Geographical Comparison and Body Size Differentiation in the European Whip Snake, Hierophis viridiflavus, from Central and Southern Italy

M. A. L. Zuffi, S. Fornasiero, P. Carlino, A. Bonacci, C. Corti, E. Sperone, S. Tripepi


Significant geographic differences have been found, using standard head and body parameters, between separated populations of the European whip snakes from central, continental southern Italy and Sicily. Sexual Size Dimorphism is very marked. Whip snakes of southern continental Italy and Sicily are shorter than those from central Italy, while head shape did not differ significantly within the studied populations. All the measured southern snakes were melanic. Data set is congruent with the hypothesis of a subspecific differentiatin of the European whip snake southern populations.


geographic variation; Italy; Hierophis viridiflavus

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