Lined Dwarf Racer

Lined Dwarf Racer / Eirenis decemlineata / ثعبان قزمي عشراوي الخطوط

© All rights reserved by

Status: Uncommon

The Lined Dwarf Racer belongs to the Colubridae family in the Ophidia (snakes) sub-order of the order Squamata (scaled reptiles). It is one of four snake species of the genus Eirenis present in Palestine, all of them non-venomous. They are also known as Dwarf Snakes, or Peace Snakes, the latter name due to the fact that they are tranquil and seldom bite. The Lined Dwarf Racer reaches a maximum total length (body + tail) of 81 cm, thus it is the largest representative of its genus. Despite its name, not all specimens of Lined Dwarf Racer have lines. This species is an example of polymorphism – several pattern options ("morphs") appear in their populations. Some individuals are born with 10 lines, others with 8, or 6, or 4, or 2 lines – or no lines at all. The genetics of this phenomenon has not yet been studied. They are active during daytime (diurnal). They are oviparous (they hatch from eggs), hatchlings usually appear in late summer or early autumn. The diet of the Lined Dwarf Racer consists of small invertebrates, including venomous arthropods such as: scorpions, centipedes and spiders; also most probably lizards. Thus, they should be considered beneficial to man. The Lined Dwarf Racer inhabits parts of the Middle East.

Conservation status – least concern (LC).

In Palestine – Common in most Mediterranean habitats.

Sites: Umm at-Tut, Beitillu nature reserves