Morphological Traits of Hatchlings of the Western Whip Snake Hierophis viridiflavus (Lacépède, 1789) from a Central Italian Population

Alessandro Paterna


A western whip snakes’ communal nesting site has been discovered in central Italy. The morphological characteristics, differences and anomalies of the hatchlings of this species are described. The results of body weight and size showed different values to historical data. Sexual dimorphism has been observed in the number of ventrals and subcaudals, as well as in the size and weight of the specimens. Differences, anomalies and malformations in the head scutellation have been observed in 16% of the examined specimens. The photographic material allowed a classification of five different main types of head pattern. The data are provided in tables and diagrams.


Serpentes; Colubridae; Hierophis viridiflavus; western whip snake; hatchlings; morphology; anomalies; communal nesting site

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