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Zamenis hohenackeri (STRAUCH, 1873)

IUCN Red List - Zamenis hohenackeri - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesZamenis hohenackeri hohenackeri (STRAUCH 1873)
Zamenis hohenackeri lyciensis HOFMANN, MEBERT, SCHULZ, HELFENBERGER, GÖÇMEN & BÖHME 2018
Zamenis hohenackeri tauricus (WERNER 1898) 
Common NamesE: Transcaucasian Rat Snake
G: Transkaukasische Kletternatter
Russian: Закавказский полоз 
SynonymColuber hohenackeri STRAUCH 1873: 69
Coluber hohenackeri — BOULENGER 1894: 42
Elaphe hohenackeri — ENGELMANN et al 1993
Elaphe hohenackeri — BISCHOFF 1993: 317
Elaphe hohenackeri — SCHULZ 1996
Zamenis hohenackeri — UTIGER et al. 2002
Zamenis hohenackeri — VENCHI & SINDACO 2006
Zamenis hohenackeri — WALLACH et al. 2014: 807
Zamenis hohenackeri — MEIRI et al. 2019

Zamenis hohenackeri lyciensis HOFMANN, MEBERT, SCHULZ, HELFENBERGER, GÖÇMEN & BÖHME 2018
Zamenis hohenackeri lyciensis — KWET 2019

Zamenis hohenackeri taurica (WERNER 1898)
Coluber tauricus WERNER 1898
Elaphe hohenackeri taurica — MÜLLER 1939
Elaphe hohenackeri taurica — BARAN 1978: 264
Zamenis hohenackeri tauricus — SINDACO et al. 2006
Zamenis hohenackeri tauricus — KUCHARZEWSKI 2016 
DistributionIsrael, Lebanon, Turkey, Cyprus, Armenia, Syria, S Russia, Azerbaijan (Nagornyj-Karabakh, Arak river), Republic of Georgia (Kura river, Rion river), Russia (Caucasus),
NW Iran (Oezel Owezen river, Esfahan), NE Iraq,

lyciensis: Turkey (Antalya); Type locality: Kohu Daǧ, Elmalı, Antalya, Turkey (N36.502690, E29.819595; 1700 m a.s.l.).

tauricus: Syria; Type locality: Gülek, Cilician Taurus, Mersin, Turkey; restricted to Chanlar, Azerbaijan, by Bischoff 1993: 323.

Type locality: Azerbaijan: Chanlar (Strauch, 1873), (Bischoff, 1993)
Type locality: Khanlar (Azerbaijan) and Tbilisi (Republic of Georgia); (fide KHALIKOV, pers. comm.)  
TypesLectotype: ZISP (ZIL) 1625 (orig. AIS) (K. Fricke, 1840), by present designation.
Holotype: MHNG 2403.007, adult male, collected in 1987 by W. Zinniker; Paratype: An juvenile female (NMW 15173) from Akşehir, Konya, Turkey (N38.341464, E31.408311), collected in 1911 by Bodo v. Bodemeyer [lyciensis]
Holotype: unlocated fide Schulz 1996: 149 [tauricus] 
DiagnosisDiagnose. Kleine Art der Gattung Elaphe, die selten 750mm Gesamtlänge erreicht oder gar überschreitet. Im Unterschied zu Elaphe dione nur ein Praeoculare und zu E. situla nur 23 Dorsalia in einer Querreihe um die Körpermitte. Grundfarbe grau. Dunkle Schläfenbinde. Dunkelbraune Querflecken auf dem Rücken, die meist durch eine helle Vertebrallinie geteilt sind (Bischoff 1993: 317).

Diagnosis: Zamenis hohenackeri lyciensis ssp. nov. is a relatively slender snake with a maximum SVL of 760 mm (Müller, 1939; female from Sultan Mountains). This subspecies can be distinguished from Z. h. hohenackeri and Z. h. tauricus by its distinctly blotched dorsal pattern which is twice as large as in the other two subspecies, and in having a higher mean of ventral count (224 vs. 211 or 210, Supplementary Table 7 in Hofmann et al. 2018). 
CommentNCBI taxon ID: 1400947 [hohenackeri]
NCBI taxon ID: 1400948 [tauricus]

Synonymy: Some authors consider tauricus as a synonym of the nominate form because of the substantial variation within its range (e.g. Nilson & Andrén 1984, Schätti & Baran 1988, Gruber 2009: 143) but more recent authors recognize the subspecies.

Distribution: For a map see Sindaco et al. 2013. 
EtymologyZ. hohenackeri was named after Dr. Rudolph Friedrich Hohenacker (1798-1874), a Swiss physician and missionary who collected the type of this species.

The name lyciensis is derived from the Latin word 'Lycia'. Lycia was an ancient geopolitical region in Anatolia along the southwestern coasts of Turkey what is now in the Turkish provinces of Antalya and Muğla. It represents the centre of Zamenis hohenackeri lyciensis ssp. nov. and most specimens were recorded in that region. 
  • Afrasiab, Saman R.; Sarbaz I. Mohamad 2011. First record of the Rat Snake, Zamenis hohenackeri (Strauch, 1873), from north-eastern Iraq with notes on other colubrid snakes. Zoology in the Middle East 54: 19-22 - 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.]
  • Avcı, Aziz; Nazan Üzüm, Emin Bozkurt, Kurtuluş Olgun 2018. The Herpetofauna of Poorly Known Tunceli Province (Turkey). Russ. J. Herpetol. 25 (1): 17-24 - get paper here
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  • Baran,I. 1978. Some rare species of snakes from Turkey. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums, Wien 81 [1977]: 261-265 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Bischoff, W. & Schmidtler, J.F. 1996. Herpetologische Reiseeindrücke von Syrien und Libanon. Elaphe 4 (2): 68
  • Bischoff,W. 1993. Elaphe hohenackeri - Transkaukasische Kletternatter. In: Böhme,W. (ed.), Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien Europas, Band 3/I., Schlangen (Serpentes) I. Aula-Verlag Wiesbaden, pp. 317-330
  • 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
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  • Coppen, James 1995. A guide to ratsnakes. Part 4 - The European ratsnakes. Reptilian 3 (5): 6-10
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  • Hraoui-Bloquet, S.; Sadek, R.A.; Sindaco, R. & Venchi, A. 2002. The herpetofauna of Lebanon: new data on distribution. Zoology in the Middle East 27: 35-46 - get paper here
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  • Jandzik, David; Aziz Avci and Vaclav Gvozdik. 2013. Incongruence between taxonomy and genetics: three divergent lineages within two subspecies of the rare Transcaucasian Rat Snake (Zamenis hohenackeri). Amphibia-Reptilia 34 (4): 579-584 - get paper here
  • Joger, U.; Fritz, U.; Guicking, D.; Kalyabina-Hauf, S.; Nagy, Z.T. & Wink, M. 2007. Phylogeography of western Palaearctic reptiles – Spatial and temporal speciation patterns. Zoologischer Anzeiger 246: 293–313 - get paper here
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