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Taxonomy of the family Colubridae
Bibliography of the genus Philothamnus
Biodiversity of the family Colubridae








Genus
Philothamnus

African Green Snakes, African Bush Snakes

Grüne Buschnattern*, Grüne Buschschlangen

Grønne Busksnoge*, Grønne Træsnoge

1847 Philothamnus Smith (type species: Dendrophis semivariegata Smith 1840)
1857 Chlorophis Hallowell (type species: Chlorophis heterodermus Hallowell 1857; syn. Williams & Wallach 1989)
1866 Herpetaethiops Günther (type species: Herpetaethiops bellii = Chlorophis heterodermus Hallowell 1857)
1868 Chlorophis Theobald [not Chlorophis Hallowell 1857] (type species: Chlorophis oldhami Theobald 1868)
1895 Oligolepis Boulenger (type species: Oligolepis macrops Boulenger 1895)
Contents: 22 species, of which 3 (13.6%) are endemic.
Distribution: SubSaharan Africa.
Reported from: Angola (incl. Cabinda), Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea (Annobon, Bioko, Rio Muni), Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau (incl. Bijagos Archipelago), Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique (incl. Bazaruto Archipelago), Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe (Sao Tome), 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. Mafia, Pemba, Zanzibar), Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Philothamnus angolensis

Angolan Green Snake, Western Green Snake

Angolische Buschnatter*

Angolansk Busksnog*

1882 Philothamnus angolensis Bocage
Chlorophis angolensis Boulenger 1894
1888 Ahaetulla emini Günther (Broadley 1983)
Chlorophis emini Werner 1908
1888 Ahaetulla shirana Günther (Broadley 1983)
Philothamnus irregularis shiranus Laurent 1964
1932 Chlorophis vernayi Fitzsimons (Broadley 1983)

Remarks: Previously confused with and regarded as a synonym of irregularis of West Africa (e.g., Loveridge 1957). Revalidated as a separate species by Hughes (1985). Records from Senegal (e.g., Hughes 1983) are probably based on mislabelled specimens with wrong locality data (Trape & Mané 2006a).
Distribution: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal), South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Philothamnus battersbyi

Northeastern Green Snake, Common Green Snake, Green Bush Snake, (Battersby's Green Snake, Green Water Snake)

Nordöstliche Buschnatter*

Nordøstlig Busksnog*

1951 Philothamnus irregularis battersbyi Loveridge
Philothamnus battersbyi Rasmussen 1981

Distribution: Burundi, Congo-Kinshasa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda.


Philothamnus bellii

Sierra Leonean Green Snake*

Sierraleonische Buschnatter*

Sierraleonsk Busksnog*

1866 Herpetaethiops bellii Günther
Philothamnus bellii Trape & Baldé 2014

Remarks: Previously regarded as a synonym of heterodermus (e.g., Loveridge 1958). Revalidated as a separate species by Trape & Baldé (2014).
Distribution: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone.


Philothamnus bequaerti

Uganda Green Snake, (Bequaert's Green Snake)

Uganda-Buschnatter*

Uganda-busksnog*

1923 Chlorophis bequaerti Schmidt
Philothamnus bequaerti Hughes 1985

Remarks: Previously regarded as a synonym of heterolepidotus (e.g., Loveridge 1957).
Distribution: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Kinshasa, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda.


Philothamnus carinatus

Barred Green Snake, Grey Bush Snake, (Strange-scaled Green Snake, Thirteen-scaled Green Snake)

Gebänderte Buschnatter*

Båndet Busksnog*

1901 Chlorophis carinatus Andersson
Philothamnus heterodermus carinatus Loveridge 1951
Chlorophis heterodermus carinatus Mertens 1965
Philothamnus carinatus Hughes 1985

Remarks: This species has been known as Thirteen-scaled Green Snake, a misleading name which should be avoided, since the number of body scale rows is not sufficient to identify the species in the western part of its range (Hughes 1985).
Distribution: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea (Bioko, Rio Muni), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda.


Philothamnus dorsalis

Brown-snouted Green Snake, Stripe-backed Bush Snake, Striped Green Snake, Striped Wood Snake

Braunschnauzen-Buschnatter*

Brunsnudet Busksnog*

1866 Leptophis dorsalis Bocage
Philothamnus dorsalis Boulenger 1894
Philothamnus semivariegatus dorsalis Loveridge 1933

Remarks: Regarded as a subspecies of semivariegatus by Griffin (2003).
Distribution: Angola (incl. Cabinda), Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Gabon.


Philothamnus girardi

Annobon Green Snake*, Pagalu Wood Snake

Annobon-Buschnatter*

Annobon-busksnog*

1893 Philothamnus girardi Bocage
Philothamnus semivariegatus girardi Mertens 1934

Distribution: Equatorial Guinea (Annobon).


