Common Names: Leopard Snake
Scientific Name: Zamenis situla
First Described: LINNAEUS, 1758
Adult Size: 70-125cm, Specimens from Milos Greece appear to grow larger than other localities reaching lengths of 125cm.
Temperament: A Shy and secretive species that requires lots of hiding places. Can be nippy as hatchlings and musk, this defense behaviour maybe carried into adulthood.
Temperature & Humidity Range: Provide a thermal gradient of between 28°C (82°F) - 25°C (77°F). Provide a humid hide. A light misting of the cage twice a week is beneficial. Animals kept too dry may experience problems sloughing, those kept too wet may develop respiratory problems.
Brumation: 47-50°F (8-10°C) for 2-3 months
Reproduction: Usually 3 to 8 eggs are laid per clutch hatching between 50 and 73 days at an incubation temperature of 25 to 28°C
Known Morphs: Striped, Blotched, Anerythristic, Hypomelanistic, Melanistic, Albino, Hypoerythristic, Axanthic
Albinism has been recorded in 1988 by Dimitropoulos, where a specimen was found on the island of Crete. David Buttle found a 'dead on road' Albino specimen on Lesvos, a photograph was placed on the Balkan Herps Yahoo Group.
Recently a Hypoerythristic specimen was hatched in a clutch of blotched normal adults by Rob Kitchinman (UK)
Melanism in Zamenis situla has been reported from the Greek island of Crete by Dimitropoulos (1988) and Stugren & Lydatáki (1986), all authors described them as being Jet Black.
Blotched is the most common pattern in captivity and the wild. In many wild populations they occur together with Striped.
Striped is a natural variation, blotched specimens can hatch from striped parents.
Captive Bred Localities: Rhodes Is. Greece, Milos (Striped variation), Zegarski Croatia,
Natural History: Due to the wide distribution of Zamenis situla, the areas inhabited vary. This snake can be found in dense evergreen shrubs (macchia), overgrown ruins and gardens, near rivers and ponds, stone/rubble and steppe landscapes. Usually found with altitudes up to 700m but has been noted up to as much as 1260m in Italy.
A terrestrial snake that can be found in low bushes. The diet of this species mainly consists of small rodents where this snake will raid their burrows.
Native To: Albania, Bulagria, Greece, Crete, Italy, Malta, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Ukraine.
IUCN Red List: Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. IUCN
Biodiversity Protection Act of Bulgaria . Entry into force 09.08.2002: Appendix Ð†Ð† - Species whose conservation requires the designation of protected areas for habitat conservation
Appendix Ð†Ð†Ð† - Species protected in the whole territory of the country
Red data Book of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria . Volume 2 Animals . 1985: threatened (T)
Bern Convention (Convention on the conservation of European wildlife and natural habitats) . E ntry into force in Bulgaria 01.05.1991: Appendix II - Strictly protected fauna species. Status in force since 1 March 2002.
Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora
Annex II - animal and plant species of community interest whose conservation requires the designation of special areas of conservation
Annex IV - animal and plant species of community interest in need of strict protection.
Red book of Ukraine proposals: In danger of extinction (I)