Wildlife in Italy: Biacco

Wildlife in Italy: Biacco

Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Reptiles
Order: Squamata
suborders: Sauri
Family: colubrids
Kind: Hierophis
Species: H. viridiflavus

The rat snake, or Hierophis viridiflavus, is a snake widespread in Italy, in arid and sunny rural areas, dry stone walls, woods and clearings.

Distinctive characters

The rat snake can reach 2 meters in length, although it usually reaches 130 cm.
The basic color of the back is black, flecked with yellow specks. In young people, however, the body is gray with light blue hues. The belly is clear. When in danger, he prefers to flee, but, if captured, defends himself by biting; it is not poisonous.


Very agile and fast, it feeds on small reptiles, but also on eggs, nestlings and small mammals.

Biacco - Hierophis viridiflavus

Biacco - Hierophis viridiflavus (photo www.hylawerkgroep.be)

curated by Ivana Stella

Video: Wild Italy EP1 - From The Alps To Tuscany