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Taxonomy of the family Lamprophiidae
Bibliography of the genus Atractaspis
Biodiversity of the family Lamprophiidae








Genus
Atractaspis

Stiletto Snakes, (Stiletto Vipers, Burrowing Asps, Burrowing Vipers, African Mole Vipers)

Erdvipern

Jordhugorme, Jordvipere

1849 Atractaspis Smith (type species: Atractaspis inornatus Smith 1848)
1854 Brachycranion Hallowell (type species: Brachycranion corpulentum Hallowell 1854)
1862 Eurystephus Cope (type species: Elaps irregularis Reinhardt 1843)
1906 Melanelaps Wall (type species: Melanelaps mcphersoni Wall 1906)
Contents: 22 species, of which 1 (4.5%) is endemic.
Remarks: This genus and its related genera have had a turbulent taxonomic history. Placed in a separate family, Atractaspididae, by Kochva & Meier (1986), followed by some authors (e.g., Ovadia 1987; Broadley 1991; Underwood & Kochva 1993). It has also been placed in Colubridae (e.g., Smith, Smith & Sawin 1977), Viperidae (e.g., Loveridge 1957), or Elapidae (e.g., Lawson, Slowinski, Crother & Burbrink 2005).
Since these snakes are not true vipers, Broadley’s (1983) suggestion of using the common name Stiletto Snakes is followed here. The type species of Atractaspis is bibronii, not the unavailable name inornatus (David & Ineich 1999).
Introduced to: New Zealand.
Distribution: SubSaharan Africa, Middle East.
Reported from: Angola (incl. Cabinda), Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Djibouti, Egypt (Sinai), Equatorial Guinea (Rio Muni), Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique (incl. Bazaruto Archipelago [incl. Benguerua]), Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West Province, Northern Cape), South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania (incl. Zanzibar), Togo, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Atractaspis andersonii

Arabian Stiletto Snake, (Anderson's Stiletto Snake)

Arabische Erdviper

Arabisk Jordhugorm

1905 Atractaspis andersonii Boulenger
Atractaspis microlepidota andersonii Laurent 1950
1906 Melanelaps mcphersoni Wall (Golay & al. 1993)

Remarks: Regarded by some authors as a subspecies of microlepidota (Gasperetti 1988; Golay & al. 1993; Gardner 2013), but treated as a separate species by others (Largen & Rasmussen 1993).
Distribution: Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen.


Atractaspis aterrima

Western Forest Stiletto Snake, (Slender Stiletto Snake)

Schlanke Erdviper

Vestlig Jordhugorm

1863 Atractaspis aterrima Günther

Distribution: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda.


Atractaspis bibronii

Southern Stiletto Snake, (Bibron's Stiletto Snake)

Bibrons Erdviper

Sydlig Jordhugorm

1849 Atractaspis bibronii Smith
Atractaspis irregularis bibronii Boettger 1887
1848 Atractaspis inornatus Smith (Golay & al. 1993)
1868 Atractaspis rostrata Günther (Broadley & Howell 1991)
Atractaspis bibroni rostrata Laurent 1950
1901 Atractaspis coarti Boulenger (Golay & al. 1993)
1901 Atractaspis katangae Boulenger (Golay & al. 1993)
Atractaspis bibroni katangae Laurent 1945

Other common names:
rostrata: Zanzibar Stiletto Snake
Distribution: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Congo-Kinshasa, Eswatini, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique (incl. Bazaruto Archipelago [incl. Benguerua]), Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West Province, Northern Cape), Tanzania (incl. Zanzibar), Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Atractaspis boulengeri

Central African Stiletto Snake, (Boulenger's Stiletto Snake)

Zentralafrikanische Erdviper

Centralafrikansk Jordhugorm

1897 Atractaspis boulengeri Mocquard
1897 Atractaspis matschiensis Werner
Atractaspis boulengeri matschiensis Laurent 1950
1917 Atractaspis schultzei Sternfeld
Atractaspis boulengeri schultzei Laurent 1950
1945 Atractaspis boulengeri mixta Laurent
1945 Atractaspis boulengeri schmidti Laurent
1956 Atractaspis boulengeri vanderborghti Laurent

Remarks: There are no published records from Angola (Marques, Ceríaco, Blackburn & Bauer 2018), but the species has been listed for the country by several authors (e.g., Manacas 1981; Spawls & Branch 1995; Dobiey & Vogel 2007).
Distribution: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea (Rio Muni), Gabon, Gambia.


Atractaspis branchi

Liberian Stiletto Snake, (Branch's Stiletto Snake)

Liberianische Erdviper

Liberiansk Jordhugorm

2019 Atractaspis branchi Rödel, Kucharzewski, Mahlow, Chirio, Pauwels, Carlino, Sambolah & Glos

Distribution: Guinea, Liberia.





