Liophidium mayottensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Pseudoxyrhophiidae

Scientific Name: Liophidium mayottensis (Peters, 1874)
Common Name(s):
English Peters' Bright Snake
Ablabes rhodogaster ssp. mayottensis Peters, 1874
Polyodontophis mayottensis (Peters, 1874)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-06-22
Assessor(s): Hawlitschek, O. & Glaw, F.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P. & Cox, N.A.
Listed as Endangered despite the limited data available, as it has a maximum extent of occurrence of 365.5 km² and an estimated area of occupancy of 66.5 km², it occurs as a severely fragmented population, and there is a continuing decline in habitat quality, and possibly also in the number of mature individuals, due to deforestation, habitat degradation and introduced predators.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Mayotte (Meirte 1999, Meirte 2004, Hawlitschek et al. in prep.). For extent of occurrence, we use the entire terrestrial area of Mayotte, which is 376.5 km². For area of occupancy, we use the area covered by suitable habitat classes, as based on field surveys and a remote sensing analysis (Hawlitschek et al. in prep.). The few known localities are in natural forests and in plantations in the centre of Mayotte. No observations in or near urban and agricultural areas exist. We therefore restrict the area of occupancy to an area of forests, degraded forests and plantations in the island centre, where the records were made. Future observations may extend this area, however, the area of occupancy is presently considered to be 65.2 km². The snake has been recorded between 144 and 653 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:65.2
Lower elevation limit (metres):144
Upper elevation limit (metres):653
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The extreme scarcity of observations may be attributed to the cryptic habits of this snake, but also suggests that L. mayottensis is not common (Hawlitschek et al. in prep.). Due to the fragmentary nature of suitable habitats on Mayotte, the population is presumed to be severely fragmented.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This snake is diurnal, ground-dwelling and very secretive. It was observed in natural forests and plantations (Hawlitschek et al. in prep.). Oviparous according to Meirte (2004).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no reports of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has been recorded only in pristine forests and in forest-like habitats (plantations). On Mayotte, many forests are degraded, and the total forest area is severely fragmented (Hawlitschek et al. in prep.). The latter is also true for many plantation areas. Although many forests are protected, areas in vicinity to the reserves are subject to deforestation or further degradation, leading to a continuing decline in habitat quality. A further threat likely comes from the introduced Small Indian Civet (Viverricula indica), a carnivorous species which probably also includes L. mayottensis in its diet. Probably, Mayotte has no native mammal predators on reptiles, which would mean that L. mayottensis is not adapted to this pressure (Meirte 2004, Hawlitschek et al. in prep.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No specific conservation actions are currently known for this species. All native reptile species are protected by law on Mayotte, and several nature reserves exist which may benefit to L. mayottensis. However, no data is available on the snake's occurrence in these sites.

Conservation actions which may benefit to L. mayottensis are the creation of nature reserves and development of sustainable agri- and horticultural practices.

Reliable statements on the population development of this species can only be made if intensive monitoring is implemented. We do not know of any currently implemented monitoring programme on Mayotte.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Unknown
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Viverricula indica ]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Whole (>90%) ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
2. Conservation Planning -> 2.2. Area-based Management Plan
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Hawlitschek, O., Brückmann, B., Berger, J., Green, K. and Glaw, F. 2011. Integrating field surveys and remote sensing data to study distribution, habitat use and conservation status of the herpetofauna of the Comoro Islands. Zookeys.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.2). Available at: (Accessed: 10 November 2011).

Meirte, D. 1999. Reptiles. Batrachiens. In: M. Louette (ed.), La faune terrestre de'l archipel des Comores. Studies in African Zoology 293 Tervuren: MRAC, pp. 199-226.

Meirte, D. 2004. Reptiles. In: M. Louette, D. Meirte and R. Jocqué (eds), La faune terrestre de l'archipel des Comores., pp. 201-224. MRAC, Tervuren.

Citation: Hawlitschek, O. & Glaw, F. 2011. Liophidium mayottensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T176831A7313126. . Downloaded on 21 August 2018.
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