MASSETI, M. & ZUFFI, M. A. L. (2011)

On the origin of the asp viper Vipera aspis hugyi Schinz, 1833, on the island of Montecristo, Northern Tyrrhenian Sea (Tuscan archipelago, Italy).

Herpetological Bulletin [2011] 117: 1-9.


For some time there has been debate regarding whether the asp viper, Vipera aspis (Linnaeus, 1758), belonged to the original fauna of the small island of montecristo, Northern tyrrhenian sea (tuscan archipelago, italy). it has long been believed that the asp viper population of this island is made up of the subspecies Vipera aspis hugyi Schinz, 1833, also found in southern continental italy and sicily. a recent genetic study confirmed that this colonisation was exclusively mediated by humans, but also revealed that the extant vipers of montecristo displayed closest relationships with those found in the Palermo region of sicily, and southern italy. it might be assumed that the animals that were introduced onto montecristo originated from western sicily. in light of recent contributions the aim of this paper is to make an original contribution regarding the times and mode of such an importation that was performed possibly around the 5th century.


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