Hierophis viridiflavus 

Scope: Global & Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Colubridae

Scientific Name: Hierophis viridiflavus (Lacépède, 1789)
Common Name(s):
English Green Whip Snake, Western Whip Snake
Spanish Culebra Verdiamarilla
Coluber gyarosensis Mertens, 1968
Hierophis gyarosensis (Mertens, 1968)
Taxonomic Notes: This species was formerly included in the genus Coluber, but is included here in Hierophis following Schätti and Utiger (2001) and Nagy et al. (2004). Nagy et al. (2002) showed that the subspecies H. viridiflavus carbonarius is probably a different evolutionary unit from H. v. viridiflavus. The synonym Hierophis gyarosensis (known only from the island of Gyaros [Greece]) is actually a translocation of H. v. carbonarius (Utiger and Schätti 2004).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Vogrin, M., Corti, C., Pérez Mellado, V., Sá-Sousa, P., Cheylan, M., Pleguezuelos, J., Meyer, A., Schmidt, B., Sindaco, R., Romano, A. & Martinez Solano, I.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A. & Temple, H.J.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its 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.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species ranges from northeastern Spain; western, southern, eastern and northeastern France; and southern Switzerland, through most of Italy, to southwestern Slovenia and northern Croatia. It is present on the Mediterranean islands of Corsica (France), Sardinia, Sicily and most other Italian islands, Krk (Croatia), and Malta. The species may occur in Luxembourg, but this requires verification. The species is absent from Austria. It has also been translocated to the island of Gyaros (Greece) in the Aegean Sea where it was previously recognized as a distinct species Hierophis gyarosensis. It ranges from sea level up to 2,000 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Andorra; Croatia; France; Italy; Malta; Slovenia; Spain; Switzerland
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It can be a very common species.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is found in dry, open, well vegetated habitats. It occurs in scrubland, macchia, open woodland (deciduous and mixed), heathland, cultivated areas, dry river beds, rural gardens, road verges, stone walls and ruins. The species lays four to 15 eggs.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is locally threatened by high accidental mortality on roads, especially close to urban or tourist areas, but this is not considered to be a major threat to the species overall. It is also persecuted throughout its range because people mistakenly believe it to be venomous. It is not known to be collected in significant numbers. It is threatened by habitat loss through conversion of land to intensive agricultural use in Switzerland (A. Meyer pers. comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Annex II of the Bern Convention, and on Annex IV of the EU Habitats Directive. It is present in a number of protected areas throughout its range. This species is categorized as Endangered in Switzerland (Monney and Meyer 2005) and is protected by national legislation.

Errata [top]

Errata reason: Reformatted names of Assessor(s), Reviewer(s), Contributor(s), Facilitator(s) and/or Compiler(s). Italicised taxa names in the Taxonomic Notes section and corrected formatting of references in the overall text.

Citation: Vogrin, M., Corti, C., Pérez Mellado, V., Sá-Sousa, P., Cheylan, M., Pleguezuelos, J., Meyer, A., Schmidt, B., Sindaco, R., Romano, A. & Martinez Solano, I. 2009. Hierophis viridiflavus (errata version published in 2016). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T61449A86246670. . Downloaded on 20 September 2018.
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