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Atractaspis irregularis (REINHARDT, 1843)

IUCN Red List - Atractaspis irregularis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaAtractaspididae (Atractaspidinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesAtractaspis irregularis angeli LAURENT 1950
Atractaspis irregularis bipostocularis BOULENGER 1905
Atractaspis irregularis irregularis (REINHARDT 1843)
Atractaspis irregularis parkeri LAURENT 1945
Atractaspis irregularis uelensis LAURENT 1945 
Common NamesE: Variable Burrowing Asp, Mole Viper 
SynonymElaps irregularis REINHARDT 1843
Atractaspis irregularis — PFEFFER 1893: 87f
Atractaspis irregularis — BOULENGER 1897: 280
Atractaspis bipostocularis BOULENGER 1905
Atractaspis conradsi STERNFELD 1908: 94
Atractaspis caudalis STERNFELD 1908: 94
Atractaspis babaulti ANGEL 1934: 169
Atractaspis conradsi — SCHMIDT 1943
Atractaspis schoutedeni WITTE
Atractaspis irregularis loveridgei LAURENT 1945:
Atractaspis irregularis conradsi — LAURENT 1945
Atractaspis irregularis loveridgei — LAURENT 1950: 21
Atractaspis irregularis conradsi — LAURENT 1950: 23
Atractaspis coalescens PERRET 1960 (fide CHIPPAUX 1999: 77)
Atractaspis irregularis irregularis — PERRET 1961
Atractaspis coalescens — WELCH 1994: 21
Atractaspis irregularis — CHIRIO & INEICH 2006
Atractaspis irregularis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 66
Atractaspis irregularis — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 476
Atractaspis coalescens — CHIPPAUX & JACKSON 2019: 145
Atractaspis irregularis — CHIPPAUX & JACKSON 2019: 148
Atractaspis irregularis — SENTER & CHIPPAUX 2022

Atractaspis irregularis angeli LAURENT 1950: 25
Atractaspis irregularis — WELCH 1994: 23
Atractaspis irregularis angeli — DOBIEY & VOGEL 2007

Atractaspis irregularis bipostocularis BOULENGER 1905
Atractaspis bipostocularis BOULENGER 1905
Atractaspis irregularis bipostocularis — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 23
Atractaspis irregularis bipostocularis — DOBIEY & VOGEL 2007

Atractaspis irregularis parkeri LAURENT 1945: 316
Atractaspis irregularis parkeri — LAURENT 1950: 17
Atractaspis irregularis parkeri — DOBIEY & VOGEL 2007

Atractaspis irregularis uelensis LAURENT 1945
Atractaspis irregularis — SCHMIDT 1923: 136 (fide LAURENT 1950)
Atractaspis irregularis uelensis — LAURENT 1950: 19
Atractaspis irregularis uelensis — DOBIEY & VOGEL 2007 
DistributionGuinea (Conakry), Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), Congo (Brazzaville), N Angola, Ethiopia (Mount Bizen), Eritrea, Kenya, NE Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Republic of South Sudan (RSS), Central African Republic, Cameroon, Gambia

angeli: Eritrea (Mount Bizen)

bipostocularis: Kenya, NE Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, NE Zaire; Type locality: Fort Hall, Kenya.

coalescens: Cameroon; Type locality: “Bangwa, Cameroun”

conradsi: Type locality: Ukerewe Island, Tanganyika Territory.

irregularis: Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, N Angola; Type locality: “Gabon”

parkeri: Congo

uelensis: NE Zaire, NW Uganda, S Sudan (Jumhūriyyat), Republic of South Sudan (RSS)

Type locality: Accra, Guineaküste [caudalis]  
TypesHolotype: ZMUC 6885
Holotype: MSNG, cat. no. unknown [angeli]
Holotype: BMNH 1946.1.23.79, juvenile [bipostocularis]
Holotype: ZMB: 6527 [caudalis]
Holotype: MHNG 975.65 (F) [coalescens]
Holotype: RMCA (= MRAC) (Musée du Congo), paratypes: MNHN [parkeri]
Holotype: IRSNB (Musée Royal d’Histoire Naturelle); paratypes: Musée du Congo Belge [uelensis]
Holotype: RMCA (= MRAC) (Musée du Congo) [loveridgei] 

Synonymy: partly after Laurent 1945, VOGEL & DOBIEY 2007.

The description by SCHMIDT (1923) is available online (see URL below).

