A Case of Hooding (Neck Flattening Defensive Behavior) in the Barred Grass Snake Natrix helvetica [Former Natrix natrix (Linnaeus, 1758)]

Alessandro Paterna


Neck flattening, even known as «hooding», is the characteristic defensive posture which gave fame to cobras and made this group of snakes easily recognizable in the general culture. Such an intimidatory strategy is not restricted to this group of elapids alone. Several representatives of different snake families have the common ability to hood. Among European species this behavior has rarely been described and poorly documented. Here is presented a case of neck flattening observed in the wild in an adult barred grass snake specimen. Photographic materials are provided.


Serpentes; Colubridae; Natricidae; Natrix helvetica; European grass snake; defensive behavior; neck flattening; hooding

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30906/1026-2296-2019-26-2-107-110


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