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The grass snake is typically dark green or brown in colour with a characteristic yellow collar behind the head, which explains the alternative name ringed snake. The colour may also range from grey to black, with darker colours being more prevalent in colder regions, presumably owing to the thermal benefits of being dark in colour. The underside is whitish with irregular blocks of black, which are useful in recognizing individuals. Weight is about 240 g (8 oz). This species was considered to be one of only three snakes to occur in Great Britain, but the grass snakes in Great Britain have now been reidentified as barred grass snake Natrix helvetica, any records of N. natrix in Britain are now considered to have originated from imported specimens.
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