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Citation: Midtgaard, Rune. RepFocus - A Survey of the Reptiles of the World. (www.repfocus.dk).
Latest update: December 31st, 2022.

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


Southern African Water Snakes, White-lipped Water Snakes

Südafrikanische Sumpfnattern

Sydafrikanske Vandsnoge

1843 Lycodonomorphus Fitzinger (type species: Coluber rufulus Lichtenstein 1823)
1854 Ablabes Dumeril, Bibron & Dumeril (type species: Coluber rufulus Lichtenstein 1823)
1861 Iridophis Jan (type species: Lamprophis inornatus Dumeril, Bibron & Dumeril 1854)
1863 Neusterophis Günther (type species: Natrix laevissima Günther 1862)
1893 Ablabophis Boulenger (type species: Coluber rufulus Lichtenstein 1823)
1894 Glypholycus Günther (type species: Glypholycus bicolor Günther 1893)
1924 Nerophidion Werner (type species: Nerophidion hypsirhinoides Werner 1924)
1924 Pachyophis Werner (type species: Pachyophis temporalis Werner 1924)
1925 Trachyophis Werner [substitute name for Pachyophis Werner 1924])
Contents: 9 species, of which 1 (11.1%) is endemic.
Endemism: 0% 100%
Remarks: Previously included Boaedon upembae.
Distribution: SubSaharan Africa.
Reported from: Angola, Burundi, Congo-Kinshasa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West Province, Northern Cape, Western Cape), Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Lycodonomorphus bicolor

Tanganyika White-bellied Water Snake, Lake Tanganyika Water Snake


Hvidbuget Tanganyika-vandsnog

1893 Glypholycus bicolor Günther
Lycodonomorphus bicolor Loveridge 1957
1924 Nerophidion hypsirhinoides Werner (Loveridge 1957)

Distribution: Burundi, Congo-Kinshasa, Tanzania, Zambia.

Lycodonomorphus inornatus

Olive-brown House Snake, Olive Ground Snake, (Olive House Snake, Black House Snake)

Olivfarbige Hausschlange

Olivenbrun Hussnog

1854 Lamprophis inornatus Dumeril, Bibron & Dumeril
Lycodonomorphus inornatus Kelly, Branch, Broadley, Barker & Villet 2011
1858 Boodon infernalis Günther (Broadley 1983)
Boodon lineatus infernalis Boettger 1887
Boaedon infernalis Hewitt 1937
1923 Elaphe deroyi Werner (Branch 2001; Lang 2013)
1924 Pachyophis temporalis Werner (Broadley 1983)

Distribution: Eswatini, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Western Cape).

Lycodonomorphus laevissimus

Dusky-bellied Water Snake, (Black Water Snake)

Südafrikanische Dunkelbauch-Sumpfnatter

Sydafrikansk Mørkbuget Vandsnog

1862 Natrix laevissima Günther
Tropidonotus laevissimus Boulenger 1893
Neusterophis laevissimus Bogert 1940
Lycodonomorphus laevissimus Loveridge 1953
1898 Grayia lubrica Sclater (Broadley 1983)
1923 Hydrablabes melanogaster Werner (Broadley 1983)
1973 Lycodonomorphus laevissimus fitzsimonsi Raw (Haagner & Branch 1994)
1973 Lycodonomorphus laevissimus natalensis Raw (Haagner & Branch 1994)

Other common names:
fitzsimonsi: Northern Black Water Snake
natalensis: Natal Black Water Snake
Remarks: Presence in Gauteng and the Free State, from where it is recorded in the border area between the two provinces, needs confirmation and may represent specimens washed down the Waal River (Bates, Branch, Bauer, Burger, Marais, Alexander & Villiers [eds.] 2014).
Distribution: Eswatini, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North West Province).

Lycodonomorphus leleupi

Congo Dark-bellied Water Snake, Zaire Dark-bellied Water Snake, (Mulanje Water Snake)

Kongolesische Dunkelbauch-Sumpfnatter

Congolesisk Mørkbuget Vandsnog

1950 Ablabophis whytei leleupi Laurent
Lycodonomorphus whytei leleupi Laurent 1956
Lycodonomorphus rufulus leleupi Loveridge 1958
Lycodonomorphus leleupi Broadley 1998

Remarks: Previously included mlanjensis. Records from Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe refer to mlanjensis.
Distribution: Congo-Kinshasa.

Lycodonomorphus mlanjensis

Mulanje White-bellied Water Snake, (Mulanje Water Snake)


Hvidbuget Mulanje-vandsnog

1953 Lycodonomorphus rufulus mlanjensis Loveridge
Lycodonomorphus leleupi mlanjensis Broadley 1967
Lycodonomorphus mlanjensis Broadley & Blaylock 2013

Remarks: Broadley & Blaylock (2013) and Portik, Mulungu, Sequeira & McEntee (2013) treated mlanjensis as a separate species.
Distribution: Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe.

Lycodonomorphus obscuriventris

Floodplain Water Snake, (Southern Whyte's Water Snake)



1964 Lycodonomorphus whytii obscuriventris Fitzsimons
Lycodonomorphus obscuriventris Broadley 1995

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

Lycodonomorphus rufulus

Common Brown Water Snake, Olive-brown Water Snake, South African Rufous Snake, (Black Water Snake)

Gewöhnliche Braune Sumpfnatter

Almindelig Brun Vandsnog

1823 Coluber rufulus Lichtenstein
Coronella rufula Schlegel 1837
Lycodonomorphus rufula Fitzinger 1843
Lamprophis rufulus Smith 1847
Alabes rufula Duméril & Bibron 1854
Ablabophis rufulus Boulenger 1893
Lycodonomorphus rufulus Loveridge 1957
1831 Coronella leucospilus Smith (Broadley 1983)

Remarks: Previously included whytii.
Distribution: Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West Province, Northern Cape, Western Cape), Zimbabwe.

Lycodonomorphus subtaeniatus

Western White-bellied Water Snake, Eastern Congo White-bellied Water Snake, (Lined Water Snake)

Westliche Weissbauch-Sumpfnatter

Vestlig Hvidbuget Vandsnog

1954 Lycodonomorphus subtaeniatus Laurent

Remarks: Previously included upembae.
Distribution: Angola, Congo-Kinshasa.

Lycodonomorphus whytii

Malawi Water Snake, (Whyte's Water Snake)



1897 Glypholycus whytii Boulenger
Ablabophis whytii Cott 1934
Lycodonomorphus whytii whytii Laurent 1950
Ablabophis rufulus whytii Ionides in Swynnerton 1952
Lycodonomorphus rufulus whytii Loveridge 1953
Lycodonomorphus whytei [sic] Hughes 1983

Remarks: Previously included obscuriventris.
Distribution: Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania.