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


Shovel-snout Snakes


Afrikanske Skovlnæsesnoge*

1849 Prosymna Gray (type species: Calamaria meleagris Reinhardt 1843)
1849 Temnorhynchus Smith (type species: Temnorhynchus sundevallii Smith 1849)
1896 Asthenophis Boulenger (type species: Asthenophis ruspolii Boulenger 1896)
1902 Pseudoprosymna Lindholm in Lampe (type species: Prosymna bergeri Lindholm in Lampe 1902)
1909 Stenorhabdium Werner (type species: Stenorhabdium temporale Werner 1909)
Contents: 17 species, of which 2 (11.8%) are endemic.
Remarks: Presence of the genus in Mauritania, as purported by Welch (1982 [P. meleagris]), but without localities, is regarded as unconfirmed. Welch's work is notoriously unreliable, and no other authors seem to have mentioned Mauritania as part of the distribution of the genus. Nevertheless, P. collaris (considered part of meleagris at the time Welch published his work) does occur in Senegal and Mali, close to the border of Mauritania, so this species may eventually be found in the country.
Distribution: SubSaharan Africa.
Reported from: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Djibouti, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique (incl. Bazaruto Archipelago [incl. Benguerua]), Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, 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, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Prosymna ambigua

Central African Shovel-snout*, (East African Shovel-snout), (Angolan Shovel-snout)

Zentralafrikanische Schaufelnasen-Natter*

Centralafrikansk Skovlnæsesnog*

1873 Prosymna ambiguus Bocage
Prosymna ambiguus Bocage 1895
1897 Prosymna bocagii Boulenger (Broadley 1980)
Prosymna ambigua bocagii Uthmöller 1937
1910 Prosymna meleagris concolor Lönnberg (Broadley 1980)
1953 Prosymna ambigua brevis Laurent (Broadley 1980)
1953 Prosymna ambigua loveridgei Laurent (Broadley 1980)
1953 Prosymna ambigua urundiensis Laurent (Broadley 1980)

Other common names:
bocagii: Central African Shovel-snout, Eastern Wet Savanna Shovel-snout
Remarks: Previously included stuhlmannii. Status of bocagii is uncertain (Broadley & Howell 1991).
Distribution: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.

Prosymna angolensis

Angolan Shovel-snout

Angolische Schaufelnasen-Natter*

Angolansk Skovlnæsesnog*

1915 Prosymna angolensis Boulenger

Distribution: Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Prosymna bivittata

Two-striped Shovel-snout, Twin-striped Shovel-snout

Zweistreifige Schaufelnasen-Natter*

Tostribet Skovlnæsesnog*

1903 Prosymna sundevalli bivittata Werner
Prosymna bivittata Broadley 1965
1910 Prosymna sundevallii macrospila Werner (Broadley 1980)

Distribution: Botswana, Namibia, South Africa (Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West Province, Northern Cape), Zimbabwe.

Prosymna collaris

Collared Shovel-snout


Hvidkravet Skovlnæsesnog*

1908 Prosymna meleagris var. collaris Sternfeld
Prosymna collaris Chirio & Ineich 2006
Prosymna greigerti collaris Trape & Mané 2006a

Remarks: Previously regarded as a hybrid between meleagris and greigerti (e.g., Broadley 1980), a distinct species (e.g., Chirio & Ineich 2006), or as a subspecies of greigerti (e.g., Trape & Mané 2006a; Chirio & LeBreton 2007; Chirio, Ineich, Schmitz & Trape 2011). It is herein considered a separate species, following Trape & Mané (2017).
Distribution: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Togo.

Prosymna frontalis

Southwestern Shovel-snout

Südwestliche Schaufelnasen-Natter*

Sydvestlig Skovlnæsesnog*

1867 Temnorhynchus frontalis Peters
Prosymna frontalis Boulenger 1894
1902 Prosymna bergeri Lindholm in Lampe (Broadley 1980)

Distribution: Angola, Namibia, South Africa (Northern Cape).

Prosymna greigerti

Sudan Savanna Shovel-snout, (Greigert's Shovel-snout)



1906 Prosymna Greigerti Mocquard
Prosymna meleagris greigerti Broadley 1980
1958 Prosymna meleagris laurenti Loveridge (Broadley 1980)

Other common names:
laurenti: Sudan Shovel-snout
Remarks: Previously included collaris. Formerly included in meleagris (e.g., Chippaux 2001), but considered a valid species in recent works (e.g., Chirio & Ineich 2006; Trape & Mané 2006a; Emms, Jambang, Bahl, Mankali, Paziaud & Barnett 2007; Chirio, Ineich, Schmitz & Trape 2011).
Distribution: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Kinshasa, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo.

