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The Infraorder Caenophidia contains all advanced snakes although the precise phylogenies within this complex infraorder are in continual flux as different authors propose different cladograms. The one applied here is not necessariy the correct one and certainly not the only one available. One thing that is certain is that the old simple arrangement of Acrochordidae (filesnakes), Elapidae (fixed fanged venomous snakes), Viperidae (hinge-fanged venomous snakes) and Colubridae (all other advanced snakes) is out-dated and inaccurate. The huge former 'dustbin taxa' Colubridae has been split into several families (former subfamilies in some cases) while the evolutionary tree Colubridae to Elapidae to Viperidae is without doubt an out-moded and unrealistic view of the evolutionary relationships of these higher taxa.

The Caenophidia, as currently recognised, contains eleven families, eight of which are represented in the photo library:

1. Acrochordidae

2. Xenodermatidae

3. Pareatidae

4. Viperidae

5. Homalopsidae

6. Elapidae; 7. Lamprophiidae

8. Colubridae; 9.Dipsadidae; 10.Natricidae; 11. Pseudoxenodontidae



Phylogeny of the Caenophidian Snakes
(adapted from the diagram in O'Shea 2005 Venomous Snakes of the World)
based on phylogenies by Vidal 2002, Fry & Wüster 2004,
and adopting the latest phylogeny by Vidal et al 2007

(click on figure to enlarge and view references)

Photographic locality. Wherever possible precidence is given to wild specimens from known localitions, wherein the 'photographic locality' relates to the origin of the photographed specimens, rather than the taxon's entire range. The only exceptions are indicated by (captive) or (preserved specimen). These are either specimens photographed in captivity, where the locality given is a general distribution for the taxon, or preserved specimens photographed as biological voucher specimens.

Column D1. Digitized images - the bulk of the library consists of 35mm transparencies (mostly Kodachrome or Velvia) which are gradually being digitized [using Nikon CoolScan 4000 or Plustek OpticFilm 7600i] and stored on hard disc. 'X' indicates that digitized images are available, '[]' indicates that the transparencies of this taxon have yet to be digitized.

Column D2. Digital images - since 2005 digital images have also been taken [using Canon EOS 30D, 40D or 7D]. 'X' indicates that digital images are available in addition to digitized images for this taxon.



The Acrochordidae is a unique Australo-Asian taxon which is sometimes omitted from the Caenophidia. It contains one genus and three species, all of which are present in the photo library.

Acrochordus granulatus
Hey-Emblem estuary, Weipa, Queensland, Australia
click on image to enlarge 
    Photographed specimen: D1. D2.
Acrochordus arafurae Arafura filesnake PNG (Western) X  
Acrochordus granulatus Little filesnake PNG (Madang, Western), Australia (Qld) X  
Acrochordus javanicus Javan filesnake Thailand X  



The Homalopsidae was formerly a subfamily of the Colubridae but is now considered a distinctly separate famil. It contains forty species, in twelve genera, of mildly venomous rear-fanged and nonvenomous freshwater and estuarine, mud and mangrove snakes from Australo-Asian Archipelago. The photo library contains seven species from six genera.

Mud & mangrove snakes
Sigabaduru, Western Prov.,
Papua New Guinea
click on image to enlarge 
    Photographed specimen: D1. D2.
Cerberus rynchops Asian dog-faced watersnake India (Orissa), Timor-Leste X X
Enhydris enhydris Rainbow smooth watersnake India (W.Bengal) X  
Enhydris polylepis Macleay's smooth watersnake PNG (Western) X  
Erpeton tentaculatum Tentacled snake Thailand (captive) X  
Fordonia leucobalia White-bellied mangrove snake PNG (Western) X X
Homalopsis buccata Puff-faced watersnake Thailand X  
Myron richardsonii Richardson's mangrove snake PNG (Western) X X

(for Elapidae click here)

A recent phylogeny of the Colubroidea (Vidal et al 2002) removes the Xendermatidae, Pareatidae and Homalopsidae from the Colubridae and splits the remaining families between the superfamily Colubroidea (Colubridae, Natricidae, Pseudoxenodontidae and Dipsadidae) and the superfamily Elapoidea (Elapidae, and the Lampropeltiidae, the latter formerly a subfamily of the Colubridae). The suggestion is that the Lamprophiidae is closer to the Elapidae than to the Colubridae etc. This raises interesting questions about venom delivery mechanisms in these snakes.


