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Atractaspis micropholis GÜNTHER, 1872

IUCN Red List - Atractaspis micropholis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaAtractaspididae (Atractaspidinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Sahelian Burrowing Asp 
SynonymAtractaspis corpulentus GÜNTHER 1866: 29
Atractaspis micropholis GÜNTHER 1872: 36
Atractaspis microlepidota micropholis — LAURENT 1950: 4
Atractaspis microlepidota micropholis — PAPENFUSS 1969: 313
Atractaspis microlepidota micropholis — WELCH 1994: 23
Atractaspis micropholis — TRAPE & MANÉ 2000
Atractaspis micropholis — TRAPE & MANÉ 2002
Atractaspis micropholis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 66 
DistributionSénégambie, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Nigeria (fide TRAPE et al. 2006), Chad

Type locality: "Africa." Restricted to N Nigeria fide Trape et aI. (2006: 8).  
TypesType: BMNH 1946.1.18.7 (and possibly additional specimens). 
DiagnosisOriginal description: “Black above, lighter below. Body stout. Ventrals 210; subcaudals 29. Scales in twenty-five series. Two pairs of frontals. One pre- and one postocular. Six upper labials, the third and fourth of which enter the orbit, and are much larger than the anterior and posterior pairs. Temporals 1 or 2+3, all small, scale-like, the anterior in contact with the postocular, fourth and fifth labials, but not with the occipital. Lower labials small, the anterior in contact with each other in front of the chin-shields, which do not enter the labial margin. The single specimen known is 13 inches long, the tail being one inch. It is not known from which part of Africa it was obtained.” (Günther 1872: 35) 

Atractaspis micropholis corpses are boiled in water to extract fat for medical uses by people in Mali (Joger & Lambert 1996).

Atractaspis watsoni BOULENGER 1908 has been revalidated to full species status. The distribtion of this species has not been corrected for this fact yet. 
  • 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
  • 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
  • Egan, D. 2007. Snakes of Arabia. Motivate Publishing, Dubai, 208 pp.
  • Günther,A. 1866. Fifth account of new species of snakes in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (3) 18: 24-29 - get paper here
  • Günther,A. 1872. Seventh account of new species of snakes in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) 9: 13-37 - get paper here
  • Hughes, B. 1983. African snake faunas. Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 34: 311-356 - get paper here
  • Laurent, R.F. 1950. Revision du genre Atractaspis A. SMITH. Mem. Inst. Roy. nat. Belg. (2) 38: 1-49
  • Monard, A. 1951. Résultants de la mission zoologique suisse au Cameroun. Reptiles. Mém. IFAN, Dakkar, ser. sci. nat. 1: 123- 170.
  • Padial, J. M. 2006. COMMENTED DISTRIBUTIONAL LIST OF THE REPTILES OF MAURITANIA (WEST AFRICA). Graellsia, 62(2): 159-178 - get paper here
  • Papenfuss, T. J. 1969. Preliminary analysis of the reptiles of arid central West Africa. Wasmann Journal of Biology 27:249—325 - get paper here
  • Trape J-F and Mané Y. 2015. The snakes of Niger. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 9(2) [Special Section]: 39–55 (e110) - get paper here
  • Trape, J.-F. & Mané, Y. 2002. Les serpents du Sénégal: liste commentée des espèces. Bull. Soc. Pathol. Exot. 95 (3): 148-150
  • TRAPE, Jean-François 2005. Note sur quelques serpents méconnus du Burkina Faso de la collection de Benigno Roman. Bull. Soc. Herp. France 116: 39-49 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Trape, Jean-François; Israël Demba Kodindo, Ali Sougoudi Djiddi, Joseph Mad-Toïngué & Clément Hinzoumbé Kerah 2020. The snakes of Chad: results of a field survey and annotated country-wide checklist. Bonn zoological Bulletin 69 (2): 367–393 - get paper here
  • Trape, Jean-François; Mané, Youssouph 2000. Les serpents des environs de Dielmo (Sine-Saloum, Sénégal). Bull. Soc. Herp. France 95: 19-35 - get paper here
  • Trape, Jean-François & Youssouph Mané 2017. The snakes of Mali. Bonn zoological Bulletin 66 (2): 107–133 - get paper here
  • TRAPE, Jean-François; Youssouph MANÉ & Ivan INEICH 2006. Atractaspis microlepidota, A. micropholis et A. watsoni en Afrique occidentale et centrale. Bull. Soc. Herp. France 119 : 5-16 - get paper here
  • Vidal, N. et al. 1997. Molecular systematics of pitvipers: paraphyly of the Bothrops complex. C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris 320: 95-101 - 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.
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