Oggi 21/09/2019 ore 15:40

Reptiles

These animals count in Etna with many Ofida (snakes) of which is dangerous to humans only the viper; the other Ofida species, like all other reptiles that inhabit the volcano, are not poisonous and they are even useful as destroyers of mammals harmful to agriculture. Vipera ophidians [photo] (Vipera aspis hugy Sching.).
Cervone e viperaLong on average about seventy centimeters, has big head, heart-shaped, sharply differentiated from the collar and with its nose slightly upturned, his eyes from the characteristic vertical pupil light grayish color.
The trunk is large and stocky, with short tails. The coloration is very variable.
The background color of the upper parts may be more or less clear, gray or yellowish, brownish, reddish, very dark, almost black, also the speckles, more or less evident, is quite varied: usually between the eyes is a dark bar a stain on his neck in a reversed V.
The bite of a viper leaves only two red spots on the skin distant from each other about 1 cm, imprint of the teeth of the poison.
Rat snake (Coluber viridiflavus carbouarius Bonap.).Up to 2 meters long, his head is distinguished from the trunk, fitted with a sharp keel on the top. The eyes are yellow with round black pupil, the tail is thin and long.
Ventral parts are whitish. Active by day, live in dry places, in woods and along the banks of streams, feeds on mice, lizards, snakes, insects, making it therefore very useful to humans. Easily irritable and aggressive, is harmless to humans.
Cervone [photo] (Elaphe quatuorliueata Lacep.).
Also called pasturavacche, can reach a length of 2 m; is brown dorsally, with 4 longitudinal black stripes, and yellowish ventrally. Diurnal habits, it feeds on small mammals, birds and their eggs. He is harmless to humans. Coluber Léopardin [photo] (Elaphe situla L.). his length is approximately under 90 cm, his back is of yellowish brown with large round red spots surrounded with large black with round orange pupil.
He has daytime habits and lives either in the woods or in open places, in places much sunnier and more or less dry, it feeds on lizards, small mammals, birds and even eggs. It is harmless to humans.
Grass snake [photo] (Natrix natrix sicula CUV.). On average is about 1 meter long, has a head distinct from the trunk, covered with large smooth and shiny plaque, the pupil is round, the tail ends in a subtle addition.
Usually the dorsal part has a solid olive background tinge with black spots, ventral parts are whitish or yellowish; on the sides of the neck is often present a kind of collar consists of two yellowish spots embroided with black.
He lives in the immediate vicinity of rivers, where he swims with great skill, he feeds on small fish, frogs, toads, mice and even insects. He is harmless to humans.
Sauri among the various species representing this order are to remember: Gongilo (Chalcides ocellatus tiligugu Gmelin.).
He reaches 28 cm, of which 12 belong to the tail. Colubro leopardino e biscia dal collareThe head is thick and flattened, with rounded snout, the trunk is long and depressed is supported by short and strong legs. The colour, very varied, is usually green with two longitudinal clear strips and numerous small black spots with a white center.
Lives in sandy soils where he digs long tunnels. He has mainly crepuscular and nocturnal habits, and feeds on insects. Luscengola (Chalcides chalcides CUV.). Long up to 3 5 cm, has a small head, well developed eyes, rounded snout and large mouth, the trunk is very long and carries two pairs of very small legs, which give him at first glance the look of a snake. The colour of the body is varied and often the top and the sides are light gray or of a faded olive colour, uniform or with brown longitudinal stripes; ventral sides are evenly whitish or yellowish. He Lives more frequently in the fields where he feeds on insects, earthworms and spiders.
The common and numerous lizards are represented by two species: the Italian Wall Lizard (Gist.), just for Sicily and is lacking in the rest of Italy, and the very common Podarcis sicula sicula (Raf) in the Italian peninsula, which is found also in the Tyrrhenian side and the Ionian at low altitude, this species is fragmented into numerous races, one of which (Podarcissicula mammoth Mertens), is located on the island Lachea, facing Acitrezza.
Large (up to 50 cm) reaches in Sicily the lizard (Lacerta viridis chloronota Raf).
Two species of geckos are very common, the Tarentola mauritanica (L.), of larger dimensions and the Hemidactylus turcicus (L.), it goes into the houses, walls, rocks: they are wrongly feared by men because they are considered poisonous, but these animals are completely harmless and useful because they devour insects.
The turtles are otherr group of reptiles present at Etna with the tortoise (Testudo Bermann robertmertensi Werm.)
And the Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca), living at a semi-domestic state.
The Amphibians are much more scarce, given the poverty of perennial surface water in the Etna.
There are Urodela (this is newts and salamanders), but the presence of this group of amphibians in Sicily has not yet been proven, only the Anura (frogs and toads), of which is easy to see in spring the long strings of eggs even in waters that dry up by summer, we shall remember the Discoglosso (Discoglossus pictus Otth.), a species that is missing in Italy in the Apennine peninsula, small (5-8 cm), he has a disc-shaped tongue.
The colour of the body is very diverse: the back, gray, brown or reddish, has several brown spots, sometimes grouped in longitudinal strips. He is also cited for Etna, though its current presence requires confirmation, also ululone (Bombina variegata pacbypus Bon.), Lovely bright yellow-bellied toad, mottled slate. Etna real toads are both Italian species: the largest common toad (Bufo bufo spinosus Daud.) and the green toad (Bufo viridis Laur.).
One species of frog lives on the volcano Etna, in areas at low altitude, the very common Rana esculenta (L.) in certain locations is also used as a popular food.