The Lamprophiidae is primarily an African-Malagasy family, although some species range into southern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It contains four subfamilies (Atractaspidinae; Lamprophiinae, Psammophiinae and Pseudoxyrhophiinae) all of which are represented in the photo library by three genera and six species; six genera and 14 species; four genera and eleven species (12 taxa), and three genera and five species, respectively. One monotypic species genus is incertae sedis.

Stiletto snakes and their allies
Atractaspis corpulenta corpulenta
Korup National Park, Southwestern Prov., Cameroon
Housesnakes and their allies
Sandsnakes and their allies
Malagasy snakes
Lycodonomorphus bicolor
Isanga Bay, Lake Tanganyika, Zambia
EASTERN BARK SNAKE Hemirhagerrhis nototaenia
Chitili, Lake Tanganyika, Zambia
Leioheterodon madagascariensis
click on images to enlarge
Atractaspidinae Stiletto snakes & their allies Photographed specimen: D1. D2.
Amblyodipsas concolor Natal purple-glossed snake S.Africa (KwaZulu-Natal) X  
Amblyodipsas polylepis polylepis Common purple-glossed snake S.Africa (Limpopo) X  
Atractaspis bibroni Bibron's stiletto snake S.Africa (Limpopo) X  
Atractaspis corpulenta corpulenta Corpulent stiletto snake Cameroon (Southwest) X  
Atractaspis reticulata reticulata Reticulate stiletto snake Cameroon (Southwest) X  
Macrelaps microlepidotus Natal blacksnake S.Africa (KwaZulu-Natal) X  
Lamprophiinae Housesnakes & their allies      
Boaedon fuliginosus mentalis Namib housesnake Namibia X X
Duberria lutrix lutrix Common slug eater S.Africa (KwaZulu-Natal) X  
Lamprophis aurora Aurora housesnake S.Africa (Limpopo) X  
Lamprophis capensis Cape brown housesnake S.Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo), Zimbabwe X X
Lamprophis fuliginosus Brown housesnake Africa (captive) X  
Lamprophis inornatus Black housesnake S.Africa (captive) X  
Lamprophis olivaceus Olive house snake Sierra Leone (captive) X  
Lycodonomorphus bicolor Lake Tanganyika watersnake Zambia X  
Lycodonomorphus laevissimus fitzsimonsi Northern black watersnake S.Africa (Mpumalanga) X  
Lycodonomorphus rufulus Common brown watersnake S.Africa (KwaZulu-Natal) X  
Lycophidion capense capense Cape wolfsnake S.Africa (KwaZulu-Natal) X  
Mehelya capensis capensis Cape filesnake S.Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga) X  
Mehelya nyassae Black filesnake S.Africa (KwaZulu-Natal) X  
Pseudoboodon lemniscatus Striped Ethiopian mountain snake Ethiopia (captive) X  
Psammophiinae Sandsnakes & their allies      
Hemirhagerrhis nototaenia Eastern mopane barksnake Zambia X  
Hemirhagerrhis viperinus Western viperine barksnake Namibia X X
Malpolon moilensis Moile snake UAE (captive) X X
Malpolon monspessulanus Western Montpellier snake Spain (Valencia) X X
Malpolon insignatus insignatus North African Montpellier snake N.Africa (captive) X  
Malpolon insignatus fuscus Eastern Montpellier snake E.Europe (captive) X  
Psammophis crucifer Cross-marked sandsnake S.Africa (W.Cape, KwaZulu-Natal) X  
Psammophis namibensis Namib sandsnake S.Africa (N.Cape) X  
Psammophis schokari Afro-Asian sandsnake Mauritania, UAE (Sharjah) X X
Psammophis sibilans sibilans Hissing sandsnake Africa (captive) X  
Psammophis subtaeniatus subtaeniatus Western stripe-bellied sandsnake Namibia X X
Psammophylax rhombeatus rhombeatus Rhombic skaapsteker S.Africa (W.Cape, KwaZulu-Natal) X  
Psammophylax tritaeniatus Striped skaapsteker Namibia X X
Pseudoxyrhophiinae Malagasy snakes      
Langaha madagascariensis Malagasy leafnose vinesnake Madagascar (captive) X  
Leioheterodon geayi Speckled Malagasy hognose snake Madagascar (captive) X  
Leioheterodon madagascariensis Giant Malagasy hognose snake Madagascar (captive) X X
Leioheterodon modestus Brown Malagasy hognose snake Madagascar (captive) X  
incertae sedis        
Pseudaspis cana Mole snake S.Africa (KwaZulu-Natal) X  


The Colubroidea retains four families, three of which are represented in the photo library, only the Asian Pseudoxenodontidae being absent.


