Identifying the snakes found on the Balearic Islands can be complicated for the average citizen. Five different species of snakes are present on the islands, two of which are considered local due to the year of their introduction: these are the garrigue snake and the water snake. It should be noted that the garrigue snake is a protected species and, if captured, must be released.

The other three species present on the islands are the serp de ferradura (horseshoe snake), the serp verda (green snake) and the serp blanca (white snake). In this case, the Conselleria recommends capturing the creatures in order to reduce their population. Although these animals are protected species on mainland Spain, in the Balearic Islands they lose this protection as they are introduced species. None of the species mentioned are dangerous to humans and if an introduced snake is caught or located, the COFIB (Consortium for the Recovery of the Fauna of the Balearic Islands) should be contacted to indicate how to act. If the animal cannot be kept under control, the best option is to eliminate it by means of a procedure that avoids unnecessary suffering.

Above, garrigue snake. Below, water snake.
Top, garrigue snake. Bottom, water snake.

Serp de garriga (garrigue snake): it has small eyes with a vertically oval pupil. Their dorsal colouring is grey or cream with dark spots in a regular pattern and their belly is yellow or pink. They have a dark spot on the neck in the form of a 'collar' and another elongated spot under each eye. They reach up to 65 centimetres in length.

Serp d'aigua (water snake): it is characterised by its large eyes with round pupils. The dorsal colouring is variable, between reddish and grey. Zig zag dorsal line and lateral spots. The belly area is yellow or orange with black spots. It has aquatic habits and when it feels threatened it may attack. Its length can be up to 95 centimetres.

Top, white snake. Bottom, horseshoe snake.
Top, white snake. Bottom, horseshoe snake.
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Serp blanca (white snake): also known as the ladder snake, it is characterised by its small, dark eyes with an elongated posterior spot that ends at the corner of the mouth. Light dorsal colouration with two parallel dark lines. The belly is dark in juveniles and light in adults. Climbing. It can reach up to 170 centimetres.

Serp de ferradura (horseshoe snake): very variable dorsal colouring, with a row of hexagonal spots framed in black. Belly colouring yellow or orange with well-defined spots. There is a horseshoe-shaped spot on the back of the head. Climbing, it can reach up to 185 centimetres in length.

Green snake.

Serp verda (green snake): also known as bastard snake, it has a greenish or greyish dorsal colouring with a large dark bluish spot on the front half of the body, which is preserved in adult males. Yellow or greenish belly colouring. A pronounced scale can be seen above the eye. Its length can reach up to two metres.

Finally, if you have any doubts, it is recommended that you contact the COFIB at 653574145 or send an email to and report your discovery on the website