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Zamenis scalaris (SCHINZ, 1822)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Ladder Snakes
G: Treppennatter
D: Trapslang 
SynonymColuber scalaris SCHINZ 1822: 123
Rhinechis agassizii
Xenodon Michahelles SCHLEGEL 1837: 92 (fide DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854)
Rhinechis scalaris — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 227
Coluber scalaris — BOULENGER 1894: 65
Coluber scalaris — BOULENGER 1913
Elaphe scalaris — KAHL et al. 1980: 227
Elaphe scalaris — ENGELMANN et al 1993
Elaphe scalaris — SCHULZ 1996: 229
Rhinechis scalaris — HELFENBERGER 2001
Rhinechis scalaris — UTIGER et al. 2002
Rhinechis scalaris — AGUILAR 2005
Rhinechis scalaris — VENCHI & SINDACO 2006
Rhinechis scalaris — PYRON et al. 2011
Zamenis scalaris — ZAHER et al. 2012
Rhinechis scalaris — SINDACO et al. 2013: 135
Rhinechis scalaris — KWET & TRAPP 2015
Zamenis scalaris — WALLACH et al. 2014: 809 
DistributionSpain (except for the North, introduced to Menorca, Ibiza), Portugal, Gibraltar, S France,
Italy (only ONE specimen found in Liguria, possibly introduced from France? [E. RAZZETTI, pers. comm.])

Type locality: S France (Schinz, 1822)  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesType: None designated, location unknown (fide V. Wallach, pers. comm.) 
CommentMight occur in Morocco (fide JOGER 1983).

Max. length 1.6 m.

Type species: Rhinechis agassizii (= Rhinechis scalaris) is the type species of the genus Rhinechis MICHAHELLES in WAGLER 1833.

