You are here » home search results Anguis colchica

Anguis colchica (NORDMANN, 1840)

Can you confirm these amateur observations of Anguis colchica?

Add your own observation of
Anguis colchica »

Find more photos by Google images search: Google images

Higher TaxaAnguidae (Anguinae), Diploglossa, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Slow Worm
G: Blindschleiche
NL: hazelworm
Russian: колхидская веретеница 
SynonymOtophis eryx var. colchica NORDMANN 1840
Anguis incerta KRYNICKI 1837
Anguis orientalis ANDERSON 1872: 376
Anguis fragalis var. colchica — WERNER 1903
Anguis fragilis colchicus — ROITBERG et al. 2000
Anguis fragilis colchicus — BISCHOFF 2002
Anguis fragilis colchica — RAZZETTI et al. in ZUFFI 2006
Anguis fragilis colchicus — SOS 2007
Anguis fragilis colchicus — RASTEGAR-POUYANI et al. 2008
Anguis colchica — JABLONSKI & MEDUNA 2010
Anguis colchica incerta — JABLONSKI & MEDUNA 2010
Anguis colchica colchica — GVOŽDÍK et al. 2010
Anguis colchica incerta — GVOŽDÍK et al. 2010
Anguis colchica orientalis — GVOŽDÍK et al. 2010
Anguis colchica — GVOŽDIK et al. 2013
Anguis colchica — ZAMFIRESCU et al. 2016 
Distributioncolchica: (east of the Alps in NE Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, N Iran, S Russia (Dagestan), Romania, Lithuania, eastern Czech Republic, Armenia.

Type locality: “Kuban-Gebiet (SW Russia) und Mingrelien” (West Republic of Georgia).

incerta: Lithuania; Type locality: Vilnius [Lithuania]; restricted by Mertens and Wermuth, 1960 to ‘‘Wilna, Litauen” [=Vilnius, Lithuania]

orientalis: N Iran, probably SE Azerbaijan; Type locality: ‘Rehst, on the Caspian Sea” [= Rasht, Iran]  
TypesSyntypes: unlocated (ANDERSON 1999)
Holotype: ZIS 4829 [orientalis] 
DiagnosisAnguis fragilis can be (usually) distinguished from C. colchica by a lower number of midbody scale rows (24-26 vs. >27 in colchica). However, there are hybrid zones with overlapping character states. See Benkovský et al. 2021 for details. 
CommentTaxonomy: GVOŽDÍK et al. 2010 resurrected A. graeca and a number of subspecies. However, while these clades are clearly different genetically, they are not diagnosable morphologically. Gvoždík et al. (2013) suggested to distinguish 5 genetic species of Anguis: graeca, colchica, fragilis, cinerea, and cephallonica. A detailed morphological analysis of the entire genus is under preparation (Benkovsky ́ et al., in preparation).

Nomenclature: GVOŽDÍK et al. 2010 suggest to retain the name A. colchica (Nordmann, 1840) valid as nomen protectum. Consequently, they propose to treat A. incerta Krynicki, 1837 as nomen oblitum. Anguis is female as based on LINNAEUS’ original use.

Distribution: see map in Gvoždík et al. (2013) and Jablonski et al. 2016: 3 (Fig. 1), Jablonski et al. 2021: Fig. 1, Benkovský et al. 2021. Apparently there is not fragilis in Romania, only colchica (Vörös et al. 2012). See map in SMID et al. 2014 for distribution in Iran.

