Seed in the throat! The incredible moment a three-foot grass snake devours its prey in a marshland in Kent has been pictured
- Retired gas engineer Steve Cullum, 69, captured the moment a grass snake caught a tadpole off a frog.
- The doomed frog, caught in Oare Marshes Nature Reserve, Kent, was mistaken for a fish because of its thickness
- Sir. Cullum remembered the grass snake diving into the water before rising with the frog between its fangs
- The reptiles are Britain’s largest snake and are known to eat amphibians, fish, small mammals and birds
This is the incredible moment a three-foot grass snake was pictured ruthlessly devouring a helpless large swamp frog tadpole for its next meal.
The snake was seen diving into the bog before emerging from the water with the huge amphibian caught in its fangs.
The doomed marsh frog, which was pictured being devoured at Oare Marshes Nature Reserve in Kent, was initially mistaken for a fish because of the ‘thickness of it’.
This is the incredible moment a three-foot grass snake was pictured capturing a helpless giant swamp frog tadpole
The frog was devoured in Oare Marshes Nature Reserve (pictured) in Kent, which is home to thousands of species including the Chinese water deer, Leisler’s bat and palmate newt
The doomed swamp frog was initially mistaken for a fish by retired gas engineer Steve Cullum, 69, because of the ‘thickness of it’
Although they are not easy to spot, a retired gas engineer was on hand to capture the moment at the perfect point.
Steve Cullum, 69, said: ‘The snakes are generally well hidden but I saw this one dive into the bog and come up with the big catch.
The photographer, from Meopham, Kent, added: “At first we thought it was a fish because of the thickness of it, but on closer inspection we noticed it was actually a swamp frog tadpole.”
Sir. Cullum, who captured the moment, said: ‘The snakes are generally well hidden but I saw this one dive into the bog and make the big catch.’
Snakes in the grass: Britain’s largest reptiles prey on amphibians, fish and small mammals
The grass snake is Britain’s largest reptile and, unlike other reptiles in the area, is often found in low-lying, damp areas where there are ponds.
The reptiles, which have an average lifespan of 15-20 years, typically hunt amphibians, fish, small mammals and birds.
The reptile is protected in the UK under The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Schedule 5.
When threatened, the grass snake will often ‘play dead’ and under certain conditions hiss and release a foul-smelling substance.
Grass snakes often live in England and Wales, but is absent from Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isles of Scilly.
The incredible footage shows the moment the snake opens its mouth wide and its long body can be seen trailing behind in the marshland.
The marsh, which is managed by the Kent Wildlife Trust, is home to thousands of species, including Chinese water deer, Leisler’s bats and palmate newts.
it is also home to a number of other reptiles including the common lizard, smooth snake, sand lizard, slow worm and viper.
The viper, which has an average lifespan of around 15 ears, often has a distinctive dark zigzag pattern along its back and is Britain’s only venomous snake.
Grass snakes are often seen basking in the sun near ponds during the summer months.
The extraordinary reptiles are Britain’s longest snake and can often exceed three feet in length.
Grass snakes are typically gray and green, but have a distinctive yellow and black collar around the neck and black markings along the body.
They are deadly hunters of frogs, toads and other small creatures, but will go into hiding immediately at the first sound of humans approaching – and have even been known to ‘play dead’.
While the reptiles can strike, they do not bite and are harmless to humans.
Without venom, they must rely on the element of surprise when they seize their unsuspecting prey, often by swallowing it whole.
The amphibians that grass snakes go after are often still alive when consumed.
They usually have an average lifespan of around 15-20 years and are protected in the UK under The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Schedule 5.
Although grass snakes can be found in England and Wales, they are absent from Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isles of Scilly.