Lytorhynchus diadema 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Colubridae

Scientific Name: Lytorhynchus diadema (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854)
Common Name(s):
English Common Leaf-nosed Snake, Awl-headed Snake, Crowned Leafnose Snake, Diademed Sand Snake, Diamond Snake
Heterodon diadema Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854
Lytorhynchus gaddi Nikolsky, 1907
Lytorhynchus kennedyi Schmidt, 1939
Taxonomic Source(s): Uetz, P., Freed, P. and Hošek, J. (eds). 2018. The Reptile Database. Available at: (Accessed: 06 February 2018).
Taxonomic Notes: This species contains at least two valid subspecies: Lytorhynchus diadema gaddi (in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and southwestern Iran); and L.d. kennedyi (in Syria, Jordan, southwestern Iraq).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-07-16
Assessor(s): Amr, Z.S.S., Els, J., Al Johany, A.M.H., Soorae, P., Nilson, G., Shafiei Bafti, S., Anderson, S., Böhme, W., Joger, U., Geniez, P., Mateo, J.A., Disi, A.M., Baha El Din, S., Papenfuss, T., Sharifi, M., Wilms, T. & Wagner, P.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A. & Bowles, P.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Cox, N.A.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, 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 from Western Sahara, Mauritania and Morocco through much of northern Africa, to Egypt, and into the Levant region, Iraq, southwestern Iran (Khuzistan Province and Bushahr Province) and the Arabian Peninsula. It can be found up to 2,000 m asl. In Saharan northwest Africa most records are scattered along the coast of Mauritania, from the border with Senegal, and southern Western Sahara, with scattered records from Morocco, Algeria and Niger (Trape and Mané 2006).
Countries occurrence:
Algeria; Chad; Egypt; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Jordan; Libya; Mauritania; Morocco; Niger; Oman; Saudi Arabia; Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia; United Arab Emirates; Western Sahara; Yemen
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is locally rare in northwestern Africa but is probably quite common in suitable habitat elsewhere. Little is known about the abundance of this species in Iran. It is relatively common in the Arabian Peninsula.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found in sandy desert, semi-desert, sandy coastal areas, areas of high grassland plateaus (especially those close to rocky areas), and clay plateaus with rocks (G. Nilson pers. comm. September 2008). This species digs, but is not considered fossorial (T. Wilms pers. comm. 2012) In Arabia it appears to  occur in a wide range of dry habitats (Arnold 1980). They feed exclusively on nocturnal lizards and amphibians. The female lays clutches of three to five eggs.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is limited collection of this species for the pet trade. Collection is mainly from Egypt.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is locally threatened in parts of its range, but it is not thought to face any threats that would affect its conservation status. In Egypt it is intensively collected for the international pet trade and is probably declining. It is also threatened by overgrazing, quarrying and off-road vehicle use. There are probably no threats to this species in Iran (S. Anderson pers. comm. September 2008). There are no direct threats to this snake on the Arabian Peninsula.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in many protected areas throughout its range. No conservation actions are recommended.

Citation: Amr, Z.S.S., Els, J., Al Johany, A.M.H., Soorae, P., Nilson, G., Shafiei Bafti, S., Anderson, S., Böhme, W., Joger, U., Geniez, P., Mateo, J.A., Disi, A.M., Baha El Din, S., Papenfuss, T., Sharifi, M., Wilms, T. & Wagner, P. 2013. Lytorhynchus diadema. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T164769A1074038. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
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