Crowned Dwarf Snake
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The Crowned Dwarf Snake 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 Racers, or Peace Snakes, the latter name due to the fact that they are tranquil and seldom bite. The Crowned Dwarf Snake reaches a maximum total length (body + tail) of 32 cm, thus it is the smallest representative of its genus. The Crowned Dwarf Snake is well camouflaged, matching the background of its natural surroundings. The markings on its body resemble crowns, thus the specific name in English. They are shy animals, usually hidden under stones or in cracks in the ground. It is considered diurnal (active during daytime), but data on its exact activity cycle is scarce. They are oviparous (they hatch from eggs), hatchlings usually appear in late summer or early autumn. The diet of the Crowned Dwarf Snake 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 Crowned Dwarf Snake 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