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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 and Bar et al. 2021. 
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. 
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