Distribution: Not recorded from Gabon fide PAUWELS & VANDE WEGHE 2008 but its presence is highly likely based on records in neighboring countries. Not in Benin fide ULLENBRUCH et al. 2010. Not in Equatorial Guinea fide SÁNCHEZ-VIALAS et al. 2022.

battersbyi: Probably occurs in the Congo. 
EtymologyNamed after James Clarence Battersby 1901-1993 [obituary in Herp. Rev. 25: 44 (1994)]. 
  • Angel, F. 1934. Description d’un Vipéridé Nouveau, du Congo belge, et de deux batraciens de Madagascar. Bull. Soc. Zool. France 58: 169-172
  • Barnett, Linda K. & Emms, Craig 2005. Common reptiles of The Gambia. Rare Repro, Hailsham, East Sussex, 24 pp.
  • Böhme, Wolfgang, Mark-Oliver Rödel, Christian Brede & Philipp Wagner 2011. The reptiles (Testudines, Squamata, Crocodylia) of the forested southeast of the Republic Guinea (Guinée forestière), with a country-wide checklist. Bonn zoological Bulletin 60 (1): 35-61 - get paper here
  • Böhme,W. 1975. Zur Herpetofaunistik Kameruns, mit Beschreibung einens neuen Scinciden. Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 26 (1-3): 2-48 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1897. A list of reptiles and batrachians from the Congo Free State, with the description of two new snakes. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (6) 19: 276-281 - get paper here
  • Boulenger,G.A. 1905. Description of a new snake of the genus Atractaspis from Mount Kenya, British East Africa. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (7) 15: 190 - get paper here
  • Bourgeois,M. 1963. Note sur Atractaspis irregularis conradsi STERNFELD (Viperidae). structure du crâne et l’appareil de la morusre. Ann. Soc. Zool. Belg. 93: 159-169
  • Broadley, D. G. & HOWELL, K. M. 1991. A check list of the reptiles of Tanzania, with synoptic keys. Syntarsus 1: 1—70
  • Broadley, D.G. 1998. The reptilian fauna of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa). In: Schmidt, K.P. and Noble, G.K., Contributions to the Herpetology of the Belgian Congo... [reprint of the 1919 and 1923 papers]. SSAR Facsimile reprints in Herpetology, 780 pp.
  • Chifundera, K. 1990. Snakes of Zaire and their bites. Afr. Stud. Monogr. (Kyoto) 10(3): 137-157.
  • Chippaux, Jean-Philippe & Kate Jackson 2019. Snakes of Central and Western Africa. Johns Hopkins University Press, 448 pp. [detaileld review in HR 51 (1): 161] - get paper here
  • Chippaux,J.P. 1999. Les serpents d’Afrique occidentale et centrale. Paris (IRD editions), 278 pp. [critical book review in Herp. Bull. 73: 30] - get paper here
  • Chirio, L. & Lebreton, M. 2007. Atlas des reptiles du Cameroun. MNHN, IRD, Paris 688 pp.
  • Chirio, Laurent and Ivan Ineich 2006. Biogeography of the reptiles of the Central African Republic. African Journal of Herpetology 55(1):23-59. - get paper here
  • Dobiey, M. & Vogel, G. 2007. Venomous Snakes of Africa - Giftschlangen Afrikas. Edition Chimaira, Terralog 15, 150 pp. - get paper here
  • Hughes, B. 1983. African snake faunas. Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 34: 311-356 - get paper here
  • JACOBSEN, N.H.G. 2009. A contribution to the herpetofauna of the Passendro Area, Central African Republic. African Herp News (47): 2-20 - get paper here
  • Largen, M.J.; Spawls, S. 2010. Amphibians and Reptiles of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 694 pp.
  • Largen,M.J. & Rasmussen,J.B. 1993. Catalogue of the snakes of Ethiopia (Reptilia Serpentes), including identification keys. Tropical Zoology 6: 313-434 - get paper here
  • Laurent, R.F. 1945. Contribution a la connaissance du Genre Atractaspis A. Smith. Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr., 38: 312-343
  • Laurent, R.F. 1950. Revision du genre Atractaspis A. SMITH. Mem. Inst. Roy. nat. Belg. (2) 38: 1-49
  • Loveridge, A. 1938. On a collection of reptiles and amphibians from Liberia. Proc. New England Zool. Club 17: 49-74 - get paper here
  • Loveridge, A. 1956. On snakes collected in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan by J.S. Owen, Esq. Sudan Notes Rec. 36: 37-56 [1955]
