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Herp ID questions, SW Spain, 06/2019 (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
These reptiles were seen in Extremadura earlier this month.

#1 Rhinechis scalaris?
This snake was mid-sized (>50 cm long) and rather aggressive, due to its predicament (accidentally finding itself in the middle of a busy place and being driven into the bushes). One of the locals identified it as an adult Ladder Snake (Rhinechis scalaris). Is that correct? As far as I can tell, this seems plausible because of the two conspicuous lines along the back, and the apparent darker dot on the cheek, but I'm not very experienced with herp identification, so I'd welcome other people's input.

#2 Psammodromus [algirus] manuelae or Psammodromus hispanicus?
This was one of the many (putative) sand racers I encountered in the region.
If it is the former, does that species have an English name?

#3, #4 Psammodromus [algirus] manuelae or Psammodromus hispanicus?
Other examples. There was one recurring type that I dubbed "Rock Bunting Lizard" because of its typical pattern of grey and black stripes on its head and upper body combined with a rusty-coloured hip region.

#5 (no picture) Snake sp.
We came across another snake, which I unfortunately didn't manage to photograph, that was mid-sized, fairly slender, and appeared green without visible markings. It was moving quickly across the road. The surrounding habitat was steppe with occasional patches of scrub or trees.

As always, any ideas welcome.

Regards, A


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Andy Adcock

Well-known member
The snake looks right.

There are four Psammodromus in Speybroeck et al

algirus - Large
occidentalis - Western
edwardsianus - Edwards
hispanicus - Spanish

Yours all look like Large to me?
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Well-known member
yes, all are Psammodromus algirus.
the snake is scalaris. but the corrent genus is Zamenis since 3 or more years now.
The correct spelling of Edwards Psammodromus is P. edwarsianus - without a 2nd d


Well-known member
Thank you both. The taxonomy still confuses me somewhat (as does herp identification in general), but I'll trust your expertise on this.
By the way, does anyone have suggestions for a somewhat affordable field guide on herps for the region or Europe in general?

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