According toThe Irish Times:
“A nine-inch snake described as “highly lethal” by the Kerry branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has been found in a box of house tiles imported from Greece. The discovery was made on Thursday by workers at a building site in Ballyduff, Co Kerry. The snake, a horn-nosed viper, is highly poisonous and its venom can kill within two hours.
“Kerry SPCA chief inspector Harry McDaid, who attended the scene, said it was unlikely any of the workers would have survived had they been bitten.”
It’s a common misconception that Ireland has no indigenous reptiles – the St. Patrick myth has a lot to answer for. There’s lots of viviparous (common) lizards here (Zootoca vivipara) – they give birth live young by incubating the thin-shelled eggs inside their bodies. They are quite common in the Burren, near where I live. There’s also green lizard (Lacera viridis) – linked to a release of 15 of them in the area in 1958.
Then there’s the slow worm (Anguis fragilis) – it look like a snake, but it’s actually a legless lizard (just in case you thought that all snakes were legless lizards!).They’re also viviparous (giving birth to live young) and “here are a number of features that differentiate them from snakes. The most important is they have small eyes with eyelids that blink. This is a feature that is not found in snakes. They also have notched tongue rather than a forked tongue, which is a common feature of a snake. They shed their skin in patches like other lizards, rather than the whole skin as most snakes do.”
Wiki: Slow Worm »