Malpolon monspessulanus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Psammophiidae

Scientific Name: Malpolon monspessulanus (Hermann, 1804)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Montpellier Snake
Spanish culebra bastarda
Coelopeltis lacertina (Wagler, 1824)
Coelopeltis monspessulanus (Hermann, 1804)
Coluber monspessulanus Hermann, 1804
Natrix lacertina Wagler, 1824
Taxonomic Notes: Eastern populations of Malpolon formerly allocated to M. monspessulanus are now included within M. insignatus following Carranza et al. (2006).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Iñigo Martínez-Solano, Claudia Corti, Valentin Pérez Mellado, Paulo Sá-Sousa, Juan M. Pleguezuelos, Marc Cheylan
Reviewer(s): Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Reptile Assessment)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its relatively wide distribution, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species ranges widely in Portugal, Spain (generally absent from the Cantabrian Mountains), southeastern France, and northwestern Italy (Liguria); in North Africa it distributes along northern Algeria, Morocco and coastal areas of Western Sahara. It ranges from sea level up to 2,160m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Algeria; France; Italy; Morocco; Portugal; Spain; Western Sahara
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2160
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is generally a common species. In human altered landscapes, populations are frequently stable or even increasing, whilst the populations of other snakes are declining (Juan M. Pleguezuelos pers. comm., October 2008).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:A venomous snake, it is found in scrubland with low cover, open spaces, coastal dunes, grassland, meadows and cultivated land. In hot time of summer it has crepuscular-nocturnal activity. The annual activity period seems to be expanding in parallel with the raise of mean annual temperatures (Juan M. Pleguezuelos pers. comm., October 2008).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are overall no major threats to this species. Many animals are killed on roads or are persecuted by farmers. The snake is used by snake charmers, and it is also sold dried as a curio but this is not a major threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Annex III of the Bern Convention. It occurs in a number of protected areas throughout its range, for example the following ones in Morocco: Saghro, Talassemtane, Jbel Moussa, Beni Snassen, Cap des trois fourches, Gourougou, Perdicaris, Cap Spartel, Tamga, Khnifiss, Chekhar, Trois fourches, Sebkha Bou Areg, Gourougou, Embouchure Moulouya, Beni Snassen, and Koudiat Tidighine.

Citation: Iñigo Martínez-Solano, Claudia Corti, Valentin Pérez Mellado, Paulo Sá-Sousa, Juan M. Pleguezuelos, Marc Cheylan. 2009. Malpolon monspessulanus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T157262A5064442. . Downloaded on 22 August 2018.
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