|Average Size:||20-24" long|
|Coloring:||Bright green to earthy browns|
|Distinguishing Features:||Horned ridges above eyes|
A common sight in fields and gardens throughout Arangoth, the Crowned Serpent is a small snake that rarely grows longer than twenty four inches in length. It gets its name from the bony ridges above its eyes, which some say resembles a crown atop its head. It possesses a limited ability to change its coloration to camouflage itself, changing coloration from bright green to earthy browns. A welcome sight to farmers and gardeners, it subsists mostly on grubs and insects. Due to its diet of garden pests and the serpent imagery of the Menxvanic faith, finding one is said to be lucky, especially if it is green. Catching these snakes is a common pastime for Arangothian children, and make docile pets after they become accustomed to being handled.
The crowned serpent is a small snake that reaches a scant 2 feet in length. Short and narrow it's the ideal size to hunt small insects and rodents. Burrows are easy to navigate as are the various obstacles found in the farmland and woods that it calls home. Eyesight is okay and is aided by flicking a sensitive tongue through the air.
Small needle-like teeth line its jaws and retract when not actively in use. A bite from one is nasty but non-venomous and rare; they aren't prone to biting people as long as they're gently handled. Insects are swallowed whole and live while some weak constricting subdues and, in some cases, kills mice and shrews.
The population is widespread but is thickest is around the farms. They're welcomed in the orchards and vineyards and thrive there. Some have even taken to overwintering in the cellars and basements of the farmhouses and unused buildings.
Two to three weeks before they mate the crowned serpent goes without eating to clear out their digestive tract. This begins shortly after coming out of their hibernation. Males typically do this earlier than females to let them compete for territory. They entwine and wrestle in a display of strength to establish a king male. He will mate with as many females as possible before continuing his life.
The female lays a clutch of roughly a dozen eggs a few weeks later and leaves. Depending on her ability to pick a warm spot that's free of pests and predators, including other ravenous crowned serpents, roughly 80% will hatch. They take less than a year to reach their full size and will be ready to begin reproducing the next spring.
There is a wide variety of creatures that pose a threat to the crowned serpent. Cats, dogs, larger snakes, eagles and other hungry predators can all pose a serious threat. The serpent is made to hide and evade such creatures but, despite many being devoured, their numbers are so great that predation has virtually no impact on the population.