The Reptiles in Bulgaria


More than 30 species of Reptiles occur on the territory of Bulgaria, becoming the second most diverse class in Bulgaria after amphibians. There are medium-sized turtles of two families – Testudo hermanni and Testudo graeca; 16 species of snakes and 13 species of lizards.

The largest diversity of reptiles is recorded in the southernmost part of Bulgaria – the Struma River valley, the existing Rhodopes, the southern reaches of the Maritza and Strandzha rivers.

You can find more information about reptiles in Bulgaria at testudo

Photos of Bulgarian Reptiles

The photos show representatives of:

  • Caspian marsh turtle (Mauremys rivulata) – In Bulgaria, the Caspian marsh turtle is found in the southernmost parts of the country – around Petrich, Sandanski, Ivaylovgrad, Svilengrad, Sredets and Ahtopol.
  • Malpolon monspessulanus – Malpolon monspessulanus, commonly known as the Montpellier snake, is a species of mildly venomous rear-fanged colubrids. It reaches up to 2 m in length and the largest specimen found in Bulgaria is 157 cm long.
  • Dice snake (Natrix tessellata) – European nonvenomous snake belonging to the family Colubridae, subfamily Natricinae. Also called water snake.
  • Platyceps najadum – Platyceps najadum, known commonly as Dahl’s whip snake, is a species of snake in the genus Platyceps of the family Colubridae.
  • Caspian whipsnake (Coluber caspius) – also known as the large whipsnake (among various other species in genus Dolichophis/Coluber), is a common species of whipsnake found in the Balkans and parts of Eastern Europe.
  • Leopard snake (Zamenis situla) – The European ratsnake or leopard snake (Zamenis situla), is a species of nonvenomous colubrid snake endemic to Europe, Asia Minor, and the Caucasus.
  • Cat snake (Telescopus fallax) – also known as the Soosan snake, is a venomous colubrid snake endemic to the Mediterranean and Caucasus regions.
  • Smooth snake (Coronella austriaca) – a species of non-venomous snake in the family Colubridae. The species is found in northern and central Europe, but also as far east as northern Iran.
  • Four-lined snake (Elaphe quatuorlineata) – common names: four-lined snake, Bulgarian ratsnake is a member of the family Colubridae. The four-lined snake is a non-venomous species and one of the largest of the European snakes.
  • Aesculapian snake (Elaphe longissima) – a species of nonvenomous snake native to Europe, a member of the Colubrinae subfamily of the family Colubridae. Growing up to 2 metres (6.6 ft) in length, it is among the largest European snakes, similar in size to the four-lined snake (Elaphe quatuorlineata) and the Montpellier snake (Malpolon monspessulanus). The Aesculapian snake has been of cultural and historical significance for its role in ancient Greek, Roman and Illyrian mythology and derived symbolism.
  • European blind snake (Typhlops vermicularis) – European blind snake, European worm snake, Eurasian blind snake, or Eurasian worm snake, is a species of snake in the genus Xerotyphlops. Despite its common name, the range of the European blind snake ranges from the Balkan Peninsula, the Aegean Islands, and Cyprus to Afghanistan.
  • Vipera ammodytes – other common names include horned viper, long-nosed viper, nose-horned viper, sand viper is a viper species found in southern Europe through to the Balkans and parts of the Middle East. It is reputed to be the most dangerous of the European vipers due to its large size, long fangs (up to 13 mm) and high venom toxicity.
  • Vipera berus – also known as Marlies, Prags, Bardas or the common European adder or common European viper, is a venomous snake that is extremely widespread and can be found throughout most of Western Europe and as far as East Asia. Known by a host of common names including common adder and common viper, adders have been the subject of much folklore in Britain and other European countries.
  • European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) – also called commonly the European pond terrapin and the European pond tortoise, is a species of long-living freshwater turtle in the family Emydidae. The species is endemic to the Western Palearctic.
  • Sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) – a lacertid lizard distributed across most of Europe including England, France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, southern Sweden, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Poland, Western Russia and eastwards to Mongolia and northwest China.
  • Ophisops elegans – commonly known as the snake-eyed lizard, is a species of lacertid lizard endemic to the Mediterranean region and Central Asia.
  • Wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) – species of lizard with a large distribution in Europe and well-established introduced populations in North America, where it is also called the European wall lizard. It can grow to about 20 cm (7.9 in) in total length.
  • Forest lizard (Darevskia praticola) – a lizard species in the genus Darevskia. It is found in Georgia, Russia, Iran, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Turkey.
  • Balkan Gecko (Cyrtopodion kotschyi) – a species of gecko, a lizard in the family Gekkonidae. The species is native to southeastern Europe and the Middle East.
  • Hermann’s tortoise (Testudo hermanni) – a species in the genus Testudo.
  • Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca) – also known commonly as the spur-thighed tortoise, is a species of tortoise in the family Testudinidae. Testudo graeca is one of five species of Mediterranean tortoises (genera Testudo and Agrionemys).