Despite the splitting of the Colubridae resulting in the removal of large numbers of taxa to other families, this family remains one of the largest in the Serpentes. The Vidal et al (2002) revision recognises three subfamilies, two of which are represented in the photo library (the Grayiinae from Africa is absent). The Calamariinae is Asian and represented by a single species, while the Colubrinae is virtually worldwide in distribution and represented by 156 species (177 taxa) from 67 genera.

Reed snakes
Typical snakes
Calamaria lumbricoidea
Ulu Ulu, Temburong, Brunei
Chrysopelea paradisi paradisi
Rakata Is., Krakatau Is., Indonesia
click on images to enlarge
Calamariinae Reed snakes Photographed specimen: D1. D2.
Calamaria lumbricoidea Variable reed snake Borneo (Brunei) X X
Ahaetulla nasuta Long-nosed Asian vinesnake India (Karnataka), Sri Lanka X  
Ahaetulla prasina Green Asian vinesnake Borneo (Sarawak, Sabah), Thailand X  
Arizona elegans elegans Kansas glossy snake C.USA (captive) []  
Arizona elegans arenicola Texas glossy snake SW.USA (captive) []  
Boiga ceylonensis Sri Lankan catsnake India (Karnataka), Sri Lanka X  
Boiga cyanea Green catsnake SE.Asia (captive) X  
Boiga cynadon Dog-toothed catsnake SE.Asia (captive) X  
Boiga dendrophila annectans Borneo mangrove snake SE.Asia (captive) X  
Boiga dendrophila melanota Malaysian mangrove snake SE.Asia (captive) X  
Boiga drapiezii White-spotted catsnake SE.Asia (captive) X  
Boiga forsteni Forsten's catsnake Sri Lanka X  
Boiga gokool Eastern gamma India (W.Bengal) X  
Boiga irregularis irregularis Brown treesnake PNG (Central, Western, Madang, Milne Bay, Southern Highlands), Guam X X
Boiga irregularis ornata Night tiger treesnake Australia (WA) X  
Boiga nigriceps nigriceps Black-headed catsnake SE.Asia (captive) X  
Chilomeniscus stramineus stramineus Bandless sand snake Mexico (Baja California Sur) []  
Chironius bicarinatus Twin-keeled treesnake Brazil (Sao Paulo) []  
Chironius carinatus Keeled treesnake Brazil (Roraima), Venezuela (Apure), Guyana []  
Chironius exoletus Mature treesnake

Brazil (Roraima)

