You are here » home advanced search search results Austrelaps superbus

Austrelaps superbus (GÜNTHER, 1858)

Can you confirm these amateur observations of Austrelaps superbus?

Add your own observation of
Austrelaps superbus »

Find more photos by Google images search: Google images

Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Lowlands Copperhead, Copperhead Snake 
SynonymHoplocephalus superbus GÜNTHER 1858: 217 (part.)
Alecto schmidti JAN & SORDELLI 1873
Hoplocephalus superbus — MCCOY 1878
Notechis superbus STORR 1982
Austrelaps superbus — COGGER 1983: 218
Austrelaps superbus — RAWLINSON 1991: 126
Austrelaps superbus — WELCH 1994: 27
Austrelaps superbus — COGGER 2000: 635
Austrelaps superbus — MATTISON 2007: 258
Austrelaps superbus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 86
Austrelaps superbus — MIRTSCHIN et al. 2017 
DistributionAustralia (South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria)

Type locality: Australia and Tasmania, but restricted to Tasmania by Günther (1863)  
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1946.1.20.37-38 (formerly, collected R. Gunn, )designated by RAWLINSON 1991. Originally syntypes: BMNH 1946.1.19.6, BMNH 1946.1.20.34-36, BMNH 1946.1.20.40, BMNH 1946.1.20.42 (Australia); BMNH 1946.1.19.5, BMNH 1946.1.20.37-38 (Tasmania); (partly fide COGGER 1983).
Holotype: ZMH 478, from Australia [Alecto schmidti] 
CommentSynonymy: modified after COGGER 1983. Austrelaps labialis and Austrelaps ramsayi have been synonymized with Austrelaps superbus previously (e.g. by COGGER 1983).

Type species: Hoplocephalus superbus GÜNTHER 1858 is the type species of the genus Austrelaps WORRELL 1963: 3.


Diagnosis (genus): Cogger 1986 (fide Hutchinson 1990, who doesn’t cite Cogger 1986).

Distribution: NSW populations have been assigned to A. ramsayi (although the validity of the latter has been disputed). 
EtymologyNamed after Latin superbus (remarkable, splendid), presumably reflecting Günther’s impression of the numerous specimens he cited.

The genus was named after Latin auster (the south) + genus Elaps, alluding to the southern distribution of the new genus in comparison to the ‘true’ members of Elaps. 
  • Baehr, M. 1976. Beiträge zur Verbreitung und Ökologie tasmanischer Reptilien. Stuttgarter Beitr. Naturk. (A) 292: 1-24 - get paper here
  • Blackburn, D.G. 1994. Standardized criteria for the recognition of embryonic nutritional patterns in squamate reptiles. Copeia 1994 (4): 925-935 - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Escoriza Boj, D. 2005. Australia. Reptiles and Amphibians, Part 1: Rainforest. Reptilia (GB) (40): 70-75 - get paper here
  • Fearn, Simon 1994. Some observations on the ecology of the copperhead Austrelaps superbus (Serpentes: Elapidae) in Tasmania. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 24 (2): 1-10
  • Günther, A. 1858. Catalogue of Colubrine snakes of the British Museum. London, I - XVI, 1 - 281 - get paper here
  • Günther. A. 1863. Third account of new species of snakes in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 12: 348 - 365 - get paper here
  • Hutchinson M N 1990. The generic classification of the Australian terrestrial elapid snakes. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 29 (3): 397-405 - get paper here
  • Hutchinson, M.N. 1979. The reptiles of Kinglake National Park. Victorian Naturalist 96: 124-134 - get paper here
  • Jan, G. & Sordelli, F. 1873. Iconographie Générale des Ophidiens. Atlas 1860-1881. Milan: Jan & Sordelli, 50 livr. - get paper here
  • Mattison, Chris 2007. The New Encyclopedia of Snakes. Princeton University Press
  • McCoy, F. 1878. Pseudechys porphyriacus (SHAW SP.). The Black Snake. Hoplocephalus superbus (Günth.) The Copper-head snake [... