Crotaphopeltis tornieri 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Colubridae

Scientific Name: Crotaphopeltis tornieri (Werner, 1908)
Common Name(s):
English Tornier's Cat Snake
Leptodira tornieri Werner, 1908
Taxonomic Notes: Gravlund (2002) found a high level of genetic diversity within Crotaphopeltis tornieri, with a sample of C. hotamboeia from the Mount Rungwe nested between C. tornieri from the same locality and specimens from other mountains. Support for this arrangement was weak, and consequently this author refrained from suggesting taxonomic changes, but the relationship between these two species (and within C. tornieri itself) remains in need of clarification.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-01-26
Assessor(s): Msuya, C.A., Ngalason, W. & Howell, K.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
Listed as Least Concern, as although this species is forest-restricted and occurs in an area where this habitat is undergoing contraction, it occurs widely in an area with significant forest cover remaining, it is found in several protected areas, and is not thought to be declining fast enough to warrant listing in a threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is almost endemic to eastern and southern Tanzania, although it ranges marginally into northern Malawi (the Misuku Mountains) (Spawls et al. 2002). In Tanzania it is known from the Eastern Arc Mountains and the Southern Highlands, with scattered records elsewhere in southeast Tanzania and from Ufipia, between Lake Tangyanika and Lake Rukwa in southwest Tanzania (Spawls et al. 2002). Based on this latter record, it is expected to occur in Katavi National Park (Caro et al. 2011). It is found from low altitudes to about 1,900 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Malawi; Tanzania, United Republic of
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):200
Upper elevation limit (metres):1900
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This is a regularly-encountered forest species.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This terrestrial, nocturnal species is dependent on humid forest, and occurs both in the forest interior (including tracks and clearings) and at forest edges (Spawls et al. 2002). While it has been recorded from forest edges bordered by tea plantations (Spawls et al. 2002), it appears not to occur in plantation habitats. It can be found beneath logs or fallen trunks, in insect tunnels and holes, or in leaf litter (Spawls et al. 2002). This species lays eggs communally, and it is possible that it forms breeding aggregations (Spawls et al. 2002). An individual clutch size of nine eggs has been recorded, however communal clutches of 68-78 eggs have been recorded (Spawls et al. 2002). The species exhibits an extended breeding period; eggs have been recorded in December and in February, the latter close to hatching (Spawls et al. 2002).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no trade or use of this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is forest dependent and near-endemic to Tanzania (Spawls et al. 2002). While its Tanzanian range is moderately wide in the country's south and east, subpopulations are isolated from one another (Gravlund 2002). At least one locality, Mt Rungwe, is currently subject to heavy logging despite its protected status as a forest reserve (Gravlund 2002).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is known from Udzungwa National Park and may occur in Katavi National Park, and is known from several Tanzanian forest reserves (Spawls et al. 2002, Caro et al. 2011). Increased protection is recommended for Mt. Rungwe, which hosts a genetically distinct subpopulation of this species and is not currently effectively protected (Gravlund 2002). Taxonomic research is required to clarify relationships within this species and C. hotamboeia.

Citation: Msuya, C.A., Ngalason, W. & Howell, K. 2015. Crotaphopeltis tornieri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T13265019A13265027. . Downloaded on 21 July 2018.
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