Talk:Grass snake

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I have changed this page to be about the European grass snake as (1) the term ringed snake is very unusual in the UK (the English speaking country where it is native) and (2) the snake called Grass Snake in American English (Smooth Green Snake doesn't yet have a page anyway. Billlion 23:12, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The disambiguation page is needed right now. An article that links to grass snake claims it is of the genus Thamnophis, so there are obviously several unrelated grass snake species. I have to admit that English isn't my native language. However, I did research before I changed the article name. I looked up two dictionaries. One knew only the name ringed snake, another mentioned it as the primary name. The Oxford dictionary mentions the double meaning that I put on the disambiguation page. Also, Opheodrys vernalis is a native species in United States, so your second argument is irrelevant. I am writing an article about the ringed snake, so I have read some reptile books, too. Another book I read knows only the word grass snake, so it supports your notion. Another knows both the names. But they only deal with the European reptiles, so of course they don't have to avoid the confusion.
The third article name option is water snake although I first heard of it on the Internet. Do you think the name is known well enough to be used as the article name? I did some extra research because of this hassle and noticed that ringed snake can be confused to American ring-necked snake. You lost the edit history of this page by copying the text from one page to another. You should have used the move function like I did. (m:Help:Renaming (moving) a page) If you agree with the water snake name, we can gather the edit histories into one article. First someone reverts the text of the Ringed Snake article and moves it to the water snake. Then someone moves this page to Talk:Water snake. Grass Snake will again be a disambiguation page, and the other pages will be redirects. If you don't agree, I will ask people to clean up the edit history mess, and to make sure that (cough) there will be a grass snake disambiguation page. I think I am standing on the solid ground. -Hapsiainen 00:40, Nov 19, 2004 (UTC)
Now someone edited the Grass Snake page. We definitely need help from an administrator to gather the edit histories to one article. -Hapsiainen 01:14, Nov 19, 2004 (UTC)
I have a theory. I notice that many other European languages use the something that translates to ringed snake. Also interesingly the European subspecies look very different from our own in the UK, ours are pretty much green to brown and the collar is only prominent when they have shed the skin recently. I have asked around all day, and found no one I know who calls this snake anything but grass snake. So it is not that I grew up in some weird linguistic isolation! I suspect ringed snake may have been coined as a name for the European variation so is not known to British people unless they are interseted in continental European snakes. Anyway, I certainly don't think it is acceptable to have a the Grass Snake page called ringed snake in the English wikipedia. It's a bit like having Paris page as a disambig page pointing to other places named Paris after the original Paris in France. People who originated from Britain have called similar green snakes grass snakes, it doesn't make that the primary use! Billlion 19:26, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I forgot to mention the word water snake. This is really more an archaic word for the snake, although of course it is in some way more apt. Certainly I have seen more in the water than in the grass. But we can't change the terminology just because we like it! Really the article must have Grass snake in the name. We could have Grass Snake (Natrix natrix) perhaps as a compromise, or we could have a Grass Snake (disambiguation). Anyone from the UK who types in Grass Snake and gets redirected to Ringed Snake will be totally confused and probably think it's just an error. Another, perhaps ugly alternative is Grass Snake (British English) and Grass Snake (American English), and maybe we will discover that in Australia and South Africa they have their own Grass Snake as well and the system can expand to accommodate them! One thing we could look in to more, and perhaps ask an expert is this issue of subspecies. Billlion 19:43, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I did a Google test. Here are the results:
  • "ringed snake" +"natrix natrix" 233 results
  • "ring snake" +"natrix natrix" 141 results
  • "water snake" +"natrix natrix" 263 results
  • "grass snake" +"natrix natrix" 3170 results
  • "grass snake +"opheodrys vernalis" 55 results
  • "smooth green snake +"opheodrys vernalis" 706 results
So it seems that Opheodrys vernalis is mainly known as smooth green snake, and grass snake shouldn't be a disambiguation page. This also proved your experiences to me. I try to feel betrayed to not feel like a moron... However, I don't agree with the rest of your reasons. I have to point out that in Iberian peninsula most grass snakes are almost unicoloured, without a ring. And the Swedish word snok, Finnish rantakäärme, Russian uzh and Estonian nastik don't refer to the ring on the snake's neck. And smooth green snake is bright green. The rest is indifferent in this context and therefore not worth debating. Now I shall ask an admin to move the article history here.-Hapsiainen 22:49, Nov 19, 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for doing the google search Hapsiainen. It seems the subspecies stuff and colouring needs some more careful investigation, and I will try to get some academic articles on this some time when I feel inspired For example these refs might be interesting
In the meantime, for the sake of a more complete wikipedia, I hope someone feels inspired to write an article on the Smooth Green Snake of North America.Billlion 23:12, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)


I dont get it?

To the best of my knowledge, this photo is a Natrix natrix - and it sure looks different from the one in this Wikipedia article!?!?

I can't see a collar on the snake in the photo of this article either. Here's an example photo where the collar is clearly visible:
I have a photo which I took of a grass snake with it's head poking out of water, but I don't think the quality of the photo is good enough for wikipedia (it's a bit blurred). I wouldn't know how to upload it either... -Dave F

Featured picture scheduled for POTD[edit]

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Grass snake

The grass snake (Natrix natrix) is a Eurasian non-venomous colubrid snake that grows to a metre or so in length. It is often found near water and feeds almost exclusively on amphibians. The prey, often a common frog or toad, is caught and swallowed whole. While digesting this large meal, the snake does not travel far, preferring to bask in the sun. Two or three significant food items may supply an individual's needs for the whole season, with the snake finding an underground refuge, not subject to freezing, in which to overwinter.

Photograph credit: Andreas Eichler