Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Reptilia
Order Squamata
Family Colubridae
Genus Natrix
Species tessellata
Classification Laurenti, 1768
Common name dice snake
Size 80 - 100 centimeters

Geographic Range it is found in France, Italy (with the exception of the uttermost southern part), Switzerland, Austria, the Balkans, south-western and central Asia.
Physical Characteristics the upper part of its body is grey - olive green, with darker chequered spots; the lower part is pale and chequered too. On the back of the neck it has a "V"-like dark spot. Its head is small and triangular, its pupil is round. Its protruding eyes and its point upwards nose are characteristics of the adaptation to water life.
Behaviour it goes out of the water only to mate, to lay eggs and to hibernate in winter. Its favourite habitat is water: it may lie for hours on the bottoms of water ponds; it can swim very well and it can even swim up streams, but it moves quickly on the ground too. Like Natrix natrix, when it is disturbed it gives out a whistle and if it gets caught its anal gland sends forth a disgusting smell. It isn't poisonous. One more defence tool is pretending to be dead in order to escape from predators.
Habitat water courses, banks of ponds.
Food habits fishes, frogs, tadpoles.
Reproduction it may lay from 5 to 35 eggs which hatch at the end of summer.
Status in the lagoon it is found mainly in the areas associated to soft or little brackish water, most of all in the areas closer to mainland or in the fishfarms (Dogà, Grassabò, Fosse, Cavallino, Lio Maggiore, Liona, Olivara, Paleazza, Perini, Serraglia, Averto, Cornio Alto, Figheri, Pierimpié, Ghebo Storto, Morosina, Millecampi), Bosco Nordio, Cassa di Colmata "A" ("A" reclaimed area), Teneri lakes and nearby saltmarshes.

References ReteAmbiente
I biotopi tutelati della Provincia Autonoma di Trento
Guida alla natura nella Laguna di Venezia - di Giampaolo Rallo - Franco Muzzio editore
Web References http://reteambiente.it
Source of the photo http://www.lac-leman.nomades.ch/spanishpages/faune/reptil.htm

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