Horseshoe whip snake

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horseshoe whip snake
Karl Joseph Brodtmann24.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Hemorrhois
Species: H. hippocrepis
Binomial name
Hemorrhois hippocrepis
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Mapa Hemorrhois hippocrepis.png

The horseshoe whip snake (Hemorrhois hippocrepis) is a species of snake in the Colubridae family.

Geographic range[edit]

It is found in Algeria, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar and Tunisia.


Adults may attain a total length of 1.5 m (5 feet). Its body is slender, and its head is wider than its neck. The eye is large, with a round pupil, and with a row of small scales below it. The smooth dorsal scales are arranged in 25-29 rows, and the ventrals number 220-258. Dorsally it has a series of large spots which are either blackish or dark brown edged with black. There are series of alternating smaller dark spots on the sides. The lighter ground color between the spots may be yellowish, olive, or reddish. The dark spots are closely spaced, giving the appearance of a dark snake with a light pattern resembling a chain or a series of X's. There is a light horseshoe-shaped mark on the neck and back of head.[2]


Its natural habitats are Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, rocky areas, rocky shores, sandy shores, arable land, pastureland, plantations, rural gardens, and urban areas.

Conservation status[edit]

It is threatened by habitat loss.


  1. ^ Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History), Volume I. London. pp. 409-410.
  2. ^ Arnold, E.N. & J.A. Burton. 1978. A Field Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Britain and Europe. Collins. London. pp. 191-194.