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Natrix astreptophora (LOPEZ-SEOANE, 1885)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesNatrix astreptophora astreptophora (SEOANE 1885)
Natrix astreptophora algerica (HECHT 1930) 
Common NamesE: Red-eyed grass snake
G: Rotaugen-Ringelnatter 
SynonymColuber distinctus GRAVENHORST 1807 (nomen oblitum)
Coluber sparsus SCHREIBER 1875 (nomen oblitum)
Tropidonotus natrix var. astreptophorus LOPEZ- SEOANE 1885: 15 (nom. protectum)
Natrix natrix algirus — SOCHUREK 1979 (status unclear)
Natrix natrix — BARBADILLO 1983
Natrix natrix astreptophora — MALKMUS 1990
Natrix natrix astreptophora — SCHLÜTER 2009
Natrix natrix astreptophora — FRITZ et al. 2012
Natrix astreptophora — POKRANT et al. 2016
Natrix astreptophora — KINDLER et al. 2017
Natrix astreptophora — ESCORIZA 2018
Natrix astreptophora — SPEYBROECK et al. 2020
Natrix astreptophora astreptophora — FRITZ & SCHMIDTLER 2020: 656

Natrix astreptophora algerica (HECHT 1930)
Tropidonotus natrix algericus HECHT 1930
Natrix astreptophora lineage Tu — KINDLER et al. 2013
Natrix astreptophora algerica — FRITZ & SCHMIDTLER 2020: 656 
DistributionPortugal, Spain, S France,
Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia

algerica: C/E Algeria, Tunisia; Type locality: northern Algeria.

astreptophora: Portugal, Spain, S France; Type locality: Coruña, Galicia  
TypesSyntypes: MNHN-RA 1889.0580-0583, MNHN-RA 2012.0459 (formerly MNHN-RA 1889.0581A), collected in Galicia by Lopez Seoane. Given in literature as VLS = private collection of Víctor López Seoane (1832–1900), no longer extant; unspecified specimens were donated to MNHN, NHMUK, ZISP and other museums (fide M. Sabaj, pers. comm., 11 March 2019).
Holotype: ZMB 19636 [algerica] 
CommentSynonymy: see Fritz & Schmidtler 2020: 656.

Subspecies: see also N. natrix.

Hybridization: In the French Pyrenees region, N. n. astreptophora and N. n. helvetica hybridize occasionally. N. n. astreptophora differs consistently from all other grass snakes by its reddish iris coloration and in having significantly fewer ventral scales and another skull morphology (FRITZ et al. 2012). There is some evidence that Natrix astreptophora and Natrix maura can hybridize in Spain (de la Vega et al. 2022).

Distribution: see maps in Pokrant et al. 2016: 10 (Fig. 6) and Kindler et al. 2017 (Fig. 1). N. astreptophora replaces N. natrix in North Africa fide Kindler et al. 2017. For a map see Sindaco et al. 2013.