Karyotype: 2n = 44 (Altmanová et al. 2022) 
EtymologyNamed after Colchis, an ancient territory in Asia situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea; it does not appear on modern maps and only exists as a Greek legend, once famous as a home of sorcery (Gotch 1986). 
  • Alfermann, D. & Völkl, W. 2004. Zur Fortpflanzungsbiologie der Blindschleiche (Anguis fragilis L., 1758) im Lechtal. Salamandra 40 (1): 25-36 - get paper here
  • Ali, Syed Muzammil 1950. Studies on the anatomy of the tail in Sauria and Rhychocephalia IV. Anguis fragilis. Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences 32: 87-95
  • Altmanová, M., Doležálková-Kaštánková, M., Jablonski, D., Strachinis, I., Vergilov, V., Vacheva, E., ... & Gvoždík, V. 2022. Karyotype stasis but species-specific repetitive DNA patterns in Anguis lizards (Anguidae), in the evolutionary framework of Anguiformes Research Square - get paper here
  • Anderson, J. 1872. On some Persian, Himalayan, and other Reptiles. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1872: 371-404 - get paper here
  • Anooshe, K., Sohrab, A., Masoud, Y., Eskandar, R. P., Mahdi, R., Faraham, A., ... & Loïc, P. 2020. Reptile species richness associated to ecological and historical variables in Iran. Scientific Reports (Nature Publisher Group), 10(1) - get paper here
  • Arakelyan, Marine S.; Felix D. Danielyan, Claudia Corti, Roberto Sindaco, and Alan E. Leviton 2011. The Herpetofauna of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. SSAR, Salt Lake City, 154 pp. [ISBN: 978-0-916984-84-7.]
  • Bakiev, A., Kirillov, A., Kirillova, N., Ruchin, A., Klenina, A., Gorelov, R., & Kostina, N. 2020. Reptile occurrences data in the Volga River basin (Russia). Biodiversity Data Journal, 8: e58033 - get paper here
  • Baran, I., Kasparek, M., & Oz, M. 1988. On the distribution of the slow worm, Anguis fragilis, and the European glass lizard, Ophisaurus apodus, in Turkey. Zoology in the Middle East 2: 57-62. - get paper here
  • Bauer, L. 2007. Anguis fragilis, de niet zo erg breekbare hazelworm. Lacerta 65 (3): 98-103 - get paper here
  • Benkovský N, Moravec J, Gvoždíková Javůrková V, Šifrová H, Gvoždík V, Jandzik D. 2021. Phenotypic differentiation of the slow worm lizards (Squamata: Anguis) across their contact zone in Central Europe. PeerJ 9:e12482 - get paper here
  • Berroneau, M. et al. 2010. Guide des Amphibiens et Reptiles d’Aquitaine. Association Cistude Nature, 180 pp.
  • Beshkov, V & Nanev, K 2006. The Amphibians and Reptiles in Bulgaria. Pensoft Series Faunistica 46, 120 pp.
  • BEST, H.A. 1965. SLOW-WORM EATING COMMON LIZARD. British Journal of Herpetology 3: 229
  • Bird, C. G. 1936. The distribution of reptiles and amphibians in Asiatic Turkey with notes on a collection from the Vilayets of Adana, Gaziantep and Malatya. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (10) 18: 257-281. - get paper here
  • Bischoff, W. 2002. Auf der Suche nach Darevskia valentini (BOETTGER 1892) in Georgien - Impressionen aus einem wenig bekannten Land. Elaphe 10 (3): 49-61
  • Bischoff, W. & Bischoff, U. 1980. Einige Bemerkungen zur Herpetofauna des Peloponnes. Herpetofauna 2 (4): 17-22 - get paper here
  • Born, G. 1883. Eine frei hervorragende Anlage der vorderen Extremität bei Embryonen von Anguis fragilis. Zool. Anz. 6: 537-539 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Vol. 2, Second edition. London, xiii+497 pp. - get paper here
  • Canova,Luca & Manuela Marchesi 2007. Amphibian and reptile communities in eleven Sites of Community Importance (SCI): relations between SCI area, heterogeneity and richness. Acta Herpetologica 2 (2): 87-96
  • Capula, Massimo; Anibaldi, Claudio; Filippi, Ernesto; Luiselli, Luca 1999. Sexual combats, matings, and reproductive phenology in an alpine population of the slow worm, Anguis fragilis. Herpetological Natural History 6 (1): 33-39 [1998]