Philothamnus heterodermus

Emerald Green Snake, Forest Green Snake, Variable Tree Snake, Variable Green Snake, Gabon Bush Snake

Smaragd-Buschnatter*

Smaragd-busksnog*

1857 Chlorophis heterodermus Hallowell
Ahaetulla heteroderma Günther 1863
Philothamnus heterodermus Peters 1875
1929 Chlorophis cyaneus Hallowell (Loveridge 1958)

Remarks: Previously included bellii and pobeguini.
Distribution: Angola (incl. Cabinda), Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea (Rio Muni), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau (incl. Bijagos Archipelago), Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda.


Philothamnus heterolepidotus

Slender Green Snake, (Strange-scaled Green Snake)

Schlanke Buschnatter*

Slank Busksnog*

1863 Ahaetulla heterolepidota Günther
Leptophis heterolepidota Bocage 1866
Philothamnus heterolepidotus Pfeffer 1893
Chlorophis heterolepidotus Boulenger 1894
1888 Ahaetulla gracillima Günther (Loveridge 1957)
1910 Chlorophis gracilis Sternfeld (Loveridge 1957)
1912 Chlorophis schubotzi Sternfeld (Loveridge 1957)

Remarks: Previously regarded as a synonym of irregularis (e.g., Bogert 1940). Revalidated by Loveridge (1955). Previously included bequaerti.
Introduced to: Sudan.
Distribution: Angola (incl. Cabinda), Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.


Philothamnus hoplogaster

Southeastern Green Snake, Short-tailed Green Snake, (Green Water Snake)

Südöstlicher Buschnatter*

Sydøstlig Busksnog*

1863 Ahaetulla hoplogaster Günther
Philothamnus hoplogaster Boulenger 1887
Chlorophis hoplogaster Boulenger 1894
1866 Philothamnus neglectus Peters (Broadley 1983)
Chlorophis neglectus Boulenger 1894
1868 Chlorophis oldhami Theobald (Broadley 1983)

Remarks: Previously confused with hughesi (Trape & Roux-Estève 1990). Populations from the Central African Republic refer to hughesi (Chirio & Ineich 2006).
Distribution: Angola (incl. Cabinda), Burundi, Congo-Kinshasa, Eswatini, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West Province, Western Cape), Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Philothamnus hughesi

Congolese Green Snake*, (Hughes' Green Snake)

Kongolesische Buschnatter*

Congolesisk Busksnog*

1990 Philothamnus hughesi Trape & Roux-Esteve

Remarks: Previously confused with hoplogaster (Trape & Roux-Estève 1990). Erroneously reported from Gabon (Pauwels & Vande weghe 2008).
Distribution: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Uganda.


Philothamnus irregularis

Irregular Green Snake, Western Green Snake, (Emin's Green Snake)

Westliche Buschnatter*

Vestlig Busksnog*

1818 Coluber caesius Cloquet [suppressed; ICZN (1955): Opinion 328]
1819 Coluber irregularis Leach [not Coluber irregularis Merrem 1790] (conservation proposed; see Meirte 2013)
Philothamnus irregularis Buchholz & Peters 1875
Chlorophis irregularis Boulenger 1894
1843 Dendrophis chenonii Reinhardt (Loveridge 1957)
Leptophis chenonii Duméril, Bibron & Duméril 1854
1848 Dendrophis albo-variata Smith (Loveridge 1957)
1875 Philothamnus irregularis longifrenatus Buchholz & Peters (Loveridge 1957)
1893 Philothamnus güntheri Pfeffer (Loveridge 1957)

Remarks: Now restricted to West Africa (Hughes 1985). Previously included angolensis, however, some authors still confuse the two species (Branch 2018). Southern populations, previously treated as irregularis, are now referred to angolensis (Hughes 1985; Branch 2018).
Distribution: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Kinshasa, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo.


Philothamnus macrops

Usambara Green Snake

Usambara-Buschnatter*

Usambara-busksnog*

1895 Oligolepis macrops Boulenger
Chlorophis macrops Barbour & Loveridge 1928
Philothamnus macrops Loveridge 1957

Distribution: Kenya, Tanzania (Zanzibar).


Philothamnus natalensis

Eastern Natal Green Snake, Eastern Green Snake

Östliche Natal-Buschnatter*

Østlig Natal-busksnog*

1848 Dendrophis natalensis Smith
Chlorophis natalensis FitzSimons 1937
Philothamnus natalensis FitzSimons 1962
1863 Dendrophis subcarinatus Jan (status uncertain; Broadley 1983)

Remarks: Previously included occidentalis.
Distribution: Eswatini, Mozambique (incl. Bazaruto Archipelago), South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga), Zimbabwe.


