Anguis fragilis and shrew species Sorex spp. The female is ovoviviparous, bearing live young mostly in August or September. The reproductive ecology of the smooth snake is poorly understood since mating and parturition have rarely been documented. Here we present the first records of smooth snake mating activity in both spring and autumn in Norway, and report how parturition date varies with summer temperature.


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