A species distribution model for the endemic Cyprus whip snake (Hierophis cypriensis) is consistent with a transient period isolated evolution in the Troodos Range
The Cyprus whip snake (Hierophis cypriensis Schätti, 1985) is endemic to Cyprus and occurs in forested regions of the Troodos Range in the central part of the island, but surprisingly, has not been reported from such areas in the Kyrenia Range of northern Cyprus. Here, we provide the first comprehensive GPS-based assessment of the distribution of this endangered snake in Cyprus. We use species distribution modelling to demonstrate that areas with suitable habitat for the Cyprus whip snake are largely limited to the Troodos Range. The Kyrenia Range contains only a few grid cells of medium habitat suitability according to the environmental parameters assessed. The Mesaoria Plain, which lies between the two mountain ranges, likely functions as an ecological barrier with unsuitable habitat conditions. Consistent with this pattern of distribution, we hypothesise that this species was restricted to the Troodos Range during the early phases of speciation. Adaptation to environmental conditions in the Troodos Range may have prevented subsequent range extension to other ecological niches when the rest of the island emerged.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 2014
More about this publication?
- The Herpetological Journal is an international scientific journal that publishes papers on the natural history of amphibians and reptiles. Experimental, observational and theoretical studies are published along with reviews and book reviews. Faunistic lists, letters and results of general surveys are not published unless they shed light on herpetological problems of wider significance.
- Editorial Board
- Information for Authors
- Submit a Paper
- Subscribe to this Title
- Membership Information
- Information for Advertisers
- Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites