|Photos courtesy of Francesco L. P.|
These photos of biaccos come to me courtesy of Francesco L. P., who discovered the snakes near his house in Rome. The one in the lower photo is eating a lizard. My Italian correspondent Max tells me the biacco (Coluber viridiflavus; also known as the green and yellow coluber) is non-venomous, but bites readily. Francesco was surprised to see the snakes active in winter. Mild weather is surely the cause. My friends in Oklahoma and Texas, where the temperature can vary considerably even in the heart of winter, sometimes see rattlesnakes sunning themselves on rocks or sidewalks on warm days. When the temperature drops, the snakes return to their dens.