Are There Snakes in Ireland?

There are no snake species native to or naturally occurring in Ireland. In fact, Ireland is home to only one species of reptile, the viviparous lizard. However, snakes are found in zoos as well as other wildlife exhibits.

Scientists believe reptiles did not establish themselves in Ireland because melting glaciers made the oceans impassable. Additionally, the geographic location of Ireland does not create a hospitable environment for reptiles. The lack of snakes in Ireland has long been attributed to the legend of St. Patrick, though scholars theorize that the snakes of the St. Patrick legend are more likely symbolic religious symbols that actual snakes.