  • ÇEVIK, I.E. 1999. Trakya’da Yasayan Kertenkele Türlerinin Taksonomik Durumu (Lacertilia: Anguidae, Lacertidae, Scincidae). Tr. J. of Zoology 23 (1): 23–35
  • Clark, R. J. and Clark, E. D. 1970. Notes on four lizard species from the Peloponnese, Greece: Algyroides moreoticus Bibron and Bory, Anguis fragilis peloponnesiacus Stepanek, Ophiomorus punctatissimus (Bibron and Bory) and Ophisaurus apodus (Pallas). British Journal of Herpetology 4: 135-137. - get paper here
  • Clark, Richard 1994. Observations on the herpetofauna of southern Norway (S°rland) [Anguis fragilis, Lacerta vivipara, Coronella austriaca, Natrix, Vipera berus]. British Herpetological Society Bulletin (47): 30-44
  • Covaciu-Marcov S.-D. et al. 2007. Contributions to the study of the geographical distribution of the herpetofauna in the North-East area of Arad County in Romania. Herpetologica Romanica 1: 62-69
  • Covaciu-Marcov, S.D., Cicort-Lucaciu, A.S., Dobre, F., Ferenţi, S., Birceanu, M., Mihuţ, R. & Strugariu, A. 2009. The herpetofauna of the Jiului Gorge National Park, Romania. North-Western Journal of Zoology 5 (Suppl. 1): 1-78
  • Covaciu-Marcov, S.D., Cicort-Lucaciu, A.S., Sas, I.; Mosu, A.G.; Toth, B. 2008. Contributions to the knowledge of the composition and geographical distribution of the Western Maramures County Herpetofauna. Herpetologica Romanica 2: 27-36
  • DAVIES, M. 1967. A CASE OF ANGUIS FRAGILIS DEVOURING NEWLY BORN YOUNG. British Journal of Herpetology 4: 20
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1839. Erpétologie Générale on Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles. Vol. 5. Roret/Fain et Thunot, Paris, 871 pp. - get paper here
  • Elmberg, J. 1995. Grod- och kräldjurens utbredning i Norrland. Natur i Norr 14: 57-82
  • Engelmann, W.E. et al. 1993. Lurche und Kriechtiere Europas. Neumann Verlag (Radebeul, Germany), 440 pp.
  • Frazer, J.F.D. 1949. The reptiles and amphibia of the Channel Isles, and their distribution. British Journal of Herpetology 1: 51-53
  • Frynta,D. et al. 1997. Results of the Czech biological expedition to Iran. Part 1. Notes on the distribution of amphibians and reptiles. Acta Soc. Zool. Bohem. 61: 3-17
  • Gollmann, G. & Gollmann, B. 2008. Diving in the lizards Anguis fragilis and Lacerta agilis. North-Western Journal of Zoology 4 (2): - get paper here
  • Gotch, A. F. 1986. Reptiles - Their Latin Names Explained. Blndford Press, 176 pp.
  • Gvoždík, Václav; David Jandzik, Petros Lymberakis, Daniel Jablonski, Jiří Moravec 2010. Slow worm, Anguis fragilis (Reptilia: Anguidae) as a species complex: Genetic structure reveals deep divergences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 55 (2): 460-472 - get paper here
  • GVOŽDÍK, VÁCLAV; ZDENĚK HARCA, ALEXANDRA HÁNOVÁ, DANIEL JABLONSKI, MIHAILS PUPINS, ANDRIS ČEIRĀNS & TIMO PAASIKUNNAS. 2021. Two species of slow worm (Anguis fragilis, A. colchica) present in the Baltic region. Amphibia-Reptilia 42 (3): 383-389. - get paper here
  • GVOŽDÍK, VÁCLAV; ZDENĚK HARCA, ALEXANDRA HÁNOVÁ, DANIEL JABLONSKI, MIHAILS PUPINS, ANDRIS ČEIRĀNS & TIMO PAASIKUNNAS. 2021. Two species of slow worm (Anguis fragilis, A. colchica) present in the Baltic region. Amphibia-Reptilia 42(3): 383-389. - get paper here
  • Gvoždík, Václav; Norbert Benkovský, Angelica Crottini, Adriana Bellati, Jirí Moravec, Antonio Romano, Roberto Sacchi, David Jandzik 2013. An ancient lineage of slow worms, genus Anguis (Squamata: Anguidae), survived in the Italian Peninsula. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69 (3): 1077–1092; - get paper here
  • Henle, K. 1985. Ökologische, zoogeographische und systematische Bemerkungen zur Herpetofauna Jugoslawiens. Salamandra 21 (4): 229-251 - get paper here
  • Jablonski, D., Sillero, N., Oskyrko, O., Bellati, A., Čeirāns, A., Cheylan, M., Cogălniceanu, D., Crnobrnja-Isailović, J., Crochet, P., Crottini, A., Doronin, I., Džukić, G., Geniez, P., Ilgaz, Ç., Iosif, R., Jandzik, D., Jelić, D., Litvinchuk, S., L 2021. The distribution and biogeography of slow worms (Anguis, Squamata) across the Western Palearctic, with an emphasis on secondary contact zones. Amphibia-Reptilia 42 (4): 519–530 - get paper here
