Reptiles & Amphibians

Hello😎 I thought you might like our short video of the western whipsnakes living in our cabin roof. Please excuse our colourful language, I didn’t know how to separate the sound out

This is from 2018

I’m wondering how to evict them safely because we’re adding a roof layer for insulation next year and I don’t want them getting trapped. Our roof space is not accessible. Unless you’re a snake.

We live next to the Vienne river. We have lots of amphibians and thanks to your post I’m going to now try identifying more of them :heart:


My wife has told me that we now have a small grass snake raiding our fish pond, presumably for toadpoles as the fish are far too big for it at the moment!

To keep there snake like hips grass snakes only eat small meals, a lesson for some :rofl: so your fish should be safe

Turns out my wife isn’t very good at recognizing snakes, I saw it this afternoon, it’s our smooth snake, just moved to the rocks around the pond, so the fish are safe :rofl::rofl::rofl:

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I noticed a toad the other day just below the surface who waited a while as I watched before moving away. Also in the same area some very large tadpoles, are those toadpoles?

Then 2 days ago in the top (much deeper,swimming) pond, in a little shallow area caused after overnight rain by a fold in the liner, a swarm of very tiny tadpoles. The first time I have seen them there but I do see the frogspawn, and try not to disturb it, in the Spring.


Toadpoles (not even sure that is their correct designation) seem to be chunkier versions of their frog relations, with stubbier bodies and broader heads. I’ll try and post some pictures, we have about 10 of them (that we can see and count) in a water trough.

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I’d love to see the photos @RicePudding and am hoping that, when the little pond I have in mind is installed, I shall finally see some myself! As doing the kind of biggish pond I want is proving a bit challenging at the moment, I’m going for a small pro-tem measure as this is the first time ever I’ve been without a pond :frowning:

Mind you, at my last house in the UK, I never had frogspawn or toadspawn but must have had whatever you call the equivalent for newts as the pond always had some newts in it and baby ones appeared everwhere. I do love newts - such pretty hands…

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They are gorgeous, Colin! Thank you :smiley:

I think they’re common but this is the first I’ve seen in six years here,


Yes, we usually have loads of these running around the garden, sunning themselves at the top of the bushes and making lots of noise in the undergrowth!
This year, in comparison to other years, not so many though.

This is the snake/frog incident that I mentioned in another thread. For those who didn’t read the original, spoiler alert, the frog escaped. :smiley:


Brilliant pics David, thanks! That grass snake was going for it - même pas peur !

I think it is a French grass snake as it really likes frogs legs…

I’ll get my coat…


I didn’t do videos in those days so it is a series of photos, not a multi-burst, after I had raced to get the camera. There are more but with less clarity.

Now I video everything and then take snapshots on the computer afterwards.

I don’t know if this is an adder or an asp. Seemed a bit big for an adder

We have lots of ocellated lizards on our patch, but I don’t have a decent photo yet as they’re too fast. I looked into their distribution, and from what I saw, our population of them might be the most northern, at Argentat-sur-Dordogne.

Might be a grass snake… might be a viper…

You could get up close and look it in the eye… :wink:

If the black pupil is vertical… step well back…

With round black pupil… no problem…


That’s useful to know @Stella - thank you!

I was being mischievous, I would never get that close… but it is one way to distinguish the good from the bad.

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I actually have never seen a snake here - although I look out for asps on the local dunes. Everything I’ve seen so far has been a slow worm. I think I’m happy with that :smiley: