Discovery of an Italian slow worm (Anguis veronensis Pollini, 1818) population on a Western Mediterranean Island confirmed by genetic analysis

Julien Renet, Daniela Lucente, Michel Delaugerre, Olivier Gerriet, Grégory Deso, Chiara Abbattista, Roberta Cimmaruta


The genus Anguis is known to be mainly continental in the Mediterranean area, and accordingly it has never been recorded in Western Mediterranean islands. Here we report for the first time the presence of the slow worm in a Western Mediterranean island, the Ile Sainte-Marguerite from Lérins archipelago (southeastern France). The molecular analysis of ND2 and PRLR genes assigned the specimens to A. veronensis Pollini, 1818 and showed that they are genetically related to the mainland population from Les Mayons, in mainland France. 

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