Cat Snakes

Cat Snakes

 

any member of the genus Telescopus (Tarbophis) of the subfamily Colubridae. The pupil of the eye is vertical, as in cats (hence the name). There are 12 species. The snake is found in southeastern Europe, the southwestern part of Asia, and tropical and northeastern Africa.

The cat snake (Telescopus fallax), up to 1 m long, is found in the USSR (in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Dagestan), as well as in Asia Minor and the Balkans. It inhabits dry, often stony, places; sometimes it lives in abandoned buildings, ruins, and thatched roofs. The snake hides in cracks, crevices, and holes and under the bark of trees. During the hot season it is active at dusk and at night. It feeds primarily on lizards and nestlings, coiling around its prey and poisoning it with its bite. The bite is not harmful to man. The larger Telescopus rhinopoma is found in the southern part of Turkmenia.

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Other topics include the rainbow serpent, the snipers: vine snakes, the night shift: boas and pythons, the poisoners: tree vipers, and Old World cat snakes.