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Snake identification

Prepare for your next Camino on California's Santa Catalina Island, Oct 27 to Nov 2
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Two years ago whilst I was walking the Camino Frances someone picked up "a lovely little thing" before being airlifted to hospital! Take care.
The one thing that this world will never run out of is stupid people. We all have to do our best not to be one of them.

Sally the Horseshoe Whip Snake sure is beautiful. Lucky you, @Judeperegrino, and thanks for sharing the photo!
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
In Australia, I'd think the rule would be "leave it the ___ alone!"
A mutual friend in Sydney told me I wouldn't see any snakes as it was the middle of winter. Less than a week later I sent her this photo taken on a bush path in Queensland. The name "Death Adder" was enough of a hint not to be a Josh... :cool:

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Two years ago whilst I was walking the Camino Frances someone picked up "a lovely little thing" before being airlifted to hospital! Take care.
I was walking along the Meseta at that time and heard about that pilgrim. An Italian pilgrim also warned us to watch out for snakes where we were!
 
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I was walking along the Meseta at that time and heard about that pilgrim. An Italian pilgrim also warned us to watch out for snakes where we were!
I've lived on the meseta for 18 years, have seen snakes exactly 3 times... and I do a good bit of bushwhacking every day. All of them were high-tailing it away from me. They're more scared of you than you are of them.
No fears.
It's up in the mountains and in the deep woods you need to be careful.
 
Hi, I’m not a snake expert, but from the looks of it, snakes that usually have diamond shape heads are vipers, and poisonous. Non-poisonous snakes don’t have their head so triangular. There’s a snake in the north called the Asper kind of look like that! Always when walking be on the lookout, specially in the sunny hot areas, they come out to sun after a cold night.
 
Hi, I’m not a snake expert, but from the looks of it, snakes that usually have diamond shape heads are vipers, and poisonous. Non-poisonous snakes don’t have their head so triangular. There’s a snake in the north called the Asper kind of look like that! Always when walking be on the lookout, specially in the sunny hot areas, they come out to sun after a cold night.
.. and they like woodpiles. If you are out getting wood for the stove, keep a sharp eye out.
 
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Several years ago, while walking the Frances I found a dead snake on the path. It was an area with grain fields and no doubt preyed on the various rodents that inhabit the area to eat the grain. It was about one meter long, and obviously a non-venomous species. It had sustained minimal damage in its death, probably from a tractor. I saw several other pilgrims approaching, about 200 meters or so away. I quickly coiled the dead snake up in the middle of the path and using a small stick I propped its head up in the classic pose you see in movies and such. I then moved down about 100 meters down the path and stopped and watched. The pilgrims upon spying the snake, came to a screeching halt and I could see them jabbering away. One of them bravely approached it, trekking poles raised up ready to swing downward at the menacing deceased serpent. Upon closer examination he began laughing and they all inspected the dead snake and even adjusted it, I suppose to prank the next group. :D
 
Do you hate them, or are you merely afraid of them? As Reb said sakes want nothing to do with us humans, so unless you mindlessly step on one or plan to pick them up there's nothing to fear.
I don’t know tbh! Even the word snake fills me with dread. I don’t even distinguish between poisonous and non poisonous though the bigger they are the worse it is. I would sooner be in a room with 100 poisonous spiders than 1 non poisonous snake.
 
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I quickly coiled the dead snake up in the middle of the path and using a small stick I propped its head up in the classic pose you see in movies
On a very cold wet day on the Via de la Plata I came across a small Viperine Snake (Natrix maura) coiled up in the middle of the path. A lucky sighting as it was very well camouflaged. I watched it closely for a minute or so and saw no movement. Eventually I tapped it very gently with my pole and found it was alive but very sluggish in the cold weather. I persuaded it to move off the path because I was worried that it might be injured either accidentally or by a panicking ill-informed pilgrim.
 
Fab photo. I've only ever seen one once on Camino...just before Manjarin... probably same type of snake although my photo only really shows the snakes tail trying to get out of my way

nice 1
 
I hate snakes. Glad I never saw one.
Are you scared of all reptiles or just Snakes. I have
Ophidiophobia not herpetophobia, as snakes are far worse than other reptiles for me.

A 2021 studyTrusted Source notes that ophidiophobia is one of the most common specific phobias.

Ophidiophobia vs. herpetophobia​

Ophidiophobia is the term for a fear of snakes. People who have a phobia of all reptiles have herpetophobia.

