This is Master Viper («Αστρίτης» – Vipera berus). The snake is curled up a tree. The photo was taken in a mountain gorge in Ikaria in July 2006. However, unlike some other islands, the viper is very rare in this island. It has always been so, they say. I suppose because it suffers from concurrence from the Colubrine snakes..
I think also because Ikaria is not as dry as the other islands. So I have never seen a viper in my thornlands, though thorns is one of their typical habitats. Vipers like it sunny and dry...
You can tell the difference between a Colubrine snake which is a harmful as a cat, and a viper from the shapes on their backs and their necks. The Colubrine which can become very long, does not have a neck and there are no geometrical patterns on its back. When big in fact the Colubrine or Whip snake looks like a dark grey brown garden hose. Unlike it the viper looks very like a snake : silvery with dark lozenges on its back, thin neck, triangular head, forked tongue and a loud hhiiiissss!..
Saturday April 21, 2007 – 10:39pm (EEST)