  • Jablonski, Daniel 2011. Reptiles and amphibians of Albania with new records and notes on occurrence and distribution. Acta Soc. Zool. Bohem. 75: 223–238 - get paper here
  • Jablonski, Daniel and Petr Meduna 2010. Blue colour of the ventral body part of Eastern Slow Worm Anguis colchica (Nordmann, 1840). Herpetology Notes 3: 295-296
  • Jablonski, Daniel; David Jandzik; Peter Mikulíček, Georg Džukić, Katarina Ljubisavljević, Nikolay Tzankov, Dušan Jelić, Evanthia Thanou, Jiří Moravec and Václav Gvoždík 2016. Contrasting evolutionary histories of the legless lizards slow worms (Anguis) shaped by the topography of the Balkan Peninsula. BMC Evolutionary Biology 16:99; DOI: 10.1186/s12862-016-0669-1 - get paper here
  • Kamali, Kamran 2020. A Field Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Iran. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, Germany ( 574 pp.
  • Kovatscheff, V. 1903. Beitraege zur Kenntnis der Reptilien und Amphibienfauna Bulgariens. Verh. Zool. Bot. Ges., Wien: 171-173
  • Kwet, Axel & Benny Trapp 2014. Liste der Reptilien Europas. Draco 15 (60): 72-79 - get paper here
  • Lantermann, W. & Lantermann, Y. 2010. Reptilien und Amphibien am Undelandsee in Süd-Norwegen – ökologische und pädagogische Aspekte. Reptilia (Münster) 15 (84): 68-71 - get paper here
  • Laufer, H.; Fritz, C. & Sowig, P. (eds.) 2007. Die Amphibien und Reptilien Baden-Württembergs. Ulmer Verlag, Stuttgart, 807 pp.
  • Leptien, R. 2010. Eine Schlange, die keine ist: die Blindschleiche. Reptilia (Münster) 15 (85): 80-82 - get paper here
  • Linnaeus, C. [= Linné, C. von] 1758. Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii, Holmiæ. 10th Edition: 824 pp. - get paper here
  • Malkmus, R. 1982. Beitrag zur Verbreitung der Amphibien und Reptilien in Portugal. Salamandra 18 (3-4): 218-299 - get paper here
  • Malkmus, R. 1995. Die Amphibien und Reptilien Portugals, Madeiras und der Azoren. Die Neue Brehm-Bücherei, Bd. 621. Westarp Wissenschaften (Magdeburg)/Spektrum Akademischer Verlag (Heidelberg)
  • Mikulíček, P., D. Jablonski, M. Páleník, V. Gvoždík & D. Jandzik 2018. Characterization of microsatellite markers in the genera Anguis and Pseudopus (Reptilia: Anguidae). Salamandra 54 (2): 158-162 - get paper here
  • Musters, C.J.M. & In den Bosch, H.A.J. 1982. Einige Bemerkungen zu den Unterarten von Anguis fragilis L., mit Berücksichtigung niederländischer Exemplare. Salamandra 18 (3-4): 196-204 - get paper here
  • Necas, Petr; Modry, David & Zavadil, Vít 1997. Czech Recent and Fossil Amphibians and Reptiles. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 94 pp.
  • Nöllert, A.; Nöllert, C. & Ritter, A. 1986. Einige Beobachtungen zur Herpetofauna der bulgarischen Schwarzmeerküste und Südwestbulgariens (Teil 2 - Die Reptilien). Herpetofauna 8 (44): 30-34 - get paper here
  • Pawlowski, S. & Krämer, C. 2009. Bemerkungen zur Herpetologie des nordwestlichen Kroatiens. Sauria 31 (4): 19-30 - get paper here
  • Petrov B. P., N. Tzankov, H. Strijbosch, G. Popgeorgiev, V. Beshkov 2006. The herpetofauna (Amphibia and Reptilia) of the Western Rhodopes mountain (Bulgaria and Greece). In: Beron P. (ed.). Biodiversity of Bulgaria. 3. Biodiversity of Western Rhodopes (Bulgaria and Greece) I. Pensoft & Nat. Mus. Natur. Hist., Sofia, pp. 863-912
  • Pottier G., Paumier J.-M., Tessier M., Barascud Y., Talhoët S., Liozon R., D’Andurain P., Vacher J.-P., Barthe L., Heaulmé V., Esslinger M., Arthur C.-P., Calvet A., Maurel C. & Redon H. 2008. Atlas de répartition des reptiles et amphibiens de Midi-Pyrénées. Les atlas naturalistes de Midi-Pyrénées. Nature Midi-Pyrénées, Toulouse, 126 pp.
  • RASTEGAR-POUYANI, NASRULLAH; HAJI GHOLI KAMI, MEHDI RAJABZADEH, SOHEILA SHAFIEI AND STEVEN CLEMENT ANDERSON 2008. Annotated Checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles of Iran. Iranian Journal of Animal Biosystematics 4 (1): 7-30
