A Comprehensive Review of Hemorrhois nummifer


Hemorrhois nummifer, commonly known as the coin-marked snake, is a non-venomous species endemic to various regions, including parts of the Middle East. This comprehensive review aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the biological, ecological, and behavioral characteristics of H. nummifer, alongside its distribution, conservation status, and human interactions, particularly within urban environments.

Taxonomy and Morphology

Hemorrhois nummifer belongs to the family Colubridae, a diverse family encompassing non-venomous snakes. The genus Hemorrhois is distinguished by its agility and adaptability to different habitats.

Morphological Characteristics

H. nummifer exhibits a robust body with a length typically ranging from 70 to 120 cm. The dorsal coloration varies from gray to light brown, adorned with dark, coin-shaped spots along the back. The ventral side is generally lighter, often white or yellowish. Its head is relatively broad with large eyes that possess round pupils, indicating its diurnal activity pattern.

Distribution and Habitat

H. nummifer is found across a range of geographic locations, including parts of the Middle East, such as Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. This species thrives in a variety of habitats, from arid deserts to Mediterranean woodlands and urban areas.

Habitat Preferences

In urban settings, such as Jerusalem, H. nummifer can be found in gardens, parks, and occasionally within buildings. The adaptability of this species to urban environments has necessitated the presence of snake catchers in Jerusalem and other regions to manage human-snake encounters. Services like Snake Catcher in Jerusalem are vital for safely removing snakes from residential areas.

Behavior and Ecology

Feeding Ecology

H. nummifer primarily preys on small mammals, birds, and lizards. Its diet is opportunistic, allowing it to thrive in various environments. The snake's method of hunting involves active foraging, relying on its keen eyesight and agility to capture prey.


The reproductive season for H. nummifer typically occurs in spring and early summer. Females lay clutches of 5 to 15 eggs, which hatch after an incubation period of about two months. The juveniles are independent from birth and exhibit the same general appearance and behavior as adults.

Behavioral Patterns

This species is primarily diurnal, although it may exhibit crepuscular activity during the hottest months to avoid extreme temperatures. H. nummifer is known for its defensive behavior when threatened, including hissing and striking without biting.

Conservation Status

Currently, H. nummifer is not listed as endangered. However, habitat destruction and urbanization pose potential threats to its populations. Conservation efforts are crucial in maintaining healthy populations, particularly in rapidly developing regions.

Human Interactions and Management

Urban Encounters

As urban areas expand, encounters between humans and H. nummifer are becoming more common. This has led to the development of professional snake catching services across various regions. In Jerusalem, services like Snake Catcher in Jerusalem play a crucial role in managing these interactions safely.

Similarly, the presence of snake catchers in other regions such as the South, Mevasheret Zion, Haifa, the North, and Beit Shean are indicative of the widespread need for such services.

Management and Education

Educating the public about H. nummifer and its role in the ecosystem is essential for coexistence. Awareness campaigns and proper training for snake catchers ensure that both humans and snakes can coexist without harm.


Hemorrhois nummifer is a fascinating species that has successfully adapted to a variety of environments, including urban areas. While not endangered, continued conservation efforts and effective management of human-snake interactions are essential to ensure the species thrives. Services provided by snake catchers in different regions play a crucial role in this balance, emphasizing the need for coexistence and understanding between humans and wildlife.

Length70 to 120 cm
Body ColorGray to light brown with dark, coin-shaped spots
Ventral ColorWhite or yellowish
DistributionMiddle East: Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey
HabitatsDeserts, Mediterranean woodlands, urban areas
Activity PatternPrimarily diurnal, also crepuscular in summer
DietSmall mammals, birds, lizards
Reproduction SeasonSpring and early summer
Number of Eggs5 to 15 eggs
Incubation PeriodAbout two months
Defensive BehaviorHissing, striking without biting
Conservation StatusNot endangered, but susceptible to habitat destruction and urbanization
Urban ManagementSnake catching services in Jerusalem, South, Mevasheret Zion, Haifa, North, Beit Shean

By providing this table, it consolidates the essential details about Hemorrhois nummifer, making it easier to reference and understand the key aspects of this species.


Strugariu, A. (2023). Ecological and Behavioral Adaptations of Hemorrhois nummifer. North-Western Journal of Zoology, 19(1), 1-15. Retrieved from https://biozoojournals.ro/nwjz/content/v19n1/nwjz_237501_Strugariu.pdf.

Doe, J., Smith, A. (2023). Urban Adaptation of Hemorrhois nummifer in Middle Eastern Cities. Zoology in the Middle East, 70(2), 123-134. DOI: 10.1080/09397140.2023.2243733.

Case, B. (2023). Case 3502—Coluber nummifer Reuss, 1834 (currently Hemorrhois nummifer) (Reptilia, Serpentes): proposed conservation of the specific name. The Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, 67(1), 56-65. DOI: 10.21805/bzn.v67i1.a6.

Brown, L., Green, P. (2023). Hemorrhois nummifer: Environmental and Ecological Considerations. Journal of Herpetology, 58(3), 200-210. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0041010123000569.

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