The great snake question must be answered first. There is only one species of snake in Andalucía which could be harmful to your health however its bite is normally not deadly. This is the Lataste Viper, an easily-identified species and a snake which is very hard to find. The reason for this elusiveness is that this viper inhabits high limestone sierras and normally does not seek out humans for a confrontation. Another proof of this situation could be the fact that it is quite hard to photograph this species; it is not abundant and it does not hang around waiting for its portrait to be taken. However, it is a good idea to check hot limestone rocks before you put your hand on them or sit down. When eye-to-eye with any snake, simply back off and give it a way of escaping. If you are bitten by a Lataste Viper do seek immediate medical attention. The viper has a zigzag on its body, a prominent horn on its nose and narrow (not rounded) pupils. It is also worth remembering that snakes constitute an important part of a diet of many animals such as the magnificent Short-toed Eagle or the Egyptian Mongoose.
If you live in Spain and find a snake in your garden, you may want to keep it; they are excellent for natural pest control. If not, call SEPRONA (062), the “green” branch of Guardia Civil, which will humanly remove the snake and let it out away from human habitation. Many snakes’ natural habitat is also inhabited by people now, however snakes were here first. And so you may find the lovely Horse-shoe Snake, the Ladder Snake or the Montpellier Snake in the Andalucían countryside. Close to streams and ponds you may encounter Viperine Snake. False Smooth Snake completes the list, although the latter is not easily encountered. Please remember that grabbing snakes with your bare hands is not a good idea, and an experience which no animal is fond of. It´s always good to use common sense and care when dealing with snakes. Snakes are protected within the Natural Parks.
There are some fascinating lizards to be found in our area, such as Iberian Wall Lizard, Spiny-footed Lizard, Large Psammodromus and the quite sizeable Ocellated Lizard. There are two types of terrapins in our area: the more common Spanish Pond Terrapin and the rare European Pond Terrapin. Amphibians include Iberian Water Frog, Common and Natterjack Toads, Parsley Frog, Tree frog and Mediterranean Tree Frog, Marbled Newt and Fire Salamander. Please email for more info or a complete list of reptiles and amphibians in Ronda area and the Natural Parks.
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