Are There Snakes In Scotland?

There are three species of snakes in Scotland: The adder, The grass snakes and the smooth snakes. Additionally, the only snake native to Scotland is the adder, also known as, Common European Viper (Vipera berus), which is a venomous species of viper.

The Adder

The adder (Vipera berus) is the only native snake species found in Scotland. It is a venomous species of viper that is relatively rare in Scotland, and can be found in a variety of habitats such as moorlands, heaths, and woodlands. The adder is known for its distinctive zigzag pattern along its back and its ability to change color to match its surroundings.

The Grass Snake

The grass snake is a non-venomous species of snake found in Europe and parts of Asia. It can grow up to 1.5 meters in length and is typically green or brown in color with black markings. Grass snakes are excellent swimmers and can often be found near bodies of water such as rivers or ponds. They primarily feed on amphibians, fish, and rodents.

The Smooth Snake

The smooth snake is a non-venomous snake found in northern and central Europe, as well as parts of northern Iran. It grows to an average length of 60-75 cm and has a smooth texture due to its flat dorsal scales. Its color pattern includes a brown, grey, or reddish ground color with rows of small dark spots and indistinct dark spots running along each flank.


While Scotland may not be known for its diverse snake population, it is home to three species of snakes – the adder, the grass snake, and the smooth snake. Of these, the adder is the only venomous species and the only native snake to Scotland. The grass snake and smooth snake are both non-venomous and found in other parts of Europe and Asia.