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Hierophis viridiflavus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA COLUBRIDAE

Scientific Name: Hierophis viridiflavus
Species Authority: (Lacépède, 1789)
Common Name(s):
English Green Whip Snake, Western Whip Snake
Spanish Culebra Verdiamarilla, Culebra Verdiamarilla
Synonym(s):
Coluber gyarosensis Mertens, 1968
Hierophis 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): Milan Vogrin, Claudia Corti, Valentin Pérez Mellado, Paulo Sá-Sousa, Marc Cheylan, Juan M. Pleguezuelos, Andreas Meyer, Benedikt Schmidt, Roberto Sindaco, Antonio Romano, Iñigo Martínez-Solano
Reviewer(s): Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Reptile Assessment)
Justification:
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.
History:
2006 Least Concern (IUCN 2006)
2006 Least Concern

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 2,000m asl.
Countries:
Native:
Andorra; Croatia; France; Italy; Malta; Slovenia; Spain; Switzerland
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It can be a very common species.
Population Trend: Stable

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.
Systems: Terrestrial

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 (Andreas 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.

Citation: Milan Vogrin, Claudia Corti, Valentin Pérez Mellado, Paulo Sá-Sousa, Marc Cheylan, Juan M. Pleguezuelos, Andreas Meyer, Benedikt Schmidt, Roberto Sindaco, Antonio Romano, Iñigo Martínez-Solano 2009. Hierophis viridiflavus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 August 2014.
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