Achalinus werneri

Achalinus werneri (common names: Amami odd-scaled snake, Amami Takachiho snake) is a species of snake in the family Xenodermatidae.[1][2] The species is endemic to the Ryukyu Islands, Japan.[1] No subspecies are currently recognized.[2]

Achalinus werneri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Xenodermidae
Genus: Achalinus
A. werneri
Binomial name
Achalinus werneri


The specific name, werneri, is in honor of Austrian herpetologist Franz Werner.[3]

Conservation status

In 1996 Achalinus werneri was classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN.[1] This is because its range is estimated to be less than 20,000 km² (7,722 sq mi), or its area of occupancy is estimated to be less than 2,000 km² (772 sq mi), and estimates indicate its range is severely fragmented, or known to exist at no more than ten locations, and that a continuing decline has been inferred, observed or projected in the area, extent and/or quality of its habitat.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Kidera, N. & Ota, H. 2017. Achalinus werneri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T161A96877297. Downloaded on 02 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b Achalinus werneri at the Reptile Database. Accessed 27 February 2016.
  3. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Achalinus werneri, p. 282).
  4. ^ 1994 Categories & Criteria (version 2.3) Archived September 13, 2008, at the Wayback MachineIUCN Red List. Accessed 16 August 2007.

Further reading

  • Van Denburgh J (1912). "Concerning Certain Species of Reptiles and Amphibians from China, Japan, the Loo Choo Islands, and Formosa". Proc. California Acad. Sci., Fourth Series 3: 187-258. (Achalinus werneri, new species, pp. 254–255).
Edateku Island

Edateku Island (Japanese: 枝手久島) is one of the islands of Amami Islands of Satsunan Islands, Japan. It administratively belongs to Uken Village, Ōshima District, Kagoshima Prefecture. It is a desert island far off the Amami Oshima coast. It is said to be an origin of Achalinus werneri, a kind of colubrid snake species.The island was originally planned to be an oil reserve site in 1970s, but this plan was finally called off as it was strongly opposed by nearby villagers.

Franz Werner

Franz Josef Maria Werner (15 August 1867 in Vienna – 28 February 1939 in Vienna) was an Austrian zoologist and explorer. Specializing as a herpetologist and entomologist, Werner described numerous species and other taxa of frogs, snakes, insects, and other organisms.

His father introduced him at age 6 to reptiles and amphibians. A brilliant student, he corresponded often with George Albert Boulenger (1858–1937) and Oskar Boettger (1844–1910) who encouraged his studies with these animals. Werner obtained his doctorate in Vienna in 1890 and then after spending a year in Leipzig, began to teach at the Vienna Institute of Zoology. In 1919, he became tenured as a professor, maintaining this title until his retirement in 1933.

Although working close to the Vienna Natural History Museum, he could not use their herpetological collections, after the death of its director, Franz Steindachner (1834–1919), who did not like Werner, and had barred him from accessing the collections.

Werner succeeded in constituting an immense personal collection, and published more than 550 publications principally on herpetology. He named many new species of reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods, of which he specialized in orthopterans and scorpions.

He published in 1931, Dritte Klasse der Craniota: dritte und zugleich letzte Klasse der Ichthyopsida: Amphibia, Lurche: allgemeine Einleitung in said Naturgeschichte der Amphibia. His book, Amphibien und Reptilien (1910), contributed to the popularization of terraphilia, or raising pet reptiles and amphibians in terraria.

Nota bene: Franz Werner should not be confused with Israeli herpetologist Yehudah L. Werner (born 1931).

List of vulnerable reptiles

As of September 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 411 vulnerable reptile species. 8.0% of all evaluated reptile species are listed as vulnerable.

The IUCN also lists ten reptile subspecies as vulnerable.

No subpopulations of reptiles have been evaluated as vulnerable by the IUCN.

For a species to be assessed as vulnerable to extinction the best available evidence must meet quantitative criteria set by the IUCN designed to reflect "a high risk of extinction in the wild". Endangered and critically endangered species also meet the quantitative criteria of vulnerable species, and are listed separately. See: List of endangered reptiles, List of critically endangered reptiles. Vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered species are collectively referred to as threatened species by the IUCN.

Additionally 910 reptile species (18% of those evaluated) are listed as data deficient, meaning there is insufficient information for a full assessment of conservation status. As these species typically have small distributions and/or populations, they are intrinsically likely to be threatened, according to the IUCN. While the category of data deficient indicates that no assessment of extinction risk has been made for the taxa, the IUCN notes that it may be appropriate to give them "the same degree of attention as threatened taxa, at least until their status can be assessed."This is a complete list of vulnerable reptile species and subspecies evaluated by the IUCN.

Ryukyu Islands

The Ryukyu Islands (琉球諸島, Ryūkyū-shotō), also known as the Nansei Islands (南西諸島, Nansei-shotō, lit. "Southwest Islands") or the Ryukyu Arc (琉球弧, Ryūkyū-ko), are a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan: the Ōsumi, Tokara, Amami, Okinawa, and Sakishima Islands (further divided into the Miyako and Yaeyama Islands), with Yonaguni the westernmost. The larger are mostly high islands and the smaller mostly coral. The largest is Okinawa Island.

The climate of the islands ranges from humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) in the north to tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af) in the south. Precipitation is very high and is affected by the rainy season and typhoons. Except the outlying Daitō Islands, the island chain has two major geologic boundaries, the Tokara Strait (between the Tokara and Amami Islands) and the Kerama Gap (between the Okinawa and Miyako Islands). The islands beyond the Tokara Strait are characterized by their coral reefs.

The Ōsumi and Tokara Islands, the northernmost of the islands, fall under the cultural sphere of the Kyushu region of Japan; the people are ethnically Japanese and speak a variation of the Kagoshima dialect of Japanese. The Amami, Okinawa, Miyako, and Yaeyama Islands have a native population collectively called the Ryukyuan people, named for the former Ryukyu Kingdom that ruled them. The varied Ryukyuan languages are traditionally spoken on these islands, and the major islands have their own distinct languages. In modern times, the Japanese language is the primary language of the islands, with the Okinawan Japanese dialect prevalently spoken. The outlying Daitō Islands were uninhabited until the Meiji period, when their development was started mainly by people from the Izu Islands south of Tokyo, with the people there speaking the Hachijō language.

Administratively, the islands are divided into Kagoshima Prefecture (specifically the islands administered by Kagoshima District, Kumage Subprefecture/District, and Ōshima Subprefecture/District) in the north and Okinawa Prefecture in the south, with the divide between the Amami and Okinawa Islands, with the Daitō Islands part of Okinawa Prefecture. The northern (Kagoshima) islands are collectively called the Satsunan Islands, while the southern part of the chain (Okinawa Prefecture) are called the Ryukyu Islands in Chinese.


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