Glen Parva & Glenhills Nature Reserve - Species List

Key to the list at the end of each section:
Black - Bio Blitz 2015 not photographed
Blue - Bio Blitz 2015 photographed
Red - photographed & identified by Volunteers
Green - from NatureSpot
All pictures are taken on the reserve.
Hover over the following pictures to enlarge


Reptiles - the name comes from Latin and means "one who creeps". All living reptile species are cold blooded, have scaly skin, and lay cleidoic eggs. They excrete uric acid (instead of urea), and have a cloaca. A cloaca is a shared opening for the anus, urinary tract and reproductive ducts. Reptiles also share an arrangement of the heart and major blood vessels which is different from that of mammals.
Many important groups of reptiles are now extinct, for example the mosasaurs. We used to say the dinosaurs were extinct, but they survive in the form of their feathered descendants (birds). Ancient reptiles that do survive include the turtles, the crocodiles and the Tuatara, the lone survivor of its group. The great majority of present-day reptiles are snakes and lizards.

Grass Snakes are common and widely distributed across lowland England and Wales, but they are absent from Ireland and rarely seen in Scotland. On mainland Europe their range extends from central Scandinavia down to southern Italy, while their eastward range extends into the Middle East. There are also records of this snake occurring in parts of northwest Africa. These very common nonvenomous snakes have a preference for rough land with plenty of long grass, laying their eggs in June and July in rotting vegetation such as compost heaps - a source of warmth. The young hatch in autumn.
For food, Grass Snakes eat mainly amphibians, including toads, frogs and newts; and they can even catch small fish.
Grass Snakes are sometimes killed by people in the mistaken belief that they are adders. Although they hiss menacingly when cornered, these reptiles are neither venomous nor aggressive, and so killing any of them is quite unjustified; indeed to do so in the UK is a criminal offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 198
Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Grass Snake - Natrix natrix
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