Italian Aesculapian snake

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Italian Aesculapian Snake)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Italian Aesculapian snake
Benny Trapp Zamenis lineatus Sizilien.jpg
An adult Zamenis lineatus from Sicily.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Zamenis
Species: Z. lineatus
Binomial name
Zamenis lineatus
(Camerano, 1891)
  • Coluber romanus Suckow, 1798
  • Callopeltis longissimus var. lineata Camerano, 1891
  • Elaphe longissima romana
    — Capocaccia, 1964
  • Elaphe lineata
    — Lenk & Wüster, 1999
  • Zamenis lineatus
    — Utiger et al., 2002
  • Zamenis lineata
    — Venchi & Sindaco, 2006
  • Zamenis lineatus
    — Li Vigni, 2013

The Italian Aesculapian snake (Zamenis lineatus) is a species of snake in the Colubridae family.

Geographic range[edit]

Z. lineatus is endemic to southern Italy and Sicily. The northern limit of its geographical range is the Province of Caserta in the west and the Province of Foggia in the east. It is absent from the Salentine Peninsula (Salento), which is the "heel" of the "boot" of Italy.


The Italian Aesculapian snake is a medium to large snake that reaches a maximum total length (including tail) of 2 m (6 12 ft). Dorsally, it is yellowish brown and may have four dark brown stripes. If present, the stripes are of equal width and equidistant. The dorsal scales are smooth. The iris of the eye is red, giving it the common name in Italian of saettone occhirossi (red-eyed racer).


The natural habitats of Z. lineatus are temperate forests, temperate shrubland, Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, arable land, pastureland, rural gardens, and urban areas.


The Italian Aesculapian snake feeds on lizards, small mammals, and eggs.



  1. ^ "Zamenis lineatus ". The Reptile Database.

Further reading[edit]

  • Camerano L (1891). "Monografia degli ofidi italiani. Parte seconda — colubridi e monografia dei cheloni italiani ". Memorie della Reale Accademia delle Scienze di Torino, Serie seconda 41 (2): 403-469. (Callopeltis longissimus Var. lineata, p. 458). (in Italian).
  • Lenk P, Wüster W (1999). "A Multivariate Approach to the Systematics of Italian Rat Snakes of the Elaphe longissima Complex (Reptilia, Colubridae): Revalidation of Camerano's Callopeltis longissimus var. lineata". The Herpetological Journal 9 (4): 153-162.
  • Utiger U, Helfenberger N, Schätti B, Schmidt C, Ruf M, Ziswiler V (2002). "Molecular systematics and phylogeny of Old World and New World ratsnakes, Elaphe Auct., and related genera (Reptilia, Squamata, Colubridae)". Russian Journal of Herpetology 9 (2): 105-124.

See also[edit]