Symptoms​

The symptoms of ophidiophobia include:
  • experiencing terror, fear, or panic about snakes
  • being unable to look at a snake or a picture of one
  • changing the daily routine to avoid snakes
  • thinking a lot about snakes
  • being fearful of all snakes, including harmless ones
  • experiencing thoughts of snakes that result in strong anxiety
 
Prepare for your next Camino on California's Santa Catalina Island, Oct 27 to Nov 2
I would sooner be in a room with 100 poisonous spiders
Ooooo. No thanks.
I once had arachnophobia, so I can totally relate to your reaction to snakes, @TravellingMan22. The phobia is gone now, but I still remember the awful dread and physical shaking. It was life-limiting. (And while there's no fear, I still don't like the thought of so many spiders in one small place.)
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Ooooo. No thanks.
I once had arachnophobia, so I can totally relate to your reaction to snakes, @TravellingMan22. The phobia is gone now, but I still remember the awful dread and physical shaking. It was life-limiting. (And while there's no fear, I still don't like the thought of so many spiders in one small place.)
Thank you. It’s quite nice it has a name. You feel less silly. A doctor friend mentioned it to me in conversation. I didn’t quite have the nerve go to my local doctors, (who are fairly stretched anyway), and when they asked what was wrong with me to blurt out ‘I’m scared of snakes’. Especially as I have never seen one in UK. Advice would probably have been … ‘stay in the UK then’.

Had a scary moment a few months back. New Year’s Eve in Hanoi. Thousands out and had met some great folks from UK and Canada. Chap appeared with a huge snake around his neck charging tourists for a snap. I felt very faint. He was at least 30 meters away but I felt trapped. Everyone looked at me. Thankfully he moved on but was on edge for rest of night.

I have terrible heights phobia too. They have both impacted my life but fairly minimally!

Well done on overcoming! Can’t have been easy!
 
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Vipera berus is not found in Spain but there are three very similar Vipera species which are: V. latastei, V. seoanei, and V. aspis. I am fairly confident that the snake in the original post is none of those.
I am not an expert on snakes and the generic European viper picture from Wikipedia does show different markings to the photo image from judeperegrino. However it was similar to the snakes I knew to be an adder or european viper that could be found around the dung heap on my grandfathers farm in England. The female snakes used to layer their eggs in the manure pile, which generated heat and acted like an incubator in the colder climate of Yorkshire.
 
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. The female snakes used to layer their eggs in the manure pile, which generated heat and acted like an incubator in the colder climate of Yorkshire.
I think you must have had both adders and grass snakes around. Their territories often overlap. Adders do not lay their eggs - the females retain them internally and they then give birth to live fully-formed young. Grass snakes do lay their eggs in places like compost or manure heaps to use the heat for incubation. If you found snake eggs in Yorkshire then they would have been grass snake eggs.
 
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We saw many many snakes when walking the Chemin du Piémont Pyrénéen from Lourdes in September last year, and a couple more on the Baztan. All but one quickly disappeared, that one we had to walk around much to.my horror. Coming from snake-free New Zealand I was extremely wary!
 
In the extraordinarily unlikely case of snake bite: immobilize victim and body part; bandage tightly from bitten area to torso and from torso to bitten area; get medical assistance as soon as possible. Chances of full recovery are very, very high. This is more than can be said for being bitten by a bear.
 
Despite keeping my eyes open and looking in likely spots I have spotted very few snakes when in Spain. The species I would really like to see is the Montpellier snake which has the marvellous Spanish name culebra bastarda. They can grow to a very impressive size and can apparently be very defensive. In this short video which shows the size they can reach the eyes of the big snake are heavily clouded - perhaps a sign it is about to shed its skin or of some illness. I certainly wouldn't want to be holding one that close to my face! Mildly venomous but no threat to humans because of the placing of the fangs deep in the mouth which makes it very hard for the snake to envenomate a human.

 
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...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
Even if you're 1000000% sure what it is, don't pick it up!
According to Google there are 5 kinds of poisonous snakes in Spain, with most of them living in Galicia. Only one is likely to be deadly if you are bitten. Having said that in my 4 Caminos, I’ve never seen one and I frequently sit on the ground.
I did, however, meet a man with a very swollen, red arm who had been bitten when he picked up his backpack without looking after having laid laying it on a pile of rocks for a few minutes.
He did see a doctor in the next town who “reassured” him by saying “ Well it couldn’t have been a viper since you’re not dead”!
To say again what has been said above - Don’t pick them up! They hate that and may decide to make that clear.
 
Despite keeping my eyes open and looking in likely spots I have spotted very few snakes when in Spain. The species I would really like to see is the Montpellier snake which has the marvellous Spanish name culebra bastarda. They can grow to a very impressive size and can apparently be very defensive. In this short video which shows the size they can reach the eyes of the big snake are heavily clouded - perhaps a sign it is about to shed its skin or of some illness. I certainly wouldn't want to be holding one that close to my face! Mildly venomous but no threat to humans because of the placing of the fangs deep in the mouth which makes it very hard for the snake to envenomate a human.

Now that's a word that doesn't get aired very often - envenomate !
 