Atractaspis congica

Congo Stiletto Snake

Kongo-Erdviper

Congolesisk Jordhugorm

1877 Atractaspis congica Peters
Atractaspis irregularis congica Boettger 1887
1945 Atractaspis congica orientalis Laurent

Other common names:
congica: Western Congo Stiletto Snake
orientalis: Eastern Congo Stiletto Snake, Oriental Stiletto Snake
Remarks: Previously included leleupi.
Distribution: Angola (incl. Cabinda), Botswana, Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Namibia, Zambia.


Atractaspis corpulenta

Fat Stiletto Snake, (Hallowell's Stiletto Snake, Corpulent Stiletto Snake)

Dicke Erdviper

Tyk Jordhugorm

1854 Brachycranion corpulentum Hallowell
Atractaspis corpulentus Hallowell 1957
1885 Atractaspis leucura Mocquard
Atractaspis corpulenta leucura Laurent 1950
1958 Atractaspis corpulenta kivuensis Laurent

Other common names:
kivuensis: Kivu Fat Stiletto Snake
leucura: Bright Fat Stiletto Snake
Distribution: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea (Rio Muni), Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone.


Atractaspis dahomeyensis

Dahomey Stiletto Snake

Dahomey-Erdviper

Dahomey-jordhugorm

1887 Atractaspis dahomeyensis Bocage
1908 Atractaspis caudalis Sternfeld (Golay & al. 1993)

Remarks: Presence in Niger needs confirmation (Trape & Mané 2015).
Distribution: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo.


Atractaspis duerdeni

Beaked Stiletto Snake, (Duerden's Stiletto Snake)

Geschnäbelte Erdviper

Næb-jordhugorm

1907 Atractaspis duerdeni Gough

Remarks: Previously regarded as a synonym of bibroni (e.g., Welch 1982).
Distribution: Botswana, Namibia, South Africa (Gauteng, Limpopo, North West Province, Northern Cape).


Atractaspis engaddensis

Palestine Stiletto Snake, Black Mole Viper, Israeli Mole Viper, (Ein Gaddi's Stiletto Snake)

Ein Gaddi-Erdviper

Palæstinensisk Jordhugorm

1950 Atractaspis engaddensis Haas
Atractaspis microlepidota engaddensis Leviton & Aldrich 1984

Remarks: Regarded by some authors as a subspecies of microlepidota (Leviton & Aldrich 1984; Gasparetti 1988; Golay & al. 1993), but as a separate species in most recent works (Kochva & Golani 1993, Leviton, Anderson, Adler & Minton 1992, Underwood & Kochva 1993, Werner & Werner 1990; Baha el Din 2006).
Distribution: Egypt (Sinai), Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia.


Atractaspis engdahli

Kismayu Stiletto Snake, (Engdahls' Stiletto Snake)

Engdahls Erdviper

Kismayu-jordhugorm

1913 Atractaspis engdahli Lönnberg & Andersson

Distribution: Kenya, Somalia.


Atractaspis fallax

False Stiletto Snake

Falsche Erdviper

Uægte Jordhugorm

1866 Atractaspis fallax Peters
Atractaspis microlepidota fallax Laurent 1950

Remarks: Previously regarded as a subspecies of microlepidota or confused with other taxa. Revalidated by Hughes (1983) and Largen & Rasmussen (1993). Sudan is included in the distribution on the basis of five specimens of doubtful status (Largen & Rasmussen 1993). Davis & Vogel (2010) expressed doubt regarding the validity of phillipsi, suggesting that it might prove to be a synonym of fallax.
Distribution: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania.


Atractaspis irregularis

Variable Stiletto Snake

Bunte Erdviper, Variable Erdviper

Broget Jordhugorm

1843 Elaps irregularis Reinhardt
Atractaspis irregularis Boulenger 1896
1905 Atractaspis bipostocularis Boulenger
Atractaspis irregularis bipostocularis Laurent 1950
1908 Atractaspis conradsi Sternfeld (Golay & al. 1993)
Atractaspis irregularis conradsi Laurent 1945
1930 Atractaspis schoutedeni Witte (Golay & al. 1993)
1934 Atractaspis babaulti Angel (Golay & al. 1993)
1945 Atractaspis irregularis loveridgei Laurent (Golay & al. 1993)
1945 Atractaspis irregularis parkeri Laurent
1945 Atractaspis irregularis uelensis Laurent
1950 Atractaspis irregularis angeli Laurent
1959 Atractaspis battersbyi Witte (David & Ineich 1999; David & Vogel 2010)
1960 Atractaspis coalescens Perret (David & Ineich 1999; Chirio & LeBreton 2007)

Other common names:
angeli: Angel's Stiletto Snake
battersbyi: Battersby's Stiletto Snake
bipostocularis: Eastern Variable Stiletto Snake
coalescens: (Black Stiletto Snake)
parkeri: Parker's Variable Stiletto Snake
uelensis: Uele Variable Stiletto Snake
Remarks: Status of coalescens is uncertain. Tentatively treated as a synonym of irregularis by David & Ineich (1999) and David & Vogel (2010). Wallach, Williams & Boundy (2014) listed battersbyi as a valid species. Reported to occur in the Gambia (Pauwels & Meirte 1996), but its presence there remains unconfirmed, although possible (Emms, Jambang, Bahl, Mankali, Paziaud & Barnett 2007). Branch (2018) did not mention this species for Angola, in spite of numerous records.
Introduced to: New Zealand.
Distribution: Angola (incl. Cabinda), Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea (Rio Muni), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda.