Genome: the genome of this and the 4 other species of Natrix were sequenced by Schöneberg ert al. 2023. 
  • Akman, B., Çakmak, M., & Yıldız, M.Z. 2020. On the Herpetofauna of the Central Anatolian Province of Kırıkkale (Turkey) (Amphibia; Reptilia). Acta Biologica Turcica, 33(2): 70-79
  • BARBADILLO, L.J. 1983. About the distribution of amphibians and reptiles in the province of Burgos. Goal. I am. Cat. Ictio. Herp. 5-10-10-7 - get paper here
  • BOUAZZA, ABDELLAH; EL HASSAN EL MOUDEN & ABDESLAM RIHANE 2021. Checklist of amphibians and reptiles of Morocco: A taxonomic update and standard Arabic names. Herpetology Notes 14: 1-14. - get paper here
  • Escoriza D 2018. Patterns of occurrence of semi-aquatic reptiles in highly invaded Mediterranean rivers. NeoBiota 38: 23-35 - get paper here
  • Fernández-Ortín, Daniel; Gregorio Sánchez-Montes, Íñigo Martínez-Solano 2019. A catalogue of reptiles of Monfragüe National Park (Spain), with molecular characterization of populations of Blanus WAGLER, 1830 in this protected area. Basic and Applied Herpetology - get paper here
  • Fritz, U., Corti, C., & Päckert, M. 2012. Mitochondrial DNA sequences suggest unexpected phylogenetic position of Corso-Sardinian grass snakes (Natrix cetti) and do not support their species status, with notes on phylogeography and subspecies delineation of grass snakes. Organisms Diversity and Evolution, 12(1), 71–80 - get paper here
  • Fritz, U., Schmidtler, J. F. 2020. The Fifth Labour of Heracles: Cleaning the Linnean stable of names for grass snakes (Natrix astreptophora, N. helvetica, N. natrix sensu stricto). Vertebrate Zoology, 70(4): 621-665 - get paper here
  • Kindler, Carolin; Maxime Chèvre, Sylvain Ursenbacher, Wolfgang Böhme, Axel Hille, Daniel Jablonski, Melita Vamberger & Uwe Fritz 2017. Hybridization patterns in two contact zones of grass snakes reveal a new Central European snake species. Scientific Reports 7: 7378;DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-07847-9 - get paper here
  • Lopez-Seoane,Victor 1885. Identidad de Lacerta schreiberi (Bedriaga) y Lacerta viridis var. Gadovii (BOULENGER), é investigaciones herpetologicas de Galicia. La Coruña [1884]: 19 pp. - get paper here
  • Malkmus, Rudolf 1990. Reptilien und Amphibien aus der Serra de Montemuro/Portugal. Herpetofauna 12 (68): 15-20 - get paper here
  • Malkmus, Rudolf 2018. Quer durch die Serra de Montemuro. Terraria-Elaphe 2018 (5): 40-48 - get paper here
  • Martínez del Mármol, Gabriel; D. James Harris, Philippe Geniez, Philip de Pous, and Daniele Salvi 2019. Amphibians and Reptiles of Morocco. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 478 pp - get paper here
  • Pokrant, Felix; Carolin Kindler, Martin Ivanov, Marc Cheylan, Philippe Geniez, Wolfgang Böhme and Uwe Fritz 2016. Integrative taxonomy provides evidence for the species status of the Ibero-Maghrebian grass snake Natrix astreptophora. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, DOI: 10.1111/bij.12782 - get paper here
  • Santos, X., Pleguezuelos, J. M., Chergui, B., Geniez, P., & Cheylan, M. 2022. Citizen-science data shows long-term decline of snakes in southwestern Europe. Biodiversity and Conservation, 1-17 - get paper here
  • Schlüter, U. 2009. Die Schlangenfauna Europas. Draco 10 (39): 4-21 - get paper here
  • Schöneberg, Y., Winter, S., Arribas, O., Di Nicola, M. R., Master, M., Owens, J. B., Rovatsos M, Wüster W Janke A & Fritz, U. 2023. Genomics reveals broad hybridization in deeply divergent Palearctic grass and water snakes (Natrix spp.). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 107787 - get paper here
  • Sindaco, R.; Alberto Venchi & Cristina Grieco 2013. The Reptiles of the Western Palearctic, Volume 2: Annotated Checklist and Distributional Atlas of the Snakes of Europe, North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia, with an Update to Volume 1. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy), 543 pp. - get paper here
  • Speybroeck, Jeroen; Wouter Beukema, Christophe Dufresnes, Uwe Fritz, Daniel Jablonski, Petros Lymberakis, Iñigo Martínez-Solano, Edoardo Razzetti, Melita Vamberger, Miguel Vences, Judit Vörös0, Pierre-André Crochet 2020. Species list of the European herpetofauna – 2020 update by the Taxonomic Committee of the Societas Europaea Herpetologica.. Amphibia-Reptilia 41: 139-189 - get paper here
  • Vega, J. P. G. de la, Barnestein, J. A., del Mármol, G. M., & Mebert, K. 2022. Hybridization between Natrix astreptophoraand Natrix maura: potential cases from Andalusia, Spain Bol. Asoc. Herpetol. Esp. (2021) 32(2) - get paper here
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