New Species of Snake Found in Europe

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Scientists have identified a new species of snake in Europe. Based on more than 1,600 snakes, the researchers were able to show that the “Barred Grass Snake,” whose range includes Western Germany, France, Great Britain, Switzerland and Italy constitutes a distinct species.

In their study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, the team examined two contact zones — in the Rhine region and in eastern Germany — where different genetic lineages of grass snakes meet.

The grass snake is among the most common and widespread snakes in Europe — yet relatively little is known to date about the genetic identity of these non-toxic reptiles, which can reach a length of up to one meter.

The Barred Grass Snake is widely distributed throughout Great Britain, Switzerland, Italy and France, and also occurs in the western part of Germany. Thus, the number of European snake species has increased by one.

Grass snakes are under special protection in Europe and are considered threatened or highly threatened in some countries.

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