Atractaspis leleupi

Kundelungu Stiletto Snake, (Leleup's Stiletto Snake)

Kundelungu-Erdviper, (Leleups Erdviper)

Kundelungu-jordhugorm

1950 Atractaspis congica leleupi Laurent
Atractaspis leleupi Broadley & Cotterill 2004

Distribution: Congo-Kinshasa.


Atractaspis leucomelas

Ogaden Stiletto Snake

Schwarzweiße Erdviper

Ogaden-jordhugorm

1895 Atractaspis leucomelas Boulenger

Distribution: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia.


Atractaspis magrettii

Mandafená Stiletto Snake, (Magretti's Stiletto Snake)

Magrettis Erdviper

Mandafena-jordhugorm

1928 Atractaspis magrettii Scortecci
Atractaspis microlepidota magrettii Scortecci 1939

Remarks: Previously regarded as a subspecies of microlepidota, but treated as a separate species in most recent works (e.g., Largen & Rasmussen 1993; David & Ineich 1999). It has also been suggested that magrettii represents a distinct African population of the Arabian species andersoni (Largen & Rasmussen 1993).
Distribution: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan.


Atractaspis microlepidota

Small-scaled Stiletto Snake, (Black Stiletto Snake)

Kleinschuppige Erdviper

Småskællet Jordhugorm

1866 Atractaspis microlepidota Günther

Remarks: Now restricted to Gambia, Mauritania, and Senegal (Trape 2005; Trape & Mané 2006). Previously regarded as a polytypic species with six subspecies (microlepidota, andersonii, engaddensis, fallax, magretti, micropholis), all of which are now regarded as full species. Records from Central African Republic refer to watsoni (Chirio & Ineich 2006).
Distribution: Gambia, Mauritania, Senegal.


Atractaspis micropholis

Sahelian Stiletto Snake, Common Stiletto Snake

Gewöhnliche Erdviper

Sahel-jordhugorm

1872 Atractaspis micropholis Günther
Atractaspis microlepidota micropholis Laurent 1950
1909 Atractaspis nigra Pellegrin (Golay & al. 1993)

Remarks: Previously regarded as a subspecies of microlepidota. Revalidated as a separate species by Trape & Mané (2000), although other authors before them had already regarded it as such (e.g., Hughes 1983; Wallach 1991). Previously included watsoni. Records from Burkina Faso refer to watsoni (Trape 2005).
Distribution: Burkina Faso, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal.


Atractaspis phillipsi

Sudanese Stiletto Snake, (Phillips' Stiletto Snake)

Phillips' Erdviper

Sudansk Jordhugorm

1913 Atractaspis phillipsi Barbour

Remarks: Previously regarded as a synonym of microlepidota (e.g., Laurent 1950; Largen & Rasmussen 1993). Revalidated by Golay, Smith, Broadley, Dixon, McCarthy, Rage, Schätti & Toriba (1993) and Broadley (1994). Davis & Vogel (2010) expressed doubt regarding the validity of phillipsi, suggesting that it might prove to be a synonym of fallax.
Distribution: South Sudan, Sudan.


Atractaspis reticulata

Reticulate Stiletto Snake

Netz-Erdviper

Net-jordhugorm

1896 Atractaspis reticulata Sjostedt
1901 Atractaspis heterochilus Boulenger
Atractaspis reticulata heterochilus Laurent 1950
1956 Atractaspis reticulata brieni Laurent

Other common names:
brieni: Brien's Reticulate Stiletto Snake
heterochilus: Boulenger's Reticulate Stiletto Snake
Distribution: Angola (incl. Cabinda), Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea (Rio Muni), Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria.


Atractaspis scorteccii

Somali Stiletto Snake

Somali-Erdviper

Somalisk Jordhugorm

1949 Atractaspis scorteccii Parker

Distribution: Ethiopia, Somalia.


Atractaspis watsoni

Sokoto Stiletto Snake, (Watson's Stiletto Snake)

Watsons Erdviper

Sokoto-jordhugorm

1908 Atractaspis watsoni Boulenger

Remarks: Previously regarded as a synonym of micropholis (e.g., Laurent 1950; Golay & al. 1993). Revalidated by Trape, Mané & Ineich (2006).
Distribution: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan.