the Ringelnatter (Natrix natrix), in former times also as Unke designation, is a queue resident in several subspecies in large parts of Europe and Asia as well as North Africa, which belongs to the family of the Nattern (Colubridae).
the male Ringelnatter can about a meter long become, the female with some subspecies as for instance the Barrenringelnatter (Natrix natrix helvetica) up to two meters. In addition the females are clearly thicker than the males.
The blackish head of the animalsis clearly set off from the body, which pupils are, as round with all Nattern. On the head top side are very large sheds. The Oberlippe is formed by seven (rarely six or eight) upper lip sheds (Supralabialia), whereby third and fourth form the Unterrand of the eye. Forwardsthe eye is only one segment (Praeoculare), behind it mostly three or four Hinteraugenschuppen (Postocularia).
most remarkable distinguishing feature are orange-yellow, yellowish or white half moon marks on both sides behind the head, which are missing only with the subspecies Natrix natrix astreptophora. Markscan change into bright straps. The ventral side is white grey or yellowish and with a chessboard-like patchwork provided.
The basic colour of the animals varies from slate-grey to green or olive grey. Also Schwärzlinge, thus totally or partly black, rarely step colored animals on (Melanismus). Uptheir back and at the sides it shows dark, irregular marks. Some subspecies (for instance Natrix natrix persa) have two bright longitudinal strip along the back, other (for instance the Barrenringelnatter) remarkably dark transverse ingots at the body sides.
way of life
Ringelnattern are to a large extent day active and beginthe mornings with an extensive sun bath. They can swim and dip well, preferably live therefore in close proximity to waters of all kinds. In addition, far away from to waters in damp area they seem and are not as on water dependent as other Nattern for instance thoseVipernatter (Natrix maura) or the Würfelnatter (Natrix tessellata). In the mountains they can occur at a value of 2300 meters.
They predominantly nourish themselves of frogs, toads or fish, eat thereby only living booty. Particularly in southern circulation areas huntit also lizards and mice. The Jungschlangen eats Kaulquappen, earthworms and small fish. They recognize their booty exclusive by their movements. Their natural enemies are grab birds, hedgehogs, cats as well as humans. They become frequent when warming on asphalted roads over-drive.
Ringelnatternare very shy. They flee when threat or disturbance fast and noiseless in the water or into a hiding place. If they do not get away fast enough, Ringelnattern hiss the potential enemy on, slam shut or place themselves dead. With this dead placing reflex the animal untwists itself halfand slackens to the back, it turns the pupils downward and lets the tongue out-hang. Sometimes they empty their Kloakendrüse, which contains an evil-smelling, yellowish-white liquid. It bites humans only very rarely. Nattern have those a Giftdrüse, with Ringelnattern however onlya weak and poison harmless for humans to separate can.
The Ringelnattern in a winter rigidity in Komposthaufen , frost-protected earth, Baumstubben or heap of leaves spend the winter. It leaves this hiding place in March until April, dependent on the outside temperatures. Ringelnattern become 20 to 25 years old.
reproduction and development
Ringelnattern pairs of itself after the first spring häutung in April. They meet frequently in large groups of mating of up to 60 animals, whereby ever more males than females occur. A Balz or do not play gives it. KopulierendeCouples remain longer time connected, whereby the Hemipenes, which Kopulationsorgane of the male, into which Kloake of the female are hooked. With danger the larger female flees and pulls the male ago thereby behind itself.
The oviposition takes place in July until August. The clutch of eggs covers 10 to40 eggs.
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