Common Names: Aesculapian Snake
Scientific Name: Zamenis longissimus
First Described: LAURENTI, 1768
Adult Size: 90-140cm, sexual dimorphism exists in this species with males growing larger than females.
Temperament: A Shy species
Temperature & Humidity Range: A thermal gradient of between 28°C (82°F) - 25°C (77°F) is required for Zamenis longissimus. A humid hide is beneficial
Brumation: 46-54°F (8-12°C) for 3-4 months
Reproduction: 5-12 eggs are laid per clutch which hatch between 55 and 65 days at an incubation temperature of 25 to 29°C
Known Morphs: Albino, Hypomelanistic, Melanistic and a naturally occurring dark grey variation.
In 2013 an Albino / Amelanistic hatchling was discovered in a garden in Upper Austria, the snake is now in the collection of Reptilienzoo Nockalm, Carinthia, Austria and thriving.
In 2004 an adult Albino specimen measuring 125cm was found in the wild in Sredma near Brestrnica in the eastern part of the Kozjak region, Slovania.(Miha KROFEL 2004)
In 1992 an adult albino Aesculapian Snake was reported from Colico in Lombardy and was believed to be the first such mutation recorded in Italy (Ferri & Bettiga 1992)
Hypomelanistic Z. longissimus were bred for the first time in captivity by Tula Zoo in Russia.
Melanistic animals have been reported in the wild from several localities including Zmajevac & Jezero in Croatia (ZADRAVEC et. al 2011)
Captive Bred Localities: Passau Germany, Loire Valley France,
Natural History: Zamenis longissimus inhabits a wide range of habitats, preferring slightly moist and sunny areas with brush vegetation. It is found at altitudes from sea level to 1700 m. Frequently found in dry stone walls, sunny enbankments and meadows. It is not unusual for this species to be found on cultivated land and even in gardens. A semi-arboreal species, it is often seen to be climbing amongst low trees and bushes.
- Durovici, Montenegro
- Author: RF Member
- Description: This snake was found trying to cross the busy Adriatic highway in Montenegro. It was photographed and released in the scrub on the rocky hillside above the road.
Native To: Zamenis longissimus has a wide distribution range which includes the following countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Austria, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Corfu, Paxi, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Slovakia, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia, Poland, Turkey, Russia, and Iran.
There is also an introduced population in North Wales, UK, which appears to be established for the last 30 years, several generations are known from this locality. Another population of Z. longissimus has established itself in London along side Regent's Canal near Regents Park, it is believed this population is at least thirty animals strong.
IUCN Red List: DD (Data Deficient) IUCN
Biodiversity Protection Act of Bulgaria . Entry into force in 09.08.2002: Appendix ??? - 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). Entry 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 IV - animal and plant species of community interest in need of strict protection.
Red book of Ukraine proposals: In danger of extinction (I)