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Pseudocerastes urarachnoides

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA VIPERIDAE

Scientific Name: Pseudocerastes urarachnoides
Species Authority: Bostanchi, S. Anderson, Kami & Papenfuss, 2006

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor/s: Steven C. Anderson, Theodore Papenfuss
Reviewer/s: Neil Cox and Helen Temple
Justification:
Listed as Data Deficient since it has only recently been described, and there is still very little information on its extent of occurrence, status, threats and ecological requirements.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This newly described species is known from the Zagros Mountains of western Iran (Bostanchi et al. 2006), ranging from Qasr-e-Shirin to Khuzestan (Fathinia et al. 2009). It has been recorded from '70km southwest of Ilam [probably on the road to Amirabad and Mehran], Ilam Province' (the type locality); from '25km south of Qasr-e-Shirin on road to Gilan-e Gharb, Kermanshah Province, at 200m asl' (Bostanchi et al. 2006); and most recently from Khuzestan Province (Fathinia et al. 2009). The map indicates the extent of potentially suitable habitat, as the species is presumably more widely distributed within the Zagros Mountains and is likely to be present in adjacent areas of Iraq (Fathinia et al. 2009).
Countries:
Native:
Iran, Islamic Republic of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species is currently only known from a small number of specimens.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species is found in hilly areas, and is associated with deep cracks in the rocky gypsum substrate habitat (Fathinia et al. 2009). Animals can be encountered lying in ambush under small shrubs near to their burrows (Fathinia et al. 2009). It has been collected at night from an open level area in an agricultural region (Bostanchi et al. 2006). It is possible that it has a specialized diet, and preys on birds (although perhaps not exclusively) (Fathinia et al. 2009). The breeding system is not known.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The threats to this species are not known, it is an unusual snake and is potentially threatened by future overcollection for the international pet trade. Presumably animals are killed when encountered by villagers.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It has been collected from no hunting areas, but it is not clear if these are protected areas. More research is needed into the distribution, natural history and threats to this species.
Citation: Steven C. Anderson, Theodore Papenfuss 2009. Pseudocerastes urarachnoides. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 April 2014.
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