Dahl’s Whip Snake

Platyceps najadum


Голем стрелец/Џитка


Shigjeta hollë

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Assessment info
Habitat and Ecology
Use and Trade
Conservation Actions


Scientific name

Platyceps najadum


(Eichwald, 1831)


Coluber najadum Eichwald, 1831; Coluber dahlii Schinz, 1833; Coluber olivaceus Dwigubsky, 1832; Coluber schmidtleri Schätti & McCarthy, 2001; Tyria najadum Eichwald, 1831; Zamenis dahli Fitzinger, 1926

Assessment info

IUCN Red List Category and Criteria

NT, B1ab(i,ii,iii)

Date assessed

November 2019


Sterijovski, B.

Arsovski, D.


Ajtic, R.




Hofman, M.P.G.


Dahl’s Whip Snake’s small area of occupancy (AOO) of only 348km2 implies the Endangered category for the species. Nevertheless, this value is likely an underestimation due to this snake’s elusive nature, as is the case with most colubrids; its wider extent of occurrence (EOO) of 19.776kmpaints a better picture of its national distribution, suggesting the Vulnerable category. It is, nevertheless, affected by habitat degradation and destruction, and will likely experience reductions in both AOO and EOO (inference), bringing about reductions in locations and/or severe fragmentations. Dahl’s Whip Snake could possibly benefit from rescue effects from all neighboring countries (Bulgaria, Greece and Albania; it should be noted that the small population in Serbia might be a fragment of the broader population inhabiting the valley of Pchinja river), where it is, nonetheless, facing similar threats (assessed as CR in Serbia, Tomović & Džukić 2015). Consequently, the species’ national assessment is Near Threatened. Globally and in Europe, this species has been assessed as Least Concern.


Current population trend



In North Macedonia the population size is not accurately determined, although here the species is at its eastern distribution edge, globally, making it quite a rare sight in the country. Besides being quite common in other countries (Lymberakis et al. 2009), populations are likely small in North Macedonia and probably decreasing due to threats, particularly habitat degradation and road mortality.

Habitat and Ecology



Habitat and Ecology

In general, this species is associated with dry or xerophytic landscapes. It is found in meadows, but also at the slopes of foothills and mountains covered with bush vegetation and woods, in juniper open woodlands, oak groves, border of forests (Lymberakis et al. 2009). It often prefers stony habitats such as eroded hillsides, rocky outcrops and boulder formations (Speybroeck et al. 2016). Mating occurs in April or May and by June or July females lay between three and 16 eggs (Lymberakis et al. 2009).

Use and trade

Use and trade

Individuals are sometimes spotted as captive-bred by hobbyists and distributed within the hobbyist community. One case was officially noted when hobbyst brought live specimen in Skopje ZOO due to the fact that he could not take care of the snake further more. He claimed that he has bought the specimen in local pet store in Center of Skopje.



Habitat destruction from urbanization, agricultural intensification and wildfires can pose threats to the species. As is the case with all snake species in Macedonia, it is often persecuted by humans. It often falls victim to road mortality.

Conservation actions

Conservation actions

It is listed on Annex II of the Bern Convention. In Annex IV of the EU Habitats Directive. It appears on the list of nationally protected wild species.



Sillero, N., Campos, J., Bonardi, A., Corti, C., Creemers, R., Crochet, P.-A., Crnobrnja-Isailović, J., Denoël, M., Ficetola, G.F., Gonçalves, J., Kuzmin, S., Lymberakis, P., de Pous, P., Rodríguez, A., Sindaco, R., Speybroeck, J., Toxopeus, B., Vieites, D.R., Vences, M. 2014. Updated distribution and biogeography of amphibians and reptiles of Europe. .p 1-31.

Speybroeck, J., Beukema, W., Bok, B., and van der Woort, J. 2016. Field Guide to the Amphibians & Reptiles of Britain and Europe Bloomsbury London . .p/.

Micevski, B. 2015. Report of Biodiversity conditions of amphibians and reptiles of Ograzden Mt. 2014-2015. Skopje . .p/.

Uzunova, D., Kitanova, D., Spirovska, M., Hristovski, S.2015. Integral Report for the Project implementation. Final report of the project “Ecological data gap analysis and ecological sensitivity map development for the Bregalnica river watershed” . Skopje . .p/.

Sterijovski, B., Tomović, L., Ajtić, R. 2014. Contribution to the knowledge of the Reptile fauna and diversity in FYR of Macedonia. .p 83–92.

Uhrin et al. 2016. Distribution updates to amphibian and reptile fauna for the Republic of Macedonia.. .p 201-220.

Melovski, Lj., Markoski, B., Hristovski, S., Jovanovska, D., Anastasovski, V., Klincharov, S., Velevski, M., Velkovski, N., Trendafilov, A., Matevski, V., Kostadinovski, M., Karadelev, M., Levkov, Z., Kolchakovski, D. 2013. Regional division of the Republic of Macedonia for the needs of biological databases . .p 81-111.

Gasc, J-P., Cabela, A., Crnobrnja-Isailović, J., Dolmen, D., Grossenbacher, K., Haffner, P., Lescure, J., Martens, H., Martinez-Rica, J.P., Maurin, H., Oliveira, M.L., Sofianidou, T.S., Veith, M., Zuiderwijk, A. 1997. Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe Societas Europaea Herpetologica & Museum Nationall d’ Histoire Naturelle (IEGB/SPN). Paris. .p 496.

Tomović, Lj. & Džukić, G. 2015. Dahl’s Whip Snake University of Belgrade Faculty оf Biology and Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia Belgrade. .p 227-232.

Lymberakis, P., Ajtić, R., Tok, V., Ugurtas, I.H., Sevinç, M., Crochet, P.-A., Disi, A.M.M., Hraoui-Bloquet, S., Sadek, R., Haxhiu, I., Böhme, W., Agasyan, A., Tuniyev, B., Ananjeva, N., Orlov, N. 2009. Platyceps najadum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. .p/.