Chironius grandisquamis Large-scaled treesnake Honduras (Colon), Costa Rica []  
Chironius scurrulus Wagler's brown treesnake Brazil (Amazonas) []  
Chrysopelea ornata ornata Indian ornate flying snake India (Orissa), Sri Lanka X  
Chrysopelea paradisi paradisi Common paradise flying snake Indonesia (Krakatau) X  
Chrysopelea paradisi variabilis Philippine paradise flying snake Philippines (captive) X  
Chrysopelea rhodopleuron rhodopleuron Moluccan flying sna Indonesia (captive) X  
Coelognathus flavolineatus melanurus Black-tailed racer SE.Asia (captive) []  
Coelognathus helena Trinket snake Sri Lanka X  
Coelognathus radiatus Radiated ratsnake SE.Asia (captive) []  
Coelognathus subradiatus Lesser Sunda ratsnake Timor-Leste X  
Coluber bilineatus Sonoran whipsnake Mexico & USA (Sonora, Arizona) [] X
Coluber constrictor flaviventris Yellow-bellied racer USA (Texas) []  
Coluber constrictor priapus Southern black racer USA (Florida) []  
Coluber flagellum piceus Red coachwhip USA (captive) []  
Coluber lateralis lateralis California striped racer USA (captive) []  
Coronella austriaca austriaca Smooth snake UK (Dorset), Croatia (Zagreb) X X
Coronella girondica Southern smooth snake S.Europe (captive) []  
Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia Red-lipped herald snake S.Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga) X  
Dasypeltis inornatus Southern brown egg-eating snake S.Africa (KwaZulu-Natal) X  
Dasypeltis medici medici Northern rufous egg-eating snake S.Africa (captive) X  
Dasypeltis scabra scabra Common egg-eating snake Africa (captive) X  
Dendrelaphis calligastra Coconut treesnake PNG (Western, Madang) X X
Dendrelaphis cf. gastrostictus Spot-bellied treesnake PNG (Milne Bay) X  
Dendrelaphis inornatus timoriensis Timor bronzeback Timor-Leste X  
Dendrelaphis cf. lorentzi Lorentz River treesnake PNG (Madang) []  
Dendrelaphis cf. papuensis Papuan treesnake PNG (Milne Bay) X  
Dendrelaphis punctulatus Common treesnake PNG (Central, Western, Milne Bay), Australia (WA) X  
Dendrelaphis tristis Common bronzeback Sri Lanka []  
Dendrophidion percarinatus Central American forest racer Costa Rica []  
Dinodon rufozonatum Red-banded snake E.Asia (captive) []  
Dispholidus typus typus Boomslang S.Africa (KwaZulu-Natal), Limpopo), Namibia X X
Dolichophis caspius Caspian whipsnake Greece (Thrace)   X
Dolichophis jugularis Large whipsnake UAE (captive) X X
Drymarchon corais Yellow-tailed cribo Brazil (Roraima), Venezeula (Apure) []  
Drymarchon couperi Florida indigo snake USA (captive) []  
Drymarchon melanurus rubidus Mexican west-coast red-tailed cribo Mexico (Sonora) []  
Drymobius margaritiferus fistulosus Central American speckled racer Mexico (Sonora) []  
Drymobius rhombifer Rhombic racer Brazil (Roraima) []  
Dryocalamus gracilis Scarce bridal snake Sri Lanka X  
Dasypeltis medici medici

RHINOCEROS RATSNAKE Rhynchophis boulengeri Vietnam
BLANDING'S TREESNAKE Toxicodryas blandingi
Tropical Africa
click on images to enlarge
Elaphe anomala Korean ratsnake E.Asia (captive) []  
Elaphe bimaculata Twin-spot ratsnake E.Asia (captive) []  
Elaphe carinata Stinking goddess E.Asia (captive) []  
Elaphe climacophora Aodaisho E.Asia (captive) X  
Elaphe dione Steppe ratsnake C.Asia (captive) []  
Elaphe quadrivirgata Japanese four-lined snake Japan (captive) []  
Elaphe quatuorlineata muenteri Cyclades four-lined snake Greece (captive) []  
