The Montpellier snake (Malpolon monspessulanus) is an opisthoglyphous snake rarely implicated in human envenomation because the anatomy of its venom apparatus is generally unsuitable for venom delivery to large mammals.
They are the only venomous Couleuvre to be found in France, but as its venom fangs are fixed and set at the back of the mouth it is unlikely to cause problems for humans unless they poked their fingers into its mouth . In the unlikely event of being bitten the result would be extremely painful but not dangerous for most individuals. A bite will result in stiffness and swelling where bitten and a state of general lethargy and weakness, this would normally last a day or two but BE SAFE - GET MEDICAL ATTENTION.
They are only to found in the Mediterranean region of France where they normally spend their time on the ground in hot arid areas with some shrubby low growth for cover. They can be seen on rocks, stone walls, in vineyards, open woodland or by the side of rivers. Their diet is mostly lizards, but they also eat small mammals up to the size of rabbits, killing by venom.
Hibernation takes place from October/November until March.
All French snakes are fully protected species
Overall this is a species that is not considered be endangered throughout its geographical range although habitat loss and human persecution are always a concern.
All snakes are protected species in France.