Prosymna janii

Mozambique Shovel-snout, Black-headed Shovel-snout, Keel-scaled Shovel-snout

Mosambikanische Schaufelnasen-Natter*

Mozambiqisk Skovlnæsesnog*

1862 Prosymna Janii Bianconi

Distribution: Mozambique (incl. Bazaruto Archipelago [incl. Benguerua]), South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal).

Prosymna lineata

Lineolate Shovel-snout, Lined Shovel-snout, Mozambique Shovel-snout

Gestreifte Schaufelnasen-Natter*

Afrikansk Stribet Skovlnæsesnog*

1871 Temnorhynchus lineatus Peters
Prosymna lineata Loveridge 1953
Prosymna sundevallii lineata Broadley 1965

Remarks: Previously regarded as a subspecies of sundevalli (e.g., Broadley 1965, 1980). Revalidated as a separate species by Broadley (1999), followed by subsequent works (e.g., Griffin 2003; Bourquin 2004; Broadley & Blaylock 2013).
Distribution: Botswana, Eswatini, Mozambique, South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga), Zimbabwe.

Prosymna meleagris

Speckled Shovel-snout, Ghana Shovel-snout, White-spotted Snake, Western Wet Savanna Shovel-snout

Gesprenkelte Schaufelnasen-Natter*

Spættet Skovlnæsesnog*

1843 Calamaria meleagris Reinhardt
Prosymna meleagris Gray 1849
Temnorhynchus meleagris Peters 1875

Remarks: Previously included collaris and greigerti. Records from the Central African Republic refer to greigerti (Chirio & Ineich 2006).
Distribution: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Congo-Kinshasa, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo.

Prosymna ornatissima

Ornate Shovel-snout



1928 Prosymna ornatissima Barbour & Loveridge
Prosymna ambigua ornatissima Loveridge 1957

Remarks: Regarded as a species of uncertain status by Broadley & Howell (1991), but recently rediscovered after 80 years without sightings (Kalumanga 2007).
Distribution: Tanzania.

Prosymna pitmani

Multi-scaled Shovel-snout, (Pitman's Shovel-snout)

Kleinschuppige Schaufelnasen-Natter*

Mangeskællet Skovlnæsesnog*

1951 Prosymna pitmani Battersby

Remarks: Status uncertain (Broadley & Howell 1991).
Distribution: Malawi, Tanzania.

Prosymna ruspolii

Southern Somali Shovel-snout, (Prince Ruspolii's Shovel-snout)

Südsomalische Schaufelnasen-Natter*

Sydsomalisk Skovlnæsesnog*

1896 Asthenophis ruspolii Boulenger
Prosymna ambigua ruspolii Loveridge 1958
Prosymna ruspolii Broadley 1980
1929 Prosymna agrestis Scortecci (Broadley 1980)
1980 Prosymna ruspolii keniensis Broadley

Distribution: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania.

Prosymna semifasciata

Banded Shovel-snout

Gebänderte Schaufelnasen-Natter*

Båndet Skovlnæsesnog*

1995 Prosymna semifasciata Broadley

Distribution: Kenya, Tanzania.

Prosymna somalica

Northern Somali Shovel-snout, Northern Somaliland Shovel-snout

Nordsomalische Schaufelnasen-Natter*

Nordsomalisk Skovlnæsesnog*

1930 Prosymna somalica Parker

Distribution: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia.

Prosymna stuhlmannii

East African Shovel-snout

Ostafrikanische Schaufelnasen-Natter*

Østafrikansk Skovlnæsesnog*

1893 Ligonirostra Stuhlmannii Pfeffer
Prosymna ambigua stuhlmannii Loveridge 1936
Prosymna stuhlmannii Branch 1998
1906 Prosymna Vassei Mocquard (Broadley 1980)
1909 Prosymna variabilis Werner (Broadley 1980)
1909 Stenorhabdium temporale Werner (Broadley 1980)
1910 Prosymna transvaalensis Hewitt (Broadley 1980)
Prosymna ambigua transvaalensis Loveridge 1958

Remarks: Previously regarded as a synonym of ambigua (e.g., Broadley 1966f).
Distribution: Eswatini, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique (incl. Bazaruto Archipelago), Somalia, South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga), Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Prosymna sundevallii

Southern African Shovel-snout, Coppery Snake, South African Shovel-snout, (Sundevall's Shovel-snout)

Südafrikanische Schaufelnasen-Natter*

Sydafrikansk Skovlnæsesnog*

1849 Temnorhynchus sundevallii Smith
Prosymna sundevallii Boulenger 1894
1858 Rhinostoma cupreum Günther (Broadley 1980)

Remarks: Previously included lineata.
Distribution: Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo, North West Province, Northern Cape, Western Cape).

Prosymna visseri

Kaokoveld Shovel-snout, (Visser's Shovel-snout)


Kaokoveld Skovlnæsesnog*

1959 Prosymna visseri FitzSimons

Distribution: Angola, Namibia.