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Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Saw a good number on the VDP sunning themselves on the trail including one that I had to stop my partner stepping on !
Ladder snake. Beautiful example! When they are young they have a very distinctive "ladder" pattern on their back but with age the "rungs" of the ladder fade leaving the long dark lines along the body. Another non-venomous snake which can grow to a fairly impressive size.

 
We have coral snakes,about a meter, rattle snakes from 3 to 4 meters,snakes that eat snakes at about ?(big snek)! meters...have seen snakes stretched across the interstate from over the dotted line and head hidden in the grass verge..approx 12 ft
Seen snakes when i was chest deep in surf photographing surfers...noped out of that.
I can only imagine walking up on one in spain
 
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According to Google there are 5 kinds of poisonous snakes in Spain, with most of them living in Galicia. Only one is likely to be deadly if you are bitten.

He did see a doctor in the next town who “reassured” him by saying “ Well it couldn’t have been a viper since you’re not dead”!
Time to look for a better informed doctor! :rolleyes: There are 5 venomous snake species in Spain but two - the Montpellier snake and the false smooth snake - are only mildly venomous and of no danger to humans because the placement of the fangs at the back of the mouth makes it extremely difficult for them to bite a human.

There are three closely related viper species in Spain which are all quite similar in appearance to the northern European adder. Personally I would be reluctant to get close enough to spot the differences with confidence! :cool: These three are all capable of delivering a very painful venom which left untreated can cause serious injuries but fatalities are vanishingly rare. Many defensive bites from these viper species are "dry" where little or no venom is actually injected. With prompt medical treatment none of the Spanish vipers are likely to cause permanent damage but there is always the possibility of strong allergic reactions to any bite. In the unlikely event of a bite seek medical advice and treatment immediately but hope for a doctor who knows his/her stuff a little better!
 
A friend who lives in Otur, near Luarca, up on the Camino del Norte in Asturias, was weeding her garden one evening and was bitten on her wrist by an adder. Her entire arm turned an odd shade of Bruise, she spent two days in hospital, but survived. She said the bite was not painful, just tremendously numb!
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
Hi I am curious to know what snake this is, just after Astorga before Murias de Rechivaldo ... lovely little thing!


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On the Frances now and my snake count is 3live, 2 dead (1 huge silver one recently hit by a car in the road a couple of days before Leon and a smushed black one near Castrojeriz), 1 that looked exactly like the photo a couple of weeks ago, a tiny black one a couple of days ago and black one with a tan stripe the length of it body the first week. Also a clump of eggs today. Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes.
 
@Purple Backpack That's a remarkable spotting rate for the Frances. You must be a snake magnet! "huge silver one" sounds like a Montpellier snake - the species I most want to see myself but I'd much rather it hadn't been arguing with a car first. :-(
 
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Seen on the Camino Mozárabe between La Haba and Medellin at the end of April. It was early in the morning and the weather was quite chilly. I’m not sure if the snake was dead or just so cold it couldn’t move. It did not appear injured.

I believe that it is a Ladder snake (Zamenis scalaris).

I like to think the sun came out and it moved on. But I certainly wasn’t about to try and warm it up to find out.
 
Prepare for your next Camino on California's Santa Catalina Island, Oct 27 to Nov 2
It's probably an adder. They are coming out of hibernation in the mountains. Our dog was bitten by one last year and was very poorly. They are normally very shy and are beautiful creatures.
 
Do you hate them, or are you merely afraid of them? As Reb said, snakes want nothing to do with us humans, so unless you mindlessly step on one or plan to pick them up there's nothing to fear.
Although a small black adder of some sort jumped straight at me with head raised out of the wheat fields near los arcos in 2015 and fortunately my hiking pole was moving in the right direction. Without even aiming it stopped it from reaching my ankles - only time I’ve ever run with my pack on!!! Our dad always told us to walk with a stick in the bush in Oz - another good reason for hiking poles even in Spain!
 
Prepare for your next Camino on California's Santa Catalina Island, Oct 27 to Nov 2
Out of curiosity, what is the first aid treatment for snake bite in Europe? In Australia we use pressure/immobilisation however I understand that is unique to Australia.
 
Out of curiosity, what is the first aid treatment for snake bite in Europe? In Australia we use pressure/immobilisation however I understand that is unique to Australia.
Different countries may have different recommended protocols. Here in the UK it is simply recommended that the person bitten remain as still as possible and to elevate the bitten limb when practical until medical help can arrive. Our only venomous snake has venom of quite low toxicity compared to many of the Australian species and while treatment should be sought immediately a bite is very rarely a life-threatening event. The three Spanish viper species are all quite similar to our UK adder though Vipera aspis (found in much of France, the Pyrenees and roughly as far west as Burgos in northern Spain) has a slightly more potent venom. There are anti-venoms available but in the first instance treatment is more likely to be just the management of any symptoms.

 
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