Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Anguidae

Scientific Name: Anguis cephalonnica
Species Authority: Werner, 1894
Common Name(s):
English Peloponnese Slow Worm
Anguis cephalonnicus Werner, 1894

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Wolfgang Böhme, Petros Lymberakis
Reviewer(s): Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Reptile Assessment)
Listed as Near Threatened because its Extent of Occurrence is probably not much greater than 20,000 km2, and it is persecuted and subject to other threats such as fires, thus making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2006 Near Threatened (NT)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is restricted to southern mainland Greece (the Peloponnese) and the Ionian islands of Lefkas, Kefalonia and Zakynthos. It has been recorded from sea level up to 1,200m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is not a very common species. The species has not been surveyed since the severe Peloponnese fires in 2007, so the impact of this event is not known.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It occurs in humid areas within meadows, scrubland, open forests (both deciduous and coniferous), hedgerows and wooded stream sides. It also occurs in rural gardens and traditionally farmed agricultural areas.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It appears to be a reasonably adaptable species, but is generally killed when it is encountered. Human-caused fires (such as those in the Peloponnese in 2007) may be a threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species range includes a few protected areas.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
suitability: Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
suitability: Suitable  
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.3. Persecution/control
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.3. Trend Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Arnold, E.N. 2003. Reptiles and amphibians of Europe. Princeton University Press., Princeton and Oxford.

Gasc, J.-P., Cabela, A., Crnobrnja-Isailovic, J., Dolmen, D., Grossenbacher, K., Haffner, P., Lescure, J., Martens, H., Martínez-Rica, J.P., Maurin, H., Oliveira, M.E., Sofianidou, T.S., Veith, M. and Zuiderwijk, A. 1997. Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica and Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris.

Grillitsch, H. and Cabela, A. 1990. Zum Systematischen Status der Blindschleichen (Squamata: Anguidae) der Peloponnes und der südlichen Ionischen Inseln. Herpetozoa: 131-153.

IUCN. 2009. European Species on the IUCN Red List. Available at: (Accessed: 22 June 2009).

Mayer, W., Grillitsch, H. and Cabela, A. 1991. Proteinelektrophoretische Untersuchungen zur Systematik der südgriechischen Blindschleiche (Squamata: Anguidae). Herpetozoa: 157-165.

Sindaco, R. and Jeremčenko, V.K. 2008. The Reptiles of the Western Palearctic. 1. Annotated Checklist and Distributional atlas of the turtles, crocodiles, amphisbaenians and lizards of Europe, North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy).

Stèpànek, O. 1937. Anguis fragilis peloponnesiacus n. ssp. Zool. Anz.: 107-110.

Citation: Wolfgang Böhme, Petros Lymberakis. 2009. Anguis cephalonnica. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T61467A12490356. . Downloaded on 04 October 2015.
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