Map_thumbnail_large_font

Zamenis longissimus

Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_onStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_offStatus_en_offStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA COLUBRIDAE

Scientific Name: Zamenis longissimus
Species Authority: (Laurenti, 1768)
Common Name(s):
English Aesculapean Snake, Aesculapian Ratsnake
French Couleuvre d'Esculape
Spanish Culebra de Esculapio
Synonym(s):
Coluber aesculapi Lacepede, 1789
Coluber longissima Laurenti, 1768
Coluber sellmani Donndorff, 1798
Elaphe longissima (Laurenti, 1768)
Taxonomic Notes: This species is included in Zamenis following Utiger et al. (2002). Zamenis lineatus was separated from this species by Lenk and Wuster (1999). According to Montori and Llorente (2005), the correct name should be Zamenis longissimus. Two subspecies are recognized: Z. l. longissimus (Laurenti, 1768) is widely distributed in Western, Central and Southern Europe, except in Southern Italy and Sicily which are inhabited by Z. lineatus. Z. l. rechingeri Werner, 1932 is found in the Larger Cyclades islands, in particular on Amorgos. Elaphe longissima romana (Suckow, 1798) is probably a synonym of both Z. longisimus and Z. lineatus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Aram Agasyan, Aziz Avci, Boris Tuniyev, Jelka Crnobrnja Isailovic, Petros Lymberakis, Claes Andrén, Dan Cogalniceanu, John Wilkinson, Natalia Ananjeva, Nazan Üzüm, Nikolai Orlov, Richard Podloucky, Sako Tuniyev, Uğur Kaya, Wolfgang Böhme, Rastko Ajtic, Milan Vogrin, Claudia Corti, Valentin Pérez Mellado, Paulo Sá-Sousa, Marc Cheylan, Juan Pleguezuelos, Bartosz Borczyk, Benedikt Schmidt, Andreas Meyer
Reviewer(s): Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Reptile Assessment)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, it occurs in a number of protected areas, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough (at at rate of 30% or greater) to qualify for listing in a more threatened category at the global level.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species ranges from its southern limits in northern Spain and central southern Italy, through much of France (except the north and parts of the southwest), southeastern and western Germany (north to Hessen, where it occurs as very fragmented most of the south), to the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Hungary and much of the Balkan region. Populations in the Cantabrian Mountains (Spain), western Germany, western Czech Republic, and southern Ukraine are isolated from the main range, and it is possibly localized in Romania and Moldova. It is also present in northern Turkey, western Georgia, southern Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran. It may occur in southern Poland although this requires confirmation. The species has been extinct in Denmark for around 200 years. It ranges from 60 to 2,000m asl.
Countries:
Native:
Albania; Austria; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; France; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Italy; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Montenegro; Romania; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine
Regionally extinct:
Denmark
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It can be common, but many populations are small and isolated.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in dry, open woodlands (deciduous, mixed and coniferous), woodland edges, forested ravines, scrubland and thickets, rocky outcrops, road embankments, moist meadows, field edges, traditionally cultivated land, tea plantations, stone walls and old buildings, parks and gardens. The females produce a single clutch of two to 18 eggs in July (Caucasus).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is threatened by accidental mortality on roads, especially in areas where the species is relatively common. It is also threatened by fragmentation of habitat through intensification of agricultural practices and afforestation of suitable areas. As with many snakes, this species is generally persecuted by people. Eggs are laid in heaps of grass and other vegetation that are frequently cleared by people.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed on Annex II of the Bern Convention and Is included in Annex IV of the EU Habitat Directive. The species is present in a number of protected areas throughout its range. Conservation actions, such as ecological research and protection of important areas, and needed for populations in Germany, and presumably other northern parts of the species range (CoE, 2003). There is a need to develop management strategies and protected areas for this species at a national level; it is protected by national legislation in most range states. An EU Action Plan is in place for this species. The species was included into the Red Data Book of the USSR (1984), and the Red Data Books of the Russian Federation (2001) - category 2, Georgia (1982) - category 2, and the Ukraine - category 3. This species is listed an Endangered in the German National Red List. This species is currently categorized as Critically Endangered in Poland (Bartosz Borczyk pers. comm.). This species is categorized as Endangered in Switzerland (Monney and Meyer 2005).

Citation: Aram Agasyan, Aziz Avci, Boris Tuniyev, Jelka Crnobrnja Isailovic, Petros Lymberakis, Claes Andrén, Dan Cogalniceanu, John Wilkinson, Natalia Ananjeva, Nazan Üzüm, Nikolai Orlov, Richard Podloucky, Sako Tuniyev, Uğur Kaya, Wolfgang Böhme, Rastko Ajtic, Milan Vogrin, Claudia Corti, Valentin Pérez Mellado, Paulo Sá-Sousa, Marc Cheylan, Juan Pleguezuelos, Bartosz Borczyk, Benedikt Schmidt, Andreas Meyer 2009. Zamenis longissimus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 29 August 2014.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please fill in the feedback form so that we can correct or extend the information provided