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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Lepidosauromorpha
Superordo: Lepidosauria
Ordo: Squamata
Subordo: Serpentes
Infraordo: Caenophidia
Superfamilia: Colubroidea

Familia: Colubridae
Subfamilia: Colubrinae
Genus: Coronella
Species: C. austriaca - C. brachyura - C. girondica

Coronella Laurenti, 1768

Type species: Coronella fissidens Günther, 1858

Laurenti, J. N. 1768. Specimen medicum, exhibens synopsin reptilium emendatam cum experimentis circa venena et antidota reptilium austracorum, quod authoritate et consensu. Vienna, Joan. Thomae, 217 pp.
Coronella at the New Reptile Database. Accessed on 25 August 2008.

Vernacular names
English: Smooth Snakes

Coronella is a genus of harmless snakes in the family Colubridae. The genus is endemic to Europe, North Africa and West Asia.[1] Three species are currently recognized as being valid.[2]

Common names: Smooth snakes.[1]


Species in the genus Coronella are relatively small snakes, rarely growing to more than 60 cm (2.0 ft) in total length (including tail). The head is only slightly distinct from the neck, and the pupil is round. The teeth of the upper jaw increase in size towards the rear of the mouth. The body is almost cylindrical and covered with smooth scales. The subcaudals are paired.[1]

Coronella species are terrestrial and rather secretive, spending much of their time under cover.[1]

The diet of snakes of the genus Coronella is made up mainly of lizards and the young of other snakes, as well as small rodents, especially young rodents still in the nest. They have often been described as constrictors, although there is no good evidence for this.[1] Street (1979) notes that prey is held firmly in its coils, but only for the purpose of restraint rather than to kill it.[3]
Geographic range

Species in the genus Coronella are found in Europe, North Africa and West Asia.[1]
Species[2] Authority[2] Subsp.*[2] Common name[2] Geographic range[2]
C. austriaca Laurenti, 1768 2 Smooth snake Finland, southern Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, southern England, northern Spain, northern Portugal, France, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece (incl. Samothraki), Albania, Turkey, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, western Kazakhstan, northern Asia Minor, northern Iran.
C. brachyura (Günther, 1866) 0 Indian smooth snake India (northern Maharashtra).
C. girondica (Daudin, 1803) 1 Southern smooth snake Spain, Portugal, southern France, Italy, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia.

*) Not including the nominate subspecies (typical form).

The genus Coronella is closely related to the American kingsnakes of the genus Lampropeltis, and both genera were once classified within the same genus.[4]

Steward JW (1971). The Snakes of Europe. Cranbury, New Jersey: Associated University Press (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press). 238 pp. LCCCN 77-163307. ISBN 0-8386-1023-4.
Genus Coronella at The Reptile Database.
Street D (1979). The Reptiles of Northern and Central Europe. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd. 268 pp. ISBN 0-7134-1374-3.

Mehrtens JM (1987). Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.

Further reading

Laurenti JN (1768). Specimen medicum, exhibens synopsin reptilium emendatam cum experimentis circa venena et antidota reptilium austriacorum. Vienna: "Joan. Thom. Nob. de Trattnern". 214 pp. + Plates I-V. (Coronella, new genus, p. 84). (in Latin).


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