Elaphe quatuorlineata quatuorlineata Western four-lined snake Europe (captive), Croatia [] X
Elaphe sauromates Eastern four-lined snake Uzbekistan (captive) []  
Elaphe schrencki Amur ratsnake E.Asia (captive) []  
Euprepiophis mandarinus Mandarin ratsnake SE. Asia (captive) []  
Gonyosoma oxycephala Red-tailed rat snake Borneo (Sarawak) X  
Gyalopion quadrangulure Desert hooknose snake Mexico (Sonora) []  
Hierophis gemonensis Balkan whipsnake Crete, Croatia (Split-Dalmatia) X X
Hierophis viridiflavus Western whipsnake Crete, Croatia (Istria)   X
Hemorrhois hippocrepis Horseshoe whipsnake Spain X  
Hemorrhois ravergieri ravergieri Variegated racer E.Europe (captive) X  
Lampropeltis alterna alterna Grey-banded kingsnake Mexico (captive) [] X
Lampropeltis calligaster calligaster Prairie kingsnake USA (captive) []  
Lampropeltis californiae Californian kingsnake USA (captive) []  
Lampropeltis getula Eastern kingsnake USA (captive) []  
Lampropeltis holbrooki Speckled kingsnake USA (captive) []  
Lampropeltis splendida Desert kingsnake USA (Arizona) [] X
Lampropeltis mexicana mexicana San Luis Potosi kingsnake Mexico (captive) []  
Lampropeltis mexicana thayeri Nuevo Leon kingsnake Mexico (captive) []  
Lampropeltis pyromelana pyromelana Sonoran mountain kingsnake USA (captive) [] X
Lampropeltis ruthveni Ruthven's kingsnake Mexico (captive) []  
Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum Eastern milksnake USA (Wisconsin) []  
Lampropeltis triangulum annulata Mexican milksnake Mexico (captive) []  
Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli Pueblan milksnake Mexico (captive) []  
Lampropeltis triangulum conanti Conant's milksnake Mexico (captive) []  
Lampropeltis triangulum gaigae Black milksnake Costa Rica []  
Lampropeltis triangulum hondurensis Honduran milksnake C.America (captive) []  
Lampropeltis triangulum sinaloae Sinaloan milksnake Mexico (captive) []  
Leptophis ahaetulla ahaetulla South American parrot snake Brazil (Amazonas) []  
Leptophis ahaetulla praestans Central American parrot snake Honduras (Colon) X  
Leptophis diplotropis diplotropis Pacific coast parrot snake Mexico (Sonora) []  
Leptophis mexicanus mexicanus Mexican parrot snake Honduras (Gracios a Dios) []  
Lycodon alcalai Batan wolfsnake Philippines (Batanes) X  
Lycodon aulicus Indian wolfsnake Nepal, India (Orissa), Sri Lanka X  
Lycodon capucinus Common wolfsnake Timor-Leste X X
Lycodon jara Jara wolfsnake Nepal X  
Lycodon subcinctus Malayan banded wolfsnake Timor-Leste X X
Lycodon travancoricus Travancore wolfsnake India (Karnataka) X  
Lytorhynchus diadema Common leafnose snake UAE (Sharjah) X X
Masticophis bilineatus bilineatus Sonoran mountain whipsnake USA (Arizona) [] X
Mastigodryas boddaerti boddaerti Tropical racer Brazil (Roraima) []  
Oligodon arnensis Banded kukri snake Sri Lanka X  
Oligodon taeniolatus ceylonicus Sri Lankan kukri snake Sri Lanka X  
Oligodon taeniolatus fasciatus Russell's kukri snake Sri Lanka X  
Oocatochus rufodorsata Chinese racer E.Asia (captive) X  
Opheodrys aestivus Rough green snake USA (Florida) []  
Oreocryptophis porphyracea coxi Red mountain ratsnake Asia (captive) []  
Orthriophis taeniurus friesei Taiwan beauty snake Taiwan (captive) X  
Orthriophis taeniurus ridleyi Malay cave racer Malaysia X  
Oxybelis aeneus Brown vine snake Honduras (Gracios a Dios), Costa Rica, Guyana, Brazil (Amazonas, Bahia, Alagoas), []  
Oxybelis brevirostris Short-nosed vine snake

