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


African Wolf Snakes


Afrikanske Ulvesnoge*

1843 Lycophidion Fitzinger (type species: Lycodon horstokii Schlegel 1837)
Lycophidium Agassiz 1847 [emendation]
1857 Lissophis Hallowell (type species: Lycophidion laterale Hallowell 1857)
1858 Metoporhina Günther (type species: Coluber irroratus Leach 1819)
1968 Cryptolycus Broadley (type species: Cryptolycus nanus Broadley 1968; syn. Broadley 1996)
Contents: 20 species, of which 3 (15.0%) are endemic.
Remarks: The single record of capense from Egypt (Flower 1923; Baha el Din 2006) lies far to the north of the remainder of the range of the genus. Another single record of capense from Yemen (Scortecci 1932) is regarded as unreliable, as are most other specimens in the same (Dubbiosi) collection (Gasperetti 1988; Sindaco, Venchi & Grieco 2013).
Distribution: SubSaharan and NE. Africa.
Reported from: Angola (incl. Cabinda), Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea (Rio Muni), Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique (incl. Bazaruto Archipelago [incl. Benguerua]), Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West Province, Northern Cape, Western Cape), South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania (incl. Pemba, Zanzibar), Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Lycophidion acutirostre

Mozambique Wolf Snake

Mosambikanische Wolfsnatter*


1868 Lycophidium acutirostre Günther
Lycophidion acutirostre Broadley 1996

Remarks: Previously regarded as a synonym of semiannule (e.g., Laurent 1968; Broadley 1983). Revalidated by Broadley (1996).
Distribution: Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania.

Lycophidion albomaculatum

Spotted Wolf Snake

Gefleckte Wolfsnatter*

Plettet Ulvesnog*

1870 Lycophidion horstockii albomaculatum Steindachner
Lycophidion semicinctum albomaculatum Leston & Hughes 1968
Lycophidion albomaculatum Condamin 1994

Remarks: Verburght, Clark, Cauldwell & Branch (2013) published the first record of albomaculatum from Sierra Leone, however, the records of semicinctum from this country in Menzies (1966, with no indication of subspecies) might refer to albomaculatum, which was previously considered a subspecies of semicinctum. When comparing the distribution maps in Chippaux (2001) and in Trape & Mané (2006), it is fairly obvious that the first author has included records of albomaculatum in his semicinctum map. Based on the latter authors' maps, Menzies' (1966) records seem most likely to represent albomaculatum, and they are tentatively included herein as records of this species.
Distribution: Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone.

Lycophidion capense

Cape Wolf Snake, Common Wolf Snake



1831 Lycodon capense Smith
Lycophidium capensis Peters 1854
Lycophidion capense Duméril 1859
1837 Lycodon horstokii Schlegel (Broadley 1996)
Lycophidion horstokii Fitzinger 1843
Lycophidium horstokii Günther 1868
1893 Lycophidium abyssinicum Boulenger (Broadley 1996)
1893 Lycophidium jacksoni Boulenger
Lycophidion capense jacksoni Laurent 1956
1968 Lycophidion capense loveridgei Laurent
1968 Lycophidion capense vermiculatum Laurent (Broadley 1996)

Other common names:
capense: Cape Wolf Snake
jacksoni: Jackson's Wolf Snake
loveridgei: Coastal Wolf Snake
vermiculatum: Vermiculated Wolf Snake
Remarks: Previously included multimaculatum and pembanum. The single record of capense from Egypt (Flower 1923; Baha el Din 2006) lies far to the north of the remainder of the range of the genus. A single record from Yemen (Scortecci 1932) is regarded as unreliable and needs confirmation (Gasperetti 1988; Sindaco, Venchi & Grieco 2013). Records from Nigeria probably refer to multimaculatum (Trape & Baldé 2014) and are treated as such herein.
Distribution: Botswana, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo-Kinshasa, Egypt, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West Province, Northern Cape, Western Cape), South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania (incl. Zanzibar), Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Lycophidion depressirostre

Flat-snouted Wolf Snake


Fladsnudet Ulvesnog*

1968 Lycophidion depressirostre Laurent

Distribution: Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda.

Lycophidion hellmichi

Kaokoveld Wolf Snake, (Hellmich's Wolf Snake)



1964 Lycophidion hellmichi Laurent

Distribution: Angola, Congo-Kinshasa, Namibia.

