Zamenis lineatus (CAMERANO, 1891)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Zamenis lineatus?
|Higher Taxa||Colubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Striped Aesculapian rat snake|
|Synonym||Callopeltis longissimus var. lineata CAMERANO 1891|
Coluber romanus SUCKOW 1798
Elaphe longissima romana — CAPOCACCIA 1964
Elaphe lineata — LENK & WÜSTER 1999
Zamenis lineatus — UTIGER et al. 2002
Zamenis lineata — VENCHI & SINDACO 2006
Zamenis lineatus — LIVIGNI 2013: 289
Zamenis lineatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 808
|Distribution||S Italy (incl. Sicily, Ischia)|
Type locality: Naples, Italy
|Reproduction||oviparous;<br />Hybridization: Z. lineatus hybridizes with Z. longissimus (Salvi et al. 2017).|
|Types||Holotype: MSNM 942 (Milano, formerly MZUT = MRSN 434), male|
|Diagnosis||Description: Distinguished from Z. longissimus by having a red iris (like the Leopard Snake Z. situla) and by the 4 dark bands on the back and flanks that are generaIly better defined but thinner (narrower than the pale line that separates them). The small white speckles typical of longissimus are there, clear on the dark bands and nearly absent from the pale parts of the back and flanks. Some older individuals are nearly uniformly coloured, in which case they are paler than longissimus,with the white markings more or less persisting. Belly yellowish-white with grey mottling as from mid-body; underside of tail uniform grey.|
The head patte rn is very distinct: a very narrow black bar between the eyes contrasts with the uniform pale grey or yellowish ground colour, and there is a well-marked black longitudinal line along the joint between the 2 parietal plates (in Z. longissimus this line is blurred and indistinct); the black marking on the temple is narrower and generally connected to the black marking at the back of the mandibles (usually separated in Z. longissimus). As the snake grows, the back markings become progressively more attached and eventually form longitudinal bars that become less distinct with age. Back scales are smooth and glossy, arranged in 23 rows at mid-body, 225-238 ventral plates (Geniez 2018: 170).
Ontogenetic change: Juveniles have a much more contrasting colouration than adults with dark reddish-brown marks on the back and flanks. These markings are smaller than those of juvenile Z. longissimus and are already aligned in 4 longitudinal series, separate from the ground colour, which is a paler grey than in the other species; the white speckles are poorly defined (very visible and numerous in juvenile Z. longissimus). See also description.
|Comment||Distribution: Erroneously reported from Sardegna Island (Razzetti, pers. comm.). The type locality of Coluber romanus is "Surroundings of Rome", an area that is inhabited by E. longissima but not E. lineata, so the erliest (and only) available name is Elaphe lineata (Razzetti, pers. comm.). For a map see Sindaco et al. 2013.|
Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018).
Similar species: Zamenis longissimus.
|Etymology||Named after Latin “linea”, meaning stripe or line.|