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 could produce a state of general lethargy and weakness, this could possibly 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. Prey is often chased and followed.
Hibernation takes place from October/November until March.
BELOW: Fabulous video featuring Montpellier Snakes (Malpolon monspessulanus) filmed in Provence, southern France. Caught on film are some of this snake's unique and interesting social behaviours, such as pair bonding, the male capturing and presenting prey to the female, territorial battling between males, rubbing behaviours using the narial valves and more, as well as exquisitely filmed segments of baby Montpellier Snakes being born.
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 serious concern.
All snakes are protected species in France.