Macroprotodon cucullatus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Colubridae

Scientific Name: Macroprotodon cucullatus (Geoffroy de St-Hilaire, 1827)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English False Smooth Snake
Spanish culebra de cogulla, Culebra De Cogulla
Taxonomic Notes: This may be a species complex (see Carranza et al. (2004), Wade (2001) and Crochet and Dubois (2004) for more details). For some authors the populations of northern Algeria and Tunisia (and the introduced populations of Mallorca and Menorca) are considered to be Macroprotodon mauritanicus (V. Pérez Mellado, pers. comm.). However, recent genetic data indicates that M. mauritanicus may belong to the same species as M. cucullatus. Accordingly, we here consider that the populations of the genus that do not pertain to M. brevis and M. abubakeri, are included in a single species, M. cucullatus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Claudia Corti, Valentin Pérez Mellado, Philippe Geniez, Sherif Baha El Din, Iñigo Martínez-Solano, Roberto Sindaco, Antonio Romano
Reviewer(s): Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Reptile Assessment)
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 through northern Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt to southern Israel, with quite isolated populations in southern Algeria (Hoggar mountains) [not mapped here] and Western Sahara. In Europe, it is present only on the island of Lampedusa (possibly introduced), Italy, although it also occurs in Menorca and Majorca where the species has been introduced (probably around 200 B.C.). It is mainly a lowland species.
Countries occurrence:
Algeria; Egypt; Israel; Libya; Morocco; Tunisia; Western Sahara
Present - origin uncertain:
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It can be a common species in suitable habitat. In Egypt it is a rare and declining species. The Lampedusa population seems to be in decline.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is found in open, sandy deciduous and evergreen woodland, scrubland, sandy areas, oasis, meadows, plantations, cultivated land and on stone walls and ruins. The females lay two to six eggs and breed every two years.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Although the species does not appear to be globally threatened, it is locally threatened by habitat degradation, including changes in agricultural practices (general intensification). Habitat degradation on the island of Lampedusa is a major threat, as is the expansion of tourism and accidental mortality on roads, and the same seems to occur in the Balearic Islands (Juan M. Pleguezuelos pers. comm., October 2008). In Egypt it is threatened by commercial collection for the international pet trade, urbanization and development of tourism, overgrazing, collection of firewood and quarrying.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is present in a few protected areas. On Lampedusa, populations of this species require some protection. In Egypt, there is a need to develop national legislation to protect this species and to create new protected areas; this species is significantly threatened and is considered to be Vulnerable (S. Baha El Din pers. comm.). The isolated populations of the Hoggar (Algeria) and Western Sahara, are probably threatened (Juan M Pleguezuelos pers. comm., October 2008). Further studies to resolve the taxonomy of this species are needed.

Citation: Claudia Corti, Valentin Pérez Mellado, Philippe Geniez, Sherif Baha El Din, Iñigo Martínez-Solano, Roberto Sindaco, Antonio Romano. 2009. Macroprotodon cucullatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T61533A12508918. . Downloaded on 23 September 2018.
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