Ecological distribution of snakes' fauna of Jazan region of Saudi Arabia

Document Type : Original Article


1-Department of biology, Faculty of Science, Jazan University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2- Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Al Azhar University (Assiut-Egypt)


This study was carried out in Jazan region in the Southwestern part of Saudi Arabia, bounded in the south and east by the Republic of Yemen, Asir area in thenorth and the Red Sea in the west.
            The study area is one of the richest regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with animal biodiversity, where the region is characterized by the presence of a large group of wild animals that belong to different animal families. This work is devoted to the study of the biodiversity and geographical and ecological distribution of snakes found in the region.
            The results showed that there are 36 species of eight families of  snakes  living in Jazan region; family Typholopidae represented by two species, while families   Leptotypholopidae, Boidae and Atractaspididae represented by one  species only respectively; whereas family Colubridae was the most represented one having 12 species, and family Elapidae was represented by three species. Family Viperidae was represented by six species and family Hydrophiidae represented by ten species. Nevertheless, this work concentrated on terrestrial snakes.
           This work was suggested to throw light on the biodiversity of snakes' fauna in Jazan region as an important part of the ecosystem that has to be maintained. Since there are no enough studies on the animal species in the region.
          The study included also the discussion of snakes that were ecologically surveyed in the study area according to: zoogeography and temporal distribution, mode of feeding, type of food and behavior.
          Despite the fact that these snakes may be harmful to human life in some cases, it may also be useful to him in many aspects of life, the study showed the relationship between these snakes and human. It also threw light on the economical, medical, and scientific importance of these snakes as well as their importance for the process of environmental balance. The study presented some methods of the conservation of these species as one of the natural resources that must be maintained for not being a victim of extinction.