Natrix natrix cypriaca Hecht, 1930
Cyprus grass snake
Taxonomy & Nomenclature
Last record: early 1960's
Rediscovered (first time): 1992
The Cyprus Grass Snake was originally thought to have become extinct in the early 1960's, before it was rediscovered in 1992. It's population remained stable for over a decade, but by the mid 2000's it's population had plummeted to just 90-100 individuals. Hans-Jorg Wiedl returned to the only known locality of this species in October-November 2010 but was not able to locate any snakes. This is not surprising given the current state of the area, evidenced by several photos taken by "Snake George", as Wiedl is informally known as (Wiedl, 2010). The species' distribution was increased by roughly 70% as a result of the investigation into 13 alleged sightings (Zotos et al., 2021).
Paralimni Lakes, Cyprus
Biology & Ecology
Original scientific description:
Hecht, G. (1930). Systematik, Ausbreitungsgeschichte und Ökologie der europäischen Arten der Gattung Tropidonotus (Kuhl) H. Boie. Mitt. zool. Mus. Berlin16: 244-393.
Baier, F. and H.-J. Wiedl. (2010). The re-evaluated conservation status of the mountain populations of the highly endangered Cyprus Grass Snake, Natrix natrix cypriaca (Hecht, 1930), with miscellaneous natural history notes. Salamandra 46:16-23.
Uetz, P. et al., The Reptile Database, https://www.reptile-database.org, accessed September 13, 2011.
Wieldl, H. and W. Böhme. (1992). Wiederentdeckung der Ringelnatter (Natrix natrix ssp.?) auf Zypern, vorläufiger Bericht. Herpetofauna 14: 6-10.
Zotos, Savvas et al. (2021). New Evidence on the Distribution of the Highly Endangered Natrix natrix cypriaca and Implications for Its Conservation. Animals 11(4): 1077. doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041077