France is home to a variety of stunning landscapes, historical landmarks, and diverse wildlife. Among its wildlife inhabitants are venomous snakes that possess a deadly beauty. These snakes, although dangerous, play an important role in the ecosystem. In this article, we will explore the different types of venomous snakes found in France, their habitats, behaviors, and the precautions to take when encountering them.

Type 1: Viperidae Family

The Viperidae family is one of the most well-known families of venomous snakes in the world. In France, two species from this family, the Common European Adder and the Asp Viper, can be found. The Common European Adder, also known as the Vipera berus, is the only venomous snake species native to the British Isles. It is recognized by its distinctive pattern on its back and its venomous bite. The Asp Viper, scientifically known as Vipera aspis, is another venomous snake in this family. It is identifiable by its triangular-shaped head and zigzag patterns along its body.

Type 2: Elapidae Family

The Elapidae family consists of highly venomous snakes, including cobras and coral snakes. Although not as common as the Viperidae family in France, there are a few species from this family found in the country. The most notable one is the Mediterranean Cat Snake, also known as Telescopus fallax. This snake is non-aggressive and typically preys on lizards and small rodents.

Type 3: Colubridae Family

The Colubridae family contains a wide variety of harmless and venomous snakes. In France, the Montpellier Snake, scientifically named Malpolon monspessulanus, is a venomous snake from this family. It is known for its speed and agility, often found in dry and rocky areas.

Precautions and Tips

While encountering venomous snakes can be a thrilling experience, it is crucial to prioritize safety. Here are some precautions and tips to follow:

  • Stay alert and watch where you step, especially when walking in natural habitats.
  • Wear appropriate footwear and clothing to protect yourself.
  • Do not attempt to handle or disturb venomous snakes.
  • If you spot a venomous snake, maintain a safe distance and observe from afar.
  • If bitten by a venomous snake, seek immediate medical attention.


French venomous snakes may possess a deadly beauty, but they are a vital part of the ecosystem. Understanding their habitats, behaviors, and taking necessary precautions can ensure a safe coexistence. By appreciating their role in nature, we can enhance our knowledge and appreciation of the biodiversity that surrounds us.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Are all snakes in France venomous?

A: No, not all snakes in France are venomous. There are both venomous and non-venomous snake species found in the country.

Q: Are venomous snakes in France aggressive?

A: Venomous snakes in France are generally not aggressive. They will only bite when threatened or provoked.

Q: Can venomous snakebites be fatal?

A: Yes, venomous snakebites can be fatal if not treated promptly. It is essential to seek medical attention immediately if bitten by a venomous snake.

Q: Are venomous snakes protected in France?

A: Yes, venomous snakes, like other wildlife, are protected in France. It is illegal to harm or kill them.

Q: Can venomous snakes be found in urban areas?

A: While venomous snakes generally prefer natural habitats, it is possible to encounter them in some rural and suburban areas in France.



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