Natrix natrix cypriaca Hecht, 1930

Cyprus grass snake



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status

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.


Other references:

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,, accessed September 13, 2011.

Wiedl, Hans-Jorg. (2010). Possible Endangerment of the Cyprus Grass Snake (Natrix natrix cypriaca) during clean up at Paralimni by Cyprus Government.

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:

Zotos, Savvas et al. (2022). Elusive species distribution modelling: The case of Natrix natrix cypriaca. Ecological Informatics 71: 101758.


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