The Diadem Snake (Spalerosophis Diadema), Clifford’s Snake

This snake is not poisonous and it is from the Colubridae family.

It is the largest and thickest of the desert snakes in Israel, it can grow to a length of 160 cm.

Along its back, it has a row of brown diamonds with a white halo, and its head is triangular. When caught, it exhibits a very strong bite.

The desert species, Clifford’s snake, is common throughout the Arava and the Negev and in the past, it even reached the Coastal plain. In the past few years there has been a decline in its population due to loss of sandy habitats.

The Diadem Snake

The False Cobra (Malpolon Moilensis)

This is a non-venomous snake from the Colubridae family. Its bite, however, can be dangerous. It is yellowish grey in color, its eyes are large and it has large spots on the sides of its neck.

When in danger the False Cobra flattens its neck by spreading its ribs to the sides and raising its head and upper body. This type of warning is similar to that of the Cobra.

The False Cobra is active in the day and its prey consists of lizards, small snakes, birds and rodents.


The False Cobra

The Arabian Horned Viper  (Cerastes Gasperettii)

This is a venomous snake from the viper family. It is unique to the Arava sand dunes. This is a wide and relatively lethargic snake. It is sandy brown in color with brown stripes across its width. It is nocturnally active. The viper digs itself into the sand while only its head sticks out, in wait for its prey. It bites with a rapid movement. Its bite is highly venomous and may cause necrosis in a limb that has been bitten.


The Arabian Horned Viper

Palestine Saw Scaled Viper  (Echis Coloratus)

This is an extremely venomous snake from the viper family. Its back is yellowish-grey and white spots run along the length of its back, its tongue is pink. Its head is flat and triangular.

The viper is for the most part active nocturnally and during the day, it hides in bushes. When in defense mode it rubs its scales together creating a hissing noise. The viper is a dangerous snake and its bite may cause death.


Palestine Saw Scaled Viper

Egyptian Spiny-Tailed Lizard (Uromastyx Aegyptius)

This is the largest lizard from the Agamidae family in Israel, it can reach a length of 80 cm.

Its common name (in Hebrew, the turtle lizard) was given because its head resembles a turtle. Its coloring is light-to-dark brown, its tail is full of spiky scales which it uses in defense.

This lizard is herbivorous and eats leaves, buds, fruits and plants. Its toes have long sharp claws which it uses these to dig tunnels of more than 10 meters long and over two meters deep.

It is active during the day and requires a body temperature of 42 degrees before leaving its tunnel. It spends most of the day lying in the sun at the entrance to its tunnel.

Its main enemy is man, who hunts it and destroys its habitat.


Egyptian Spiny-Tailed Lizard

The Desert Monitor  (Varanus Griseus)

This is the largest species of lizards in Israel. It can grow to a length of 150 cm.

The Desert Monitor is active in daytime and at night sleeps in tunnels abandoned by rodents or other lizards. The Desert Monitor goes into a winter hibernation of almost half a year. It is an active hunter and chases its prey with quick movements – rodents, eggs, chicks, fledglings, and various reptiles. When under attack it inflates its throat and then attempts to bite and whip with its tail. In the past the Desert Monitor was common in all the sandy areas in the country, but today it is an endangered species due to loss of habitat.


The Desert Monitor

Sinai Fan-Fingered Gecko  (Ptyodactylus Guttatus)

This large gecko can reach a length of 15 cm.

It is light grey in colour, with a large, wide head and long, strong legs. Its fingertips are flat and very wide, resembling a pair of leafy fans. These 'fans' enable it to move on completely smooth, vertical surfaces. They are nocturnal and, like most of the geckos, make loud croaking sounds.


Sinai Fan-Fingered Gecko