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Vipera anatolica EISELT & BARAN, 1970

IUCN Red List - Vipera anatolica - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Viperinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesVipera anatolica anatolica EISELT & BARAN 1970
Vipera anatolica senliki GÖÇMEN, MEBERT, KARIŞ, OǦUZ & URSENBACHER 2017 
Common NamesE: Anatolian Meadow Viper
G: Anatolische Wiesenotter 
SynonymVipera ursinii anatolica EISELT & BARAN 1970
Vipera anatolica — WELCH 1994: 119
Vipera anatolica — VENCHI & SINDACO 2006
Vipera anatolica — KUCHARZEWSKI 2011
Pelias anatolica — WALLACH et al. 2014: 530

Vipera anatolica senliki GÖÇMEN, MEBERT, KARIŞ, OǦUZ & URSENBACHER 2017
Vipera anatolica senliki — AFSAR et al. 2019
Vipera anatolica senliki — YILDIZ et al. 2019 
DistributionS/W Turkey

Type locality: Ciglikara Ormani, 50 km SSW of Elmali, Turkey.

senliki: Turkey (Antalya), Terra typica: Serinyaka Plateau, Mühür Daǧ, Gündoǧmus ̧ District, Antalya Province, Turkey, 1755 m elevation, (36°51′N, 32°02′E).  
Reproductionviviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesLectotype: ANSP 6915
Holotype: ZMADYU 2016/97-2, Adult male, Leg. 23 May 2016, Bayram Göçmen, Mert Karıs, Mehmet Anıl Oguz, Murat Senlik, Erdem Bulut. Paratypes. Eight specimens from ca. 3 km east and west of the holotype on Mühür Dag, Gündogmus ̧ District, Antalya Province, Turkey. For locality details and voucher numbers see figs SF-1 to SF-5 [senliki] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (senliki): A small viper (SVL < 40 cm, tail length < 6 cm) closely related and resembling to the Anatolian meadow (mountain steppe) viper Vipera anatolica Eiselt and Baran, 1970. Based on 19 Vipera a. senliki ssp. nov. from Mühür Daǧ and 7 Vipera a. anatolica from Kohu Daǧ (increased to 14 concerning colour pattern characters only, see Material and methods), Vipera a. senliki ssp. nov. differs from the nominotypic subspecies by: (1) significantly more anterior dorsal scale rows with mostly (90%) 21 dorsal scale rows behind the head (vs. 18 or 19 rows in V. a. anatolica); (2) higher ventral scales count with a mean of 122.11 (vs. 118.27 in V. a. anatolica); (3) smaller number of infralabials with mostly 9 scales (vs. 10 in V. a. anatolica); (4) fewer circumoculars with mostly 9 scales (vs. mostly 10 in V. a. anatolica); (5) fewer loreals with mostly 4 scales (vs. mostly 5 in V. a. anatolica); (6) a relatively wider head, i.e. lower ‘head length/head width’ ratio (7) showing a higher number of interruptions of the mid-dorsal zig-zag band (NIZB) between the head and the dorsal position of the anal plate, with 5- 22 interblotch-spaces lacking any clear dorsal-band connection (vs. 0-4 inter- ruptions in V. a. anatolica). Interruptions are defined as the lack of dark dor- sal colour (brownish to blackish) visibly connecting two mid-dorsal blotches, but not counting scales with only very light suffusion by speckling or with dark colour only along the edges of those scales or adjacent interscalar skin; (8) showing a remarkable reddish colouration of subcaudals (CSC) in 90% of females and 40% of males (vs. none or light brownish in the two female and five males of V. a. anatolica). (9) dorsal colouration of tail tip (DCTT) yellow in 90% of individuals, includ- ing adults (vs. grey ground colour in V. a. anatolica with yellow being present only on the subcaudal part of the tail tip); (10) darker pileus colouration (PC), as all individuals exhibit an increased speckling and/or darker ground colour anterior to the head angle marks (= pileus colouration), visibly contrasting with the lighter body posterior that blotch (vs. only ca. 40% in V. a. anatolica show a darker PC); (11) a decreased frequency of drop-shaped head angle marks (DSHA), with 90% of the angle marks evenly ended and only two individuals show one angle slightly wider (drop shaped) on the parietal side (vs. wider half on parietal side for both angle marks present in ca. 60%, only one side in ca. 30%, and none in ca. 10% of V. a. anatolica). 