Lycophidion irroratum

Western Forest Wolf Snake, Pale Wolf Snake

Westliche Wald-Wolfsnatter*

Vestlig Skov-ulvesnog*

1819 Coluber irroratus Leach
Lycophidium irroratum Boulenger 1893
Lycophidion irroratum Hughes 1983

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

Lycophidion laterale

Masked Wolf Snake, Flat Wolf Snake, Spotted Wolf Snake, (Western Forest Wolf Snake)



1857 Lycophidion laterale Hallowell
Lycophidium laterale Boulenger 1893
1919 Lycophidium polylepis Boulenger (Wallach, Williams & Boundy 2014)

Distribution: Angola (incl. Cabinda), Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea (Rio Muni), Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Togo, Uganda.

Lycophidion meleagre

Speckled Wolf Snake

Afrikanische Gesprenkelte Wolfsnatter*

Afrikansk Spættet Ulvesnog*

1893 Lycophidium meleagris Boulenger
Lycophidion meleagris Barbour & Loveridge 1928

Distribution: Angola (incl. Cabinda), Congo-Kinshasa, Kenya, Tanzania.

Lycophidion multimaculatum

Many-spotted Wolf Snake*, Spotted Wolf Snake, (Blotched Wolf Snake)

Vielgefleckte Wolfsnatter*

Mangeplettet Ulvesnog*

1888 Lycophidium capense multimaculata Boettger
Lycophidion capense multimaculatum Laurent 1956
Lycophidion multimaculatum Broadley 1991

Distribution: Angola (incl. Cabinda), Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia.

Lycophidion namibianum

Namibian Wolf Snake

Namibische Wolfsnatter*

Namibisk Ulvesnog*

1991 Lycophidion namibianum Broadley

Remarks: Included for Angola, based on Herrmann & Branch (2013) and Branch (2018), although the species was not mentioned by Marques, Ceríaco, Blackburn & Bauer (2018).
Distribution: Angola, Namibia.

Lycophidion nanum

Dwarf Wolf Snake



1968 Cryptolycus nanus Broadley
Lycophidion nanum Broadley 1996

Distribution: Mozambique, Zimbabwe.

Lycophidion nigromaculatum

Black-spotted Wolf Snake*, (Blotched Wolf Snake)

Schwarzfleckige Wolfsnatter*

Sortplettet Ulvesnog*

1863 Alopecion nigromaculatus Peters
Lycophidion nigromaculatum Leston & Hughes 1968

Remarks: Previously regarded as a synonym of irroratum. Revalidated as a separate species by Leston & Hughes (1968). Not mentioned by Laurent (1968) or Welch (1982).
Distribution: Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Togo.

Lycophidion ornatum

Ornate Wolf Snake, (Forest Wolf Snake)



1936 Lycophidion ornatum Parker
Lycophidion capense ornatum Loveridge 1942

Distribution: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda.

Lycophidion pembanum

Pemba Wolf Snake



1968 Lycophidion capense pembanum Laurent
Lycophidion pembanum Broadley 1996

Distribution: Tanzania (Pemba).

Lycophidion pygmaeum

Pygmy Wolf Snake



1996 Lycophidion pygmaeum Broadley

Distribution: South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal).

Lycophidion semiannule

East African Wolf Snake, Northern Wolf Snake, Mozambique Wolf Snake

Ostafrikanische Wolfsnatter*

Østafrikansk Ulvesnog*

1854 Lycophidium semiannulis Peters
Lycophidion semiannulis Peters 1882

Remarks: Previously included acutirostre. Most older mainland records of semiannule refer to acutirostre.
Distribution: Malawi, Mozambique (incl. Bazaruto Archipelago [incl. Benguerua]).

Lycophidion semicinctum

Semi-annulated Wolf Snake


Halvbåndet Ulvesnog*

1854 Lycophidium semicinctum Dumeril, Bibron & Dumeril
Lycophidion semicinctum Leston & Hughes 1968

Remarks: Previously included albomaculatum.
Distribution: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo.

Lycophidion taylori

Somali Wolf Snake*, (Taylor's Wolf Snake)

Somalische Wolfsnatter*

Somalisk Ulvesnog*

1993 Lycophidion taylori Broadley & Hughes

Remarks: Recorded from Senegal on the basis of a single specimen of doubtful origin. Presence in West Africa needs confirmation (Trape & Mané 2006a).
Distribution: Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania.

Lycophidion uzungwense

Red-snouted Wolf Snake

Rotschnäuzige Wolfsnatter*

Rødsnudet Ulvesnog*

1932 Lycophidion capense uzungwensis Loveridge
Lycophidion uzungwense Laurent 1968

Distribution: Tanzania.

Lycophidion variegatum

Variegated Wolf Snake

Bunte Wolfsnatter*

Broget Ulvesnog*

1969 Lycophidion variegatum Broadley

Distribution: Eswatini, South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga), Zambia, Zimbabwe.