Snakes of Europe/Species/Platyceps najadum

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Platyceps najadum, known commonly as Dahl's whip snake, is a species of snake in the genus Platyceps of the Colubridae family. It was first described by Eichwald in 1831 [1].

Platyceps najadum, Dahl's whip snake

Geographic range[edit | edit source]

Platyceps najadum is found in the Balkans, Aegean, Cyprus, the Mid-East and as far as Turkmenistan and the Caucasus mountains [2].

Description[edit | edit source]

Stated as occuring in dry and xeric environments in a wide range of habitat, in desert and rocky land, in forests, woodland scrub and agricultural land from sea level to 2000m altitude. Commonly found in fields, and seen crushed on roads. It has a slim body rarely over a metre in length This snake is threatened by direct persecution, forest fires and intensive agriculture, where range interacts with human interests. [3] Non-venomous.

Biology[edit | edit source]

Egg laying, females lay between 3 and 16 eggs in a clutch [4]

Identification[edit | edit source]

List of subspecies[edit | edit source]

Five [5] or six [6] subspecies are identified.

  • Platyceps najadum albitemporalis (Darevsky & Orlov, 1994)
  • Platyceps najadum atayevi (Tuniyev & Shammakov, 1993), Kopet-Dag, Iran/Turkmenistan.
  • Platyceps najadum dahlii (Fitzinger, 1826), Balkans, Cyprus, Aegean Turkey,
  • Platyceps najadum kalymnensis (Schneider, 1979), endemic to Kalymnos island, the Aegean
  • Platyceps najadum najadum (Eichwald, 1831), Caucuses and Asia Minor
  • Platyceps najadum schmidtleri (Schätti & Mccarthy, 2001, Zagros mountains, Iran

Indigenous names[edit | edit source]

(gr) Σαϊτα, Saita

References[edit | edit source]