Synonymy: Vipera ursinii ebneri KNÖPFLER & SOCHUREK, 1955 is now considered a synonym of V. eriwanensis. Vipera ursinii renardi (CHRISTOPH, 1861) is now considered as a valid species. Synonymy partly after KHALIKOV & ANANJEVA (pers. comm.).

Subspecies: Golay et al. (1993) recognized 4 subspecies: V. u. ursinii, rakosiensis, eriwanensis, and renardi, of which the latter 2 have been raised to species status. However, the taxonomy is in an unsatisfactory state and requires more study before any further conclusions can be drawn.

Distribution: not in Ukraine fide Viktor Gasso, pers. comm. 12 June 2011. Joger and Stümpel (2005) recently recognized V. ursinii as being restricted to Europe, ranging as isolated populations from France in the west to Moldova in the east. Records of V. ursinii from the following countries represent V. renardi: NW Iran, Armenia, Russia, Moldova, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, eastward through Kazakhstan to Mt. Altai, south to Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, China (W Xinjiang). Not in Kazakhstan fide Dujsebayeva (2010 and pers. comm., 6 Feb 2012).

Conservation: one of the 30 most endangered viper species (Maritz et al. 2016).

Abundance: Rare. This is one of the species called 'lost' and 'rediscovered' by Lindken et al. 2024. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Eiselt,J. & I.Baran 1970. Ergebnisse zoologischer Sammelreisen in der Türkei: Viperidae. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums, Wien 74: 357-369. - get paper here
  • Gemel, R.; G. Gassner & S. Schweiger 2019. Katalog der Typen der Herpetologischen Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien – 2018. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 121: 33–248
  • Geniez, Philippe 2018. Snakes of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Princeton University Press, 384 pp. - get paper here
  • Göçmen, Bayram; Konrad Mebert, Mert Karış, Mehmet Anıl Oğuz and Sylvain Ursenbacher 2017. A new population and subspecies of the critically endangered Anatolian meadow viper Vipera anatolica Eiselt and Baran, 1970 in eastern Antalya province. Amphibia-Reptilia 33 (3): 289 - 305 - get paper here
  • KUCHARZEWSKI, C 2011. OLD WORLD VIPERS. A natural history of the Azemiopinae and Viperinae von Tony PHELPS – Anmerkungen, Ergänzungen, Korrekturen. Sauria 33 (3): 19-42 - get paper here
  • Lindken T.; Anderson, C. V., Ariano-Sánchez, D., Barki, G., Biggs, C., Bowles, P., Chaitanya, R., Cronin, D. T., Jähnig, S. C., Jeschke, J. M., Kennerley, R. J., Lacher, T. E. Jr., Luedtke, J. A., Liu, C., Long, B., Mallon, D., Martin, G. M., Meiri, 2024. What factors influence the rediscovery of lost tetrapod species? Global Change Biology, 30: 1-18 - get paper here
  • Maritz, Bryan; Johannes Penner, Marcio Martins, Jelka Crnobrnja-Isailović, Stephen Spear, Laura R.V. Alencar, Jesús Sigala-Rodriguez, Kevin Messenger, Rulon W. Clark, Pritpal Soorae, Luca Luiselli, Chris Jenkins, Harry W. Greene 2016. Identifying global priorities for the conservation of vipers. Biological Conservation, doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2016.05.004 - get paper here
  • Martínez-Freiría, F., Toyama, K. S., Freitas, I., & Kaliontzopoulou, A. 2020. Thermal melanism explains macroevolutionary variation of dorsal pigmentation in Eurasian vipers. Scientific Reports, 10(1) - 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
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Welch, K. R. G. 1994. Snakes of the World. A Checklist. I. Venomous snakes. KCM Books, Somerset, England.
  • YILDIZ, Mehmet Zülfü; Gözde GÜRELLİ, Deniz YALÇINKAYA, Bahadır AKMAN, Naşit İĞCİ, Mert KARIŞ and Mehmet Anıl OĞUZ 2019. Tribute to the late Prof. Dr. Bayram GÖÇMEN (1965–2019). NORTH-WESTERN JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY 15 (2): 201-220 - get paper here
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
  • Zinenko, Oleksandr, Aziz Avci, Friederike Spitzenberger, Andriy Tupikov, Konstantin Shiryaev, Emin Bozkurt, Çetin Ilgaz and Nikolaus Stümpel. 2016. Rediscovered and critically endangered: Vipera anatolica EISELT & BARAN, 1970, of the western Taurus Mountains (Turkey), with remarks on its ecology. Herpetozoa 28 (3/4): 141-148 - get paper here
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