Synonymy: Zaher et al. 2012 (Appendix S1) found that Rhinechis scalaris nests within Zamenis, although they do not recommend any taxonomic changes. WALLACH et al. 2014: 809 synonymized Rhinechis with Zamenis. However, other authors have questioned this or at least retain Rhinechis. 
References
  • Aguilar, F. 2005. Rhinechis scalaris - Ladder Snake. Reptilia (GB) (40): 43-46 - get paper here
  • Bonny, Klaus 1998. Elaphe scalaris (Schinz, 1822) - Haltung und Vermehrung der Treppennatter im Terrarium. Elaphe 6 (4): 13-16
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1913. The snakes of Europe. Methusen & Co. Ltd, London, 151 pp.
  • Boulenger, George A. 1894. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume II., Containing the Conclusion of the Colubridæ Aglyphæ. British Mus. (Nat. Hist.), London, xi, 382 pp. - get paper here
  • Cheylan,M. & Guillaume,C.P. 1993. Elaphe scalaris - Treppennatter. In: Böhme,W. (ed.), Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien Europas, Band 3/I., Schlangen (Serpentes) I. Aula-Verlag Wiesbaden, pp. 397-430
  • Cortés, J.E. 1982. The herpetofauna of Gibraltar - status, recent history and current research. British Journal of Herpetology 6: 273-275
  • Engelmann,W.E. et al. 1993. Lurche und Kriechtiere Europas. Neumann Verlag (Radebeul, Germany), 440 pp.
  • Feriche, M≤nica;Pleguezuelos, Juan M.;Cerro, Angeles 1993. Sexual dimorphism and sexing of mediterranean colubrids based on external characteristics. Journal of Herpetology 27 (4): 357-362 - get paper here
  • Glandt, Dieter;Schlüpmann, Martin;Thiesmeier, Burkhard 1998. Herpetologische Beobachtungen in der Algarve, Südportugal. Zeitschrift für Feldherpetologie 5: 181-208 - get paper here
  • Helfenberger, Notker 2001. Phylogenetic relationship of Old World Ratsnakes based on visceral organ topography, osteology, and allozyme variation. Russ. J. Herpetol. (Suppl.): 1-56 - get paper here
  • Joger U 1983. Book Review: Welch, Herpetology of Africa, Krieger 1982. Salamandra 19 (1-2): 102-104 - get paper here
  • Kahl B, Gaupp P & Schmidt G 1980. Das Terrarium. Falken Verlag, Niederhausen (Germany), 336 pp.
  • Kreiner, G. 2009. Die Schlangen Nordspaniens - Reiseeindrücke aus dem Kantabrischen Gebirge und angrenzenden Gebieten. Draco 10 (39): 38-48 - get paper here
  • Kwet, A. 2010. Reptilien und Amphibien Europas. Kosmos-Verlag, Stuttgart, 252 pp.
  • Kwet, Axel & Benny Trapp 2014. Liste der Reptilien Europas. Draco 15 (60): 72-79 - get paper here
  • Lantermann, Werner & Yvonne Lantermann 2015. Reptilien- und Amphibienfauna der Quinta do Barranco da Estrada im portugiesischen Alentejo – ein Reisebericht. Terraria-Elaphe 2015 (3): 44-48 - get paper here
  • Lenk, P.; Joger, U. & Wink, M. 2001. Phylogenetic relationships among European ratsnakes of the genus Elaphe Fitzinger based on mitochondrial DNA sequence comparisons. Amphibia-Reptilia 22 (3): 329-339 - 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. 1990. Herpetofaunistische Daten aus Nordostportugal. Salamandra 26 (2-3): 165-176 - 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)
  • Malkmus, R. 2011. Talsperrenmarathon in Portugals Norden. Elaphe 19 (3): 38-43
  • Naulleau, G. 1987. Les serpents de France, 2.ed. Rev. Francaise d'Aquariologie, Herpet. (Nancy) 56 pp. - get paper here
  • Nulchis, V., M. Biaggini, M., Carretero, M.A. & Harris, D.J. 2008. Unexpectedly low mitochondrial DNA variation within the ladder snake Rhinechis scalaris. North-Western Journal of Zoology 4 (1): 019-124 - get paper here
  • Pfau, J. 1988. Beitrag zur Verbreitung der Herpetofauna in der Niederalgarve (Portugal). Salamandra 24 (4): 258-275 - get paper here
  • Pinya, Samuel and Miguel A. Carretero. 2011. The Balearic herpetofauna: a species update and review on the evidence. Acta Herpetologica 6 (1): 59-80 - get paper here
  • Pleguezuelos, Juan M.; Mónica Feriche, Senda Reguero, Xavier Santos 2010. Patterns of tail breakage in the ladder snake (Rhinechis scalaris) reflect differential predation pressure according to body size. Zoology 113 (5): 269-274
  • Schinz, H. R. 1822. Das Thierreich eingetheilt nach dem Bau der Thiere als Grundlage ihrer Naturgeschichte und der vergleichenden Anatomie von dem Herrn Ritter von Cuvier. Vol. 2. J. G. Cotta, Stuttgart. - get paper here
  • Schlegel, H. 1837. Essai sur la physionomie des serpens. Partie Descriptive. La Haye (J. Kips, J. HZ. et W. P. van Stockum), 606 S. + xvi - get paper here
  • Schlüter, U. 2009. Die Schlangenfauna Europas. Draco 10 (39): 4-21 - get paper here
  • Schlüter, U. 2012. The Rock. Die Herpetofauna Gibraltars. Reptilia (Münster) 17 (94): 93-101 - get paper here
  • Schulz, K. D. 1996. Eine Monographie der Schlangengattung Elaphe Fitzinger. Bushmaster, Berg (CH): 1-460
  • Schulz, Klaus-Dieter 1996. A monograph of the colubrid snakes of the genus Elaphe Fitzinger. Koeltz Scientific Books, 439 pp.
  • Silva-Rocha I, Salvi D, Sillero N, Mateo JA, Carretero MA 2015. Snakes on the Balearic Islands: An Invasion Tale with Implications for Native Biodiversity Conservation. PLoS ONE 10(4): e0121026. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0121026 - 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
  • Stevens, Kevin 1995. The European ratsnakes of the genus Elaphe. British Herpetological Society Bulletin (54): 10-20
  • Trutnau, L. 1975. Europaische Amphibien und Reptilien. Belser Verlag, Stuttgart 212 pp.
  • Utiger, Urs, Notker Helfenberger, Beat Schätti, Catherine Schmidt, Markus Ruf and Vincent Ziswiler 2002. Molecular systematics and phylogeny of Old World and New World ratsnakes, Elaphe Auct., and related genera (Reptilia, Squamata, Colubridae). Russ. J. Herpetol. 9 (2): 105-124. - get paper here
  • Venchi, Alberto and Roberto Sindaco 2006. Annotated checklist of the reptiles of the Mediterranean countries, with keys to species identification. Part 2 -Snakes (Reptilia, Serpentes). Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale "G. Doria", Genova, XCVIII: 259-364
  • Wagler, J. 1833. Descriptiones et icones amphibiorum. Vol. 3. J. G. Cotttae, Stuttgartiae, Monachii et Tubingiae, xxv-xxxvi pp.
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Zaher, Hussam; feliPe g. graZZiotin, roberta graboski, ricardo g. fuentes Paola sáncheZ-martineZ giovanna g. montingelli ya-Ping Zhang, robert W. murPhy 2012. Phylogenetic relationships of the genus Sibynophis (Serpentes: Colubroidea). Pap. Avuls. Zool. 52 (12): 141-149 - get paper here
 
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