Discovery of the Black-headed Ground Snake Rhynchocalamus melanocephalus (Jan, 1862) in Cyprus (Reptilia: Colubridae)

Karin Tamar, Hans Jörg Wiedl, Erez Maza, Daniel Jablonski, Shai Meiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We identified two snakes from Paphos district in south-western Cyprus as belonging to the secretive genus Rhynchocalamus. They represent the first record of these snakes in Cyprus. Morphological features and mitochondrial 16S DNA sequences suggest that these specimens belong to R. melanocephalus, a species widely distributed in the Eastern Mediterranean region. The genetic similarity to a specimen from northern Israel may imply either a human-mediated dispersal or a natural colonization. These observations thus raise the number of snake species known to occur in Cyprus to 12.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-123
Number of pages6
JournalZoology in the Middle East
Volume66
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Distribution
  • Middle East
  • mitochondrial DNA sequences
  • range extension

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