Snakes

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There are very few types of snakes in Cyprus. Only 3 are poisonous, and only 1 is poisonous to humans. Click on the name for a picture of each snake

Blunt-Nosed Viper:

This is the most dangerous snake, as it is poisonous to humans. The best way to recognize it is by it's blunt-nose. It can grow to about 125cm long, and can be as thick as your forearm. Usually it is the color of sand.

Cat Snake:

The Cat snake is not poisonous to humans. It has a broad flat head, with scales on its forehead, and vertical slit eyes. It can be beige, brown, or green, with square shaped markings on its body.

Montpellier Snake:

Not poisonous to humans. It has large round eyes, with brown or yellow stripes or spots. Depending on its age it can be grey or olive-green in color.

Large Whip Snake:

The Large Whip snake is the most common in Cyprus, and can reach lengths of 2.5 meters. Because of its size it is easy to recognize. It is either olive brown or dark blue in color.

Worm Snake:

This snake is pink or brown in color and looks like an earth worm. It is usually found hiding under large rocks. It is not poisonous.

Cyprus Whip Snake:

This snake is olive green when it's young, then changes to black with a green tinge. It is not poisonous.

Cyprus Grass Snake:

The Cyprus Grass snake can be; light to dark brown, dark brown to black, or deep blue-black. There are no other noticeable markings, and it is not poisonous.

Coin Snake:

The Coin snake looks similar to the Blunt-Nosed Viper. The head stands out, as it is relatively bigger than the body. It is thin, and the tails tapers to a long thin end.

General Knowledge:

Snakes do not like people. If they sense you coming, via noise and vibrations, they will do their best to leave the area. So, make lots of noise as you walk (e.g. brush your feet). They bite only in self-defense, and would much prefer to leave the area if you give them a chance. Although most snakes are under the dirt or in grassy areas, occassionally they may be on tree branches, so look up if you are walking under trees. When it is sunny most snakes like to lay under the sun to warm up.

General Safety Before Starting at a New Site:

  • Team leaders should obtain information on near-by medical facilities. Check in advance if they are equiped to deal with snake bites.
  • Inform local authorities of the location and of the type of work being done.
  • Find out the best way to seek help from local authorities should an emergency occur.

If you are bitten by a snake:

  • Try to notice the design / markings of the snake so you can describe it to medical personnel. This will assist them in identifying it and administering the correct anti-venom.
  • Do not try to catch the snake as it may bite again.
  • Seek medical help immediately.
  • Lie down and rest to reduce heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Keep bitten limb lower than the rest of the body.
  • Wrap the bitten area in a tensor bandage with an ice pack.
  • Do NOT cut the skin to try to suck out the poison! This can result in poison in the mouth.
  • Do NOT apply a tourniquette to stop circulation! This can result in necrosis (death) of the limb.

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