Philothamnus nitidus

Shiny Forest Green Snake, Cameroon Wood Snake

Kamerunische Buschnatter*

Camerounsk Busksnog*

1863 Ahaetulla nitida Günther
Philothamnus nitidus Boulenger 1894
Philothamnus semivariegatus nitidus Mertens 1965
1960 Philothamnus nitidus loveridgei Laurent

Other common names:
loveridgei: Loveridge's Green Snake
Distribution: Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea (Bioko, Rio Muni), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Togo, Uganda.


Philothamnus occidentalis

Western Natal Green Snake

Westliche Natal-Buschnatter*

Vestlig Natal-busksnog*

1966 Philothamnus natalensis occidentalis Broadley
Philothamnus occidentalis Griffin 2003

Remarks: Previously regarded as a subspecies of natalensis. Alexander (1987) suggested occidentalis to be regarded as a separate species, which was followed by Griffin (2003). Validity confirmed by Engelbrecht, Branch, Greenbaum, Alexander, Jackson, Burger, Conradie, Kusamba, Zassi-Boulou & Tolley (2018). There is a single record from Zimbabwe (Broadley & Blaylock 2013), however, Bates, Branch, Bauer, Burger, Marais, Alexander & Villiers (2014) claims that the species is restricted to South Africa and Eswatini.
Distribution: Eswatini, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West Province, Western Cape), Zimbabwe.





Philothamnus ornatus

Ornate Green Snake, Ornate Water Snake, Stripe-backed Green Snake

Pracht-Buschnatter*

Pragt-busksnog*

1872 Philothamnus ornatus Bocage
Chlorophis ornatus Boulenger 1894
Philothamnus irregularis ornatus Loveridge 1951

Distribution: Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Kinshasa, Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Philothamnus pobeguini

Guinean Green Snake*

Guinea-Buschnatter*

Guinea-busksnog*

1916 Chlorophis heterodermus pobeguini Chabanaud
Philothamnus pobeguini Trape & Baldé 2014

Remarks: Previously regarded as a synonym of heterodermus (e.g., Loveridge 1958). Revalidated as a separate species by Trape & Baldé (2014).
Distribution: Benin, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast.


Philothamnus punctatus

Speckled Green Snake, (Spotted Bush Snake, Spotted Green Snake)

Gesprenkelte Buschnatter*

Spættet Busksnog*

1866 Philothamnus punctatus Peters

Remarks: Previously regarded as a synonym of semivariegatus (e.g., Loveridge 1957).
Distribution: Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, Tanzania (incl. Mafia, Pemba, Zanzibar).


Philothamnus ruandae

Rwanda Emerald Green Snake, Rwanda Forest Green Snake

Rwanda-Buschnatter*

Rwanda-busksnog*

1951 Philothamnus heterodermus ruandae Loveridge
Philothamnus ruandae Broadley 1998

Distribution: Burundi, Congo-Kinshasa, Rwanda, Uganda.


Philothamnus semivariegatus

Variegated Bush Snake, Variegated Green Snake, (Spotted Bush Snake, Spotted Wood Snake)

Gefleckte Buschnatter*

Broget Busksnog*

1840 Dendrophis semivariegata Smith
Ahaetulla semivariegata Günther 1963
Philothamnus semivariegatus Boulenger 1894
1868 Ahaetulla kirkii Günther (Loveridge 1957)
1869 Dendrophis melanostigma Jan (Broadley 1983)
1882 Philothamnus smithii Bocage (Loveridge 1957)
Philothamnus semivariegatus smithii Trape & Baldé 2014
1888 Ahaetulla bocagii Günther (Broadley 1983)
1893 Philothamnus punctatus sansibaricus Pfeffer (Loveridge 1957)

Remarks: Previously included dorsalis, nitidus, punctatus, and thomensis (e.g., Loveridge 1957). Spawls' (1978) record from Mandera, Kenya is possibly a punctatus (Largen & Rasmussen 1993). A record from Yemen (Scortecci 1932) is considered unreliable and needs confirmation (Gasperetti 1988). The name Spotted Bush Snake should be avoided, since it is also used for punctatus.
Distribution: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea (Rio Muni), Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique (incl. Bazaruto Archipelago), Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West Province, Northern Cape), South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania (incl. Mafia, Pemba, Zanzibar), Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Philothamnus thomensis

São Tomé Green Snake*, São Tomé Wood Snake

São-Tomé-Buschnatter*

São Tomé-busksnog*

1882 Philothamnus thomensis Bocage
Philothamnus semivariegatus thomensis Mertens 1934

Remarks: Blanc & Fretey (2002) listed thomensis from both Sao Tome and Principe, but according to Jesus, Nagy, Branch, Wink, Brehm & Harris (2009) it is endemic to Sao Tome. Presence in Principe is herein regarded as doubtful until verified.
Distribution: Sao Tome & Principe (Sao Tome).