Costa Rica

Oxybelis fulgidus Green vine snake Honduras (Gracios a Dios) []  
Pantherophis alleghaniensis Eastern ratsnake USA (Florida) []  
Pantherophis bairdii Baird's ratsnake Mexico (captive) []  
Pantherophis emoryi emoryi Great Plains ratsnake USA (captive) []  
Pantherophis emoryi meahllmorum Southwestern ratsnake USA (Arkansas) []  
Pantherophis guttatus Eastern cornsnake USA (Florida) X  
Pantherophis obsoletus Western ratsnake USA (Missouri, Texas) []  
Pantherophis spiloides Midland ratsnake USA (captive) []  
Pantherophis vulpinus Western fox snake USA (Wisconsin) []  
Philothamnus angolensis Western greensnake S.Africa (KwaZulu-Natal) X  
Philothamnus hoplogaster Green watersnake S.Africa (KwaZulu-Natal) X  
Philothamnus semivariegatus semivariegatus Spotted bushsnake S.Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalunga, Limpopo), Zambia, Namibia X X
Phyllorhynchus browni fortitus Sonoran leafnose snake Mexico (Sonora) []  
Pituophis catenifer catenifer Pacific gopher snake W.USA (captive) []  
Pituophis catenifer affinis Sonoran gopher snake USA (Arizona) [] X
Pituophis catenifer sayi Bullsnake USA (captive) []  
Pituophis melanoleucus melanoleucus Northern pine snake USA (captive) []  
Pituophis melanoleucus lodingi Black pine snake USA (captive) []  
Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus Florida pine snake USA (captive) []  
Platyceps florulentus florulentus Nile flowered racer N.Africa (captive) []  
Platyceps florulentus keniensis Kenyan racer Kenya X  
Platyceps najadum dahli Dahl's whip snake E.Europe (captive) X  
Platyceps rhodorachis Wadi racer UAE (captive) X X
Platyceps ventromaculatus Glossy racer UAE (captive) X X
Pseudelaphe flavirufa pardalina Honduran ratsnake C.America (captive) []  
Pseustes poecilonotus poecilonotus Honduran puffing snake Honduras (Colon) []  
Pseustes sulphurus Amazon puffing snake Brazil (Amazonas) []  
Ptyas mucosa Dharman ratsnake Nepal, Sri Lanka, India (Karnataka) X  
Rhadinophis frenatum Reins ratsnake Asia (captive) []  
Rhadinophis prasina Green bush ratsnake Asia (captive) []  
Rhinechis scalaris Ladder snake Spain (Madrid) X X
Rhinobothryum bovallii False coralsnake Costa Rica []  
Rhinocheilus lecontei lecontei Western long-nosed snake SW.USA (captive) []  
Rhynchocalamus melanocephalus Black-headed snake Middle East (captive) [] X
Rhynchophis boulengeri Rhinoceros ratsnake SE.Asia (captive) X  
Scolecophis atrocinctus Black-banded centipede snake C.America (captive) []  
Senticolis triaspis intermedia Western green ratsnake C.America (captive)   X
Spalerosophis diadema cliffordi Clifford's diadem snake N.Africa (captive) []  
Spilotes pullatus mexicanus Central American tiger ratsnake Honduras (Gracios A Dios, Colon), Nicaragua, Costa Rica []  
Stegonotus cucullatus Slatey-grey snake PNG (Western, Central, Madang, Southern Highlands) X X
Stegonotus cf. cucullatus sp. 1 Slatey-grey snake PNG (Oro) X X
Stegonotus cf. cucullatus sp. 2 Slatey-grey snake PNG (West New Britain) X X
Stegonotus diehli Diehl's little ground snake PNG (Madang, Milne Bay) X  
Stegonotus modestus Northern ground snake PNG (Madang) X  
Stegonotus parvus Common ground snake PNG (Madang, Central) X X
Stegonotus sp. Timor ground snake Timor-Leste X X
Sympholis lippens rectilimbus Mexican short-tailed snake Mexico (Sonora) []  
Tantilla melanocephala melanocephala Black-headed snake Brazil (Roraima) []  
Telescopus dhara Arabian catsnake UAE (captive) X X
Telescopus fallax fallax Maltese catsnake Malta (captive), Greece (Thrace), Croatia [] X
Telescopus nigriceps Black-headed catsnake UAE (captive) X X
Telescopus semiannulatus semiannulatus Eastern tiger snake S.Africa (Limpopo) []  
Thelotornis capensis capensis Southern savanna twigsnake S.Africa (KwaZulu-Natal) X  
Thelotornis mossambicanus Eastern savanna twigsnake E.Africa (captive) X  
Thelotornis usumbaricus Usumbara twigsnake Kenya X  
Thrasops flavigularis Yellow-throated black treesnake Cameroon (Southwest) []  
Toxicodryas blandingi Blanding's tree snake Africa (captive) X  
Trimorphodon biscutatus Western lyre snake USA (captive) [] X
Trimorphodon lambda Sonoran lyre snake Mexico (captive) []  
Trimorphodon lyrophanes Californian lyre snake USA (captive) []  
Zamenis hohenackeri hohenackeri Transcaucasian ratsnake Armenia (captive) []  
Zamenis longissimus longissimus Aescalapian snake Greece (Thrace),Croatia (Zagreb) X X
Zamenis situla Leopard snake Greece (captive) Crimean (captive), (Zadar) [] X



A major family removed from the Colubridae is the New World Dipsadidae (at one time known as the Xenodontidae), the odd-toothed snakes. This family is divided into three subfamilies depending on the origin of the genus concerned and its phyogenetic relationships, ie. North America (Heterodontinae), Central America (Dipsadinae) or South America (Xenodontinae). The photo library represents these subfamilies as two genera with four species (five taxa); ten genera and 16 species, and 14 genera with 26 species (30 taxa) respectively.