  • Roitberg, E. S., Mazanaeva, L.F., Ilyina, E. & Orlova, V.F. 2000. Die Echsen Dagestans (Nordkaukasus, Russland): Artenliste und aktuelle Verbreitungsdaten (Reptilia: Sauria: Gekkonidae, Agamidae, Anguidae, Scincidae et Lacertidae). Faunist. Abh. Staatl. Mus. Tierk. Dresden 22 (8) - get paper here
  • Schlüter, U. 2005. Die Herpetofauna der bulgarischen Schwarzmeerküste - Teil 2: Echsen. Elaphe 13 (4): 52-58
  • Schlüter, U. 2005. Die Herpetofauna des Comorova-Waldes in Rumänien. Elaphe 13 (1): 57-62
  • Schultschik, Günter;Steinfartz, Sebastian 1996. Ergebnisse einer herpetologischen Exkursion in den Iran. Herpetozoa 9 (1/2): 91-95 - get paper here
  • Sehnal, P. & Schuster, A. 1999. Herpetologische Beobachtungen auf der Kvarnerinsel Cres, Kroatien. Ergebnisse von fünf Exkursionen. Herpetozoa 12 (3-4): 163-178 - get paper here
  • Sindaco, R. & Jeremcenko, V.K. 2008. The reptiles of the Western Palearctic. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy), 579 pp. - get paper here
  • Sindaco, Roberto; Alberto Venchi, Giuseppe M. Carpaneto, Marco A. Bologna 2000. The Reptiles of Anatolia: a Checklist and Zoogeographical analysis. Biogeographia, 21-2000: 441-554. - get paper here
  • ŠMÍD, JIŘÍ; JIŘÍ MORAVEC, PETR KODYM, LUKÁŠ KRATOCHVÍL, SEYYED SAEED HOSSEINIAN YOUSEFKHANI, ESKANDAR RASTEGAR-POUYANI & DANIEL FRYNTA 2014. Annotated checklist and distribution of the lizards of Iran. Zootaxa 3855 (1): 001–097 - get paper here
  • Smith, Malcolm A. 1951. Unusual size of the slow worm (Anguis fragilis) and the adder (Vipera berus) in the British Isles. British Journal of Herpetology 1 (5):
  • Sos, T. 2007. Notes on distribution and current status of herpetofauna in the northern area of Braşov County (Romania). North-Western Journal of Zoology 3 (1): 34-52 - get paper here
  • Sos, T. 2008. Review of recent taxonomic and nomenclatural changes in European Amphibia and Reptilia related to Romanian herpetofauna. Herpetologica Romanica 2: 61-91
  • Sos, Tibor and Gábor Herczeg 2010. Sexual Size Dimorphism in Eastern Slow-Worm (Anguis fragilis colchica, Reptilia: Anguidae). Russ. J. Herpetol. 16 (4): 304-310 [2009] - get paper here
  • Stèpànek, O. 1937. Anguis fragilis peloponnesiacus n. ssp. Zool. Anz. 118: 107-110
  • Strugariu, A., Zamfirescu, A.R., Nicoară, A., Gherghel, I., Sas, I., Puşcaşu, C.M. & Bugeac, T. 2008. Preliminary data regarding the distribution and status of the herpetofauna in Iaşi County (Romania). North-Western Journal of Zoology 4 (Suppl.1): S1-S23 - get paper here
  • Strugariu, Al., Gherghel, I.; Nicoara, A.; Hutuleac-Volosciu, M.V.; Moraru, V. & Mizerus, A. 2009. A rapid survey of the herpetological fauna from Vaslui County (Romania) with the first record of the slow-worm (Anguis fragilis) in the region. Herpetologica Romanica 3: 25-30
  • Szabo, Krisztian and Judit Vörös. 2014. Distribution and hybridization of Anguis fragilis and A. colchica in Hungary. Amphibia-Reptilia 35 (1): 135-140 - get paper here
  • Szczerbak, N.N. 2003. Guide to the Reptiles of the Eastern Palearctic. Krieger, Malabar, FL, 260 pp. - get paper here
  • Tonge, S. 1986. The herpetofauna of Jersey. British Herpetological Society Bulletin (17): 18-21
  • Tóth, Tamás, László Krecsák, Thomas Madsen and Beáta Újvári 2002. Herpetofaunal locality records on the Greek Islands of Corfu (Amphibia, Reptilia). Herpetozoa 15 (3/4):149-169 - get paper here
  • Trapp, B. 2007. Reptilien und Amphibien des griechischen Festlandes. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 300 pp. - get paper here
  • Wütschert, R. 1984. Neues uber die Reptilienfauna der Insel Korfu. Salamandra 20 (4): 221-228 - get paper here
External links  
Is it interesting? Share with others:

As link to this species use URL address:

without field 'search_param'. Field 'search_param' is used for browsing search result.

Please submit feedback about this entry to the curator