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Care Sheet Crowned Leaf nose Snake

Figure 1: Lytorhynchus diadema picture by rubida


Scientific Name
Lytorhynchus diadema
Subspecies
Lytorhynchus diadema gaddi (NIKOLSKY 1907)
Lytorhynchus diadema diadema (DUMRIL, BIBRON & DUMRIL 1854)
Lytorhynchus diadema arabicus HAAS 1952 [status unclear]
Lytorhynchus diadema mesopotamicus HAAS 1952 [status unclear]
L. (d.) kennedyi is considered by some authors as a colour morph of L. diadema.
Common names:
Crowned Leaf nose Snake, Diademed Sand Snake, Awl-headed Snake, Gekrnte Schnauzennatter
Synonym
Heterodon diadema DUMRIL, BIBRON & DUMRIL 1854: 779
Lytorhynchus diadema PETERS 1862
Catachlein diadema JAN 1865
Catachlaena diadema BLANFORD 1881
Lytorhynchus diadema BOULENGER 1887: 408
Lytorhynchus diadema BOULENGER 1893: 415
Lytorhynchus gaddi NIKOLSKY 1907
Lytorhynchus gaddi MARTENS 1993
Lithorhynchus diadema diadema [sic] SOCHUREK 1979
Lytorhynchus diadema SCHLEICH, KSTLE & KABISCH 1996: 494
Lytorhynchus diadema TRAPE & MAN 2006
Range
Mauritania, Morocco, Western Sahara, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Niger, Israel, Jordan, Syria,
Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Oman, SW Iran, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Oman
1

gaddi: Saudi Arabia, Iraq, SW Iran


kennedyi: Syria, Jordan, SW Iraq; Type locality: from between Homs and Palmyra (Syria)
Habitat
Sandy biotopes in a wide variety of desert habitats, but most common in moderately vegetated
dunes. It has been found from near sea level to about 1,500 m in the St. Katherine area.
Size
Up to 18
Life Expectancy
Not known but 15 years should be about right.
Housing
Vivarium of appropriate size.
Dcor
Shallow water bowl in the cool side. Some rocks drift or Mopani wood for climbing.
Substrate
Desert or river sand 2-3 depth add some flat pieces of rock/slate for basking.
Temperature/Humidity
Average temperatures at localities
Nov April
May - Oct
70F/Day 40F/Night
85-90F+/Day 65F/Night
Recommended day temps 85-90F drop to 70F at night.
Brumation or a cooling down period starting from November until May at 50-55F is advantageous
especially if breeding is to be attempted.
Heating
Ceramic Heater
Use an appropriate thermostat for any heat source. Also use a digital thermometer to keep an eye on
the temps.
For ceramic heaters pulse proportional thermostat
For incandescent bulbs spots and Infra red bulbs use a dimming thermostat.
For mats and heater cable you can use any vivarium thermostat we recommend the mat stat.
Feeding
A food item in the wild includes lizards of the genus Tarentola, Acanthodactylus, Mesalina,
Psammodromus, Stenodactylus and Chalcides. Sometimes also eats small mammals and arthropods.
In captivity mice of appropriate size.
Comments
The back-ground coloration is variable, from cream to orange and reddish brown, usually with sand
coloration. It has a dark mark in the head in form of circle or similar form with sometimes a mark
inside of the back-ground coloration. It also has an oblique bar on each side of the head passing
below and behind eyes. In the dorsal area with dark marks in form of rectangle or rhomb, smaller in
the flanks, all of them interspersed with light transverse marks. Ventral area of uniform clear
colouration.
Nocturnal with some fossorial tendency. Although this snake has special adaptations to life in sand,
it is widespread even in very rocky regions, such as wadis of the Eastern Desert and South Sinai.
The species seems capable of exploiting the smallest sand patches, from where it wanders onto
harder substrates.
There is no information about sexuality in this species at this time. But bigger movements of adult
individuals have been seen in April-May so this could be the mating season.
If possible add a spotlight together with the ceramic 10-12 hours as they like to bath in the light
especially first thing in the morning.

John Gamesby

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