Central American
odd-toothed snakes
North American
odd-toothed snakes
South American
odd-toothed snakes
Imantodes inornatus
Liverpool, Rio Blanco, Costa Rica
Heterodon nasicus nasicus
Erythrolamprus aesculapii aesculapii
Ilha Maraca, Roraima, Brazil
click on images to enlarge
Dipsadinae Central American odd-toothed snakes Photographed specimen: D1. D2.
Atractus trilineatus Three-striped arrow snake Brazil (Amazonas) []  
Coniophanes fissidens fissidens Bull's blood snake Honduras (Colon) []  
Coniophanes schmidti Black-striped snake C.American (captive) []  
Dipsas catesbyi Catesby's slug-eating snake Brazil (Amazonas) []  
Dipsas indica petersi Peter's slug-eating snake Brazil (Sao Paulo) []  
Hypsiglena torquata ochrorhyncha Sonoran night snake Mexico (Sonora) []  
Imantodes cenchoa Common blunt-headed treesnake Honduras (Gracios a Dios), Peru (Loreto) X  
Imantodes inornatus Brown blunt-headed treesnake Costa Rica X  
Leptodeira annulata annulata Cat-eyed snake Brazil (Roraima), Venezuela (Apure), Guyana []  
Ninia sebae sebae Ring-necked coffee snake Honduras (Colon) []  
Sibon annulata Annulated slug-eating snake Costa Rica []  
Sibon longifrenis Slug-eating snake Costa Rica []  
Sibon nebulata Clouded slug-eating snake Costa Rica []  
Sibynomorphus neuwiedii Neuwied's slug-eating snake Brazil (Sao Paulo) []  
Sibynomorphus turgidus Turgid slug-eating snake Brazil (Sao Paulo) []  
incertae sedis  


Nothopsis rugosus Odd-scaled snake Honduras (Colon) (pres. spec.) []  
Heterodontinae North American odd-toothed snakes      
Diadophis punctatus arnyi Prairie ring-necked snake USA (Kansas, Missouri) []  
Heterodon nasicus nasicus Western Plains hognose snake USA (captive) X  
Heterodon nasicus kennerlyi Mexican hognose snake USA (Arizona) X X
Heterodon platyrhinos Eastern hognose snake USA (captive) X  
Heterodon simus Southern hognose snake USA (captive) X  
Xenodontinae South American odd-toothed snakes      
Alsophis sp. Galapagos racer Galapagos (captive) []  
Clelia clelia clelia Mussurana Guyana, Costa Rica []  
Clelia clelia plumbea Southern mussurana

Brazil (Sao Paulo)

Clelia rustica Brown mussurana Argentina (Buenos Aires, Chubut) []  
Erythrolamprus aesculapii aesculapii Amazonian false coralsnake Brazil (Roraima), Guyana X  
Erythrolamprus aesculapii venustissimus Southern false coralsnake Brazil (Sao Paulo) X  
Helicops angulatus South American watersnake Brazil (Roraima) []  
Hydrodynastes gigas False water cobra S.America (captive) X  
Liophis lineatus lineatus Striped smooth snake Venezuela (Apure), Brazil (Pará) []  
Liophis miliaris Military smooth snake Brazil (Sao Paulo) []  
Liophis poecilogyrus amazonicus Amazon smooth snake Brazil (Roraima) X  
Liophis poecilogyrus sublineatus Stripe-bellied smooth snake Argentina (Buenos Aires) []  
Liophis typhlus Small clouded smooth snake Brazil (Amazonas, Pará) []  
Liophis sp. Smooth snake Brazil (Pará) []  
Lystrophis dorbignyi South American hogsnake snake Argentina (Buenos Aires) []  
Oxyrhopus guibei Guibe's calico snake Brazil (Sao Paulo) X  
Oxyrhopus petola digitalis Amazon banded calico snake Brazil (Roraima), Peru (Loreto) X  
Oxyrhopus petola sebae Central American calico snake Costa Rica X  
Philodryas baroni Baron's racer Argentina (captive) X  
Philodryas chamissonis Chilean racer Chile (captive) X  
Philodryas patagoniensis Patagonian racer Brazil (Sao Paulo) X  
Philodryas viridissimus Common green racer Brazil (Roraima), Guyana X  
Pseudoboa coronata Amazon scarlet snake Peru (Loreto) X  
Pseudoboa neuwiedii Eastern scarlet snake Brazil (Roraima), Peru (Loreto) X  
Pseudoboa nigra Brazilian blacksnake Brazil (Bahia) X  
Thamnodynastes strigilis Northern coastal house snake Brazil (Sao Paulo), Venezuela (Apure) []  
Tomodon dorsatus Pampas snake Brazil (Sao Paulo) []  
Waglerophis merremi Wagler's false lancehead Brazil (Sao Paulo) []  
Xenodon neuwiedii Neuwied's false lancehead Brazil (Sao Paulo) X  
Xenodon rabdocephalus False lancehead Honduras (Colon), Costa Rica, Brazil (Alagoas) []  



The keelbacks or freshwater watersnakes of the Natricidae are a natural group although not all watersnakes belong to the Natricidae, ie Homalopidae of Austral0-Asia, Grayia of Africa, Helicops of S.America, and not all members are aquatic. The photo library contains 13 genera and 35 species (44 taxa).

