As I was driving from Bab Al Shams to work on a hot summer day, my companion suddenly asked me to stop the car. She had seen a snake.

I pulled over and chased the reptile as it tried to slither away.

As I cornered the snake, it raised its head and bent it towards me, moving sideways. The neck was inflated, making it look more like the hood of a cobra.

Soon I got a stick, captured it and showed my companion that it was not a particularly venomous snake. But it is mildly venomous and can kill a small lizard.

The Arabian Malpolon or Arabian Rearfang (Malpolon moilensis) is a desert-loving snake of the UAE that can also be found in farming areas, cattle, goat and camel sheds.

It is basically a nocturnal snake and spends the daytime hiding under bushes, trash or in empty burrows of rodents and lizards. The Rearfang feeds largely on lizards and insects.

The Arabian Rearfang used to be a common snake in the 1980s.

Now it is becoming rare because of the destruction of its habitat by the massive development that is taking place in the country.