  • Marques, Mariana P.; Luis M. P. Ceríaco , David C. Blackburn , and Aaron M. Bauer 2018. Diversity and Distribution of the Amphibians and Terrestrial Reptiles of Angola -- Atlas of Historical and Bibliographic Records (1840–2017). Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (Ser. 4) 65: 1-501 (Supplement II)
  • Pauwels, O. & Meirte,D. 1996. Contribution to the knowledge of the Gambian herpetofauna. British Herpetological Society Bulletin (56): 27-34 - get paper here
  • Perret, J. L. 1960. Une nouvelle et remarquable espèce d'Atractaspis (Viperidae) et quelques autres Serpents d'Afrique. Revue Suisse de Zoologie 67 (1): 129-139 - get paper here
  • Perret, J.L. 1961. Études herpétologiques africaines III. 1. La faune ophidienne de la région camerounaise. Bull. Soc. neuchâtel. Sci. nat., 84: 133-138
  • Pfeffer, G. 1893. Ostafrikanische Reptilien und Amphibien, gesammelt von Herrn Dr. F. Stuhlmann im Jahre 1888 und 1889. Jb. Hamb. Wiss. Anst. 10: 71-105.
  • Pitman,C.R.S. 1974. A guide to the snakes of Uganda. Codicote, Wheldon & Wesley, L., 290 pp.
  • Rasmussen, J.B. & B. Hughes 1996. Description of some new snake species. I. [English translation of the original Danish text of T. Reinhardt 1843]. Steenstrupia 22: 13-39
  • Reinhardt, J. T. 1843. Beskrivelse af nogle nye Slangearter. Danske Vidensk. Selsk. Afhandl. 10: 233-279. - get paper here
  • Rödel M, Kucharzewski C, Mahlow K, Chirio L, Pauwels OSG, Carlino P, Sambolah G, Glos J 2019. A new stiletto snake (Lamprophiidae, Atractaspidinae, Atractaspis) from Liberia and Guinea, West Africa. Zoosystematics and Evolution 95(1): 107-123 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, K. P. 1923. Contributions to the herpetology of the Belgian Congo based on the collection of the American Museum Congo Expedition, 1909-1915. Part II. Snakes, with field notes by Herbert Lang and James P. Chapin. Bull. Amer. Mus. nat. Hist. 49 (1): 1-146 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, K. P. 1943. Amphibians and reptiles from the Sudan. Field Mus. nat. Hist (ser. zool.) 24: 331- 338. - get paper here
  • Segniagbeto GLazcano. H., Trape J. F., David P., Ohler A., Dubois A. & Glitho I. A. 2011. The snake fauna of Togo: systematics, distribution and biogeography, with remarks on selected taxonomic problems. Zoosystema 33 (3): 325-360. DOI: 10.5252/z2011n3a4 - get paper here
  • Segniagbeto, G.H.; Dekawole, J.K.; Ketoh, G.K.; Dendi, D.; Luiselli, L. 2022. Herpetofaunal Diversity in a Dahomey Gap Savannah of Togo (West Africa): Effects of Seasons on the Populations of Amphibians and Reptiles. Diversity 14: 964
  • Senter, P. J., & Chippaux, J. P. 2022. Biogeography of snakes in Liberia: Review and synthesis of current knowledge. Ghana Journal of Science, 63(1), 29-62 - get paper here
  • Spawls, S.; Howell, K.; Drewes, R.C. & Ashe, J. 2002. A field guide to the reptiles of East Africa. Academic Press, 543 pp. [reviews in HR 34: 396 and Afr. J. Herp. 51; 147] - get paper here
  • Spawls, Steve; Kim Howell, Harald Hinkel, Michele Menegon 2018. Field Guide to East African Reptiles. Bloomsbury, 624 pp. - get paper here
  • Sternfeld, R. 1908. Neue und ungenügend bekannte afrikanische Schlangen. S. Ber. Ges. naturforsch. Freunde Berlin, 4: 92-95 - get paper here
  • Trape, J.F. & R. ROUX-ESTÈVE 1995. Les serpents du Congo: liste commentée et clé de détermination. Journal of African Zoology 109 (1): 31-50
  • TRAPE, JEAN-FRANÇOIS & CELLOU BALDÉ 2014. A checklist of the snake fauna of Guinea, with taxonomic changes in the genera Philothamnus and Dipsadoboa (Colubridae) and a comparison with the snake fauna of some other West African countries. Zootaxa 3900 (3): 301–338 - get paper here
  • Ukuwela, K.D.B., de Silva, A., Sivaruban, A. et al. 2022. Diversity, distribution, and natural history of the marine snakes of Sri Lanka. Marine Biodiversity 52, 24 (2022) - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Witte, G. F. de 1933. Reptiles récoltés au Conge Belge par le Dr. H. Schouteden et par M. G.-F. Witte. Ann. Mus. Conge belge Zool. Ser. 1 Tome III: 53-100.
  • Witte, G.F. de 1959. Contribution à la faune herpétologique du Congo Belge. Description de trois serpents nouveaux. Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr. 60 (3-4): 348-351.
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