Keelbacks & watersnakes
Tropidonophis multiscutallatus Girigarande, Western Prov.,
Papua New Guinea
click on image to enlarge 
    Photographed specimen: D1. D2.
Afronatrix anascopus West African brown watersnake Cameroon (Southwest) []  
Amphiesma beddomei Beddome's keelback India (Karnataka) X  
Amphiesma stolata Buff-necked striped keelback Sri Lanka X  
Atretium schistosum Olive keelback Sri Lanka X  
Hydrablabes periops Yellow-spotted watersnake Borneo (Brunei) X X
Lycognathophis seychellensis Seychelles wolfsnake Seychelles X  
Natriciteres fuliginoides West African marsh snake Cameroon (Southwest) X  
Natrix maura Viperine watersnake Portugal, Spain (Madrid) X X
Natrix natrix helvetica Barred grass snake UK (Dorset, Surrey, W.Midlands, Worcs.) X  
Natrix natrix persa Balkan grass snake Greece (Thrace) X X
Natrix tessellata tessellata Dice snake Greece (Thrace) [] X
Nerodia clarkii compressicauda Mangrove saltmarsh snake SE.USA (captive) []  
Nerodia erythrogaster erythrogaster Red-bellied watersnake E.USA (captive) []  
Nerodia erythrogaster flavigaster Yellow-bellied watersnake USA (Arkansas) []  
Nerodia fasciata fasciata Banded watersnake E.USA (captive) []  
Nerodia rhombifer rhombifer Northern diamondback watersnake C.USA (captive) []  
Nerodia sipedon sipedon Northern watersnake

USA (Kansas, Missouri, Florida)

Nerodia taxispilota Brown watersnake SE.USA (captive) []  
Psammodynastes pulverulentus Common dark-spotted mock viper Philippines (Batanes), Thailand X  
Rhabdophis nigrocinctus Black-ringed keelback Thailand X  
Seminatrix pygaea cyclas Southern Florida swamp snake USA (Florida) []  
Storeria dekayi texana Texas brownsnake USA (Missouri) []  
Storeria dekayi wrightorum Midland brownsnake USA (Wisconsin, Arkansas) []  
Storeria occipitomaculata occipitomaculata Northern red-bellied snake N.America (captive) []  
Thamnophis butleri Butler's garter snake

USA (Wisconsin)

Thamnophis cyrtopsis cyrtopsis Western black-necked garter snake USA (Arizona) [] X
Thamnophis elegans elegans Mountain garter snake USA (California) X  
Thamnophis elegans terrestris Coast garter snake W.USA (captive) X  
Thamnophis marcianus marcianus Marcy's checkered garter snake C.USA (captive) []  
Thamnophis proximus proximus Western ribbon snake USA (Illinois) X  
Thamnophis radix Plains gartersnake USA (Kansas) []  
Thamnophis sauritus sackenii Peninsula ribbon snake USA (Florida) []  
Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis Eastern garter snake USA (Wisconsin, Missouri) []  
Thamnophis sirtalis concinnus Red-spotted garter snake W.USA (captive) []  
Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis Red-sided garter snake USA (Kansas, Missouri) []  
Thamnophis sirtalis similis Florida blue-striped garter snake SE.USA (captive) []  
Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia San Francisco garter snake SE.USA (captive) []  
Tropidonophis mairii mairii Eastern common keelback PNG (Central), Australia (Qld) X  
Tropidonophis mairii plumbea Western common keelback PNG (Western) X  
Tropidonophis multiscutellatus Long-tailed common keelback PNG (Western, Madang, Oro) X  
Tropidonophis statisticus Eastern montane keelback PNG (Central) X  
Xenochrophis asperrimus Sri Lankan keelback Sri Lanka X  
Xenochrophis flavipunctatus Yellow-spotted keelback SE.Asia (captive) X  
Xenochrophis piscator Chequered keelback India (Chhattisgarh, Karnataka), Sri Lanka X  
Xenochrophis sancti-johannis Himalayan keelback Nepal X