The dice snake is one of the rarest reptiles in Austria and Slovakia. Narrower than all other snakes in this region, it depends on structurally rich running waters. The Schwechat as a biotope network is of great importance for the distribution and protection of the cube snake, as it connects the two protected areas Donau-Auen National Park and Wienerwald Biosphere Park.

Dice snakes are completely linked to life on and in the water. They swim and dive excellently and can stay under water for several hours. The ongoing destruction of natural water shores has deprived this interesting species of important habitats.


Upper side slate grey to olive, with two rows of more or less distinct back spots. These rows are slightly offset and can converge in the middle of the back. A further longitudinal row of dark spots can be found on the flanks. The animals reach approximately 60 to 90 cm of length, however, massive individuals can get up to 150 cm. The scales are strongly keeled, at the head-upper side, the 9 big head-shields characteristic for natters are found.


The dice snake has only local distribution in Lower Austria.

Endangering and protection status

The dice snake is one of the most endangered reptiles in Lower Austria. The ongoing destruction of natural water bodies will further threaten this species.

Way of life

Dice snakes are completely bound to life in and around water. They hunt exclusively in the water and capture mainly small fish, frogs and newts. They feel their prey at the bottom of the water, under stones, branches etc., they anchor themselves with the tail-end and push lightning-fast after passing prey. In the months June - July, the dice snake lays 5 to 25 eggs in loose soil, Mulm or in decaying tree-stumps. Approximately two months later, the young hatch from it with a length of approximately 20 cm. At danger, dice  snakes glide silently into the water and dive away.


As with the grass snake, the stink glands are emptied in case of danger.

Alps Carpathians River Corridor

Within the framework of the project, inventory surveys will be carried out and a concept for small-scale habitat improvements based on these surveys will be developed. Together with volunteers, communities and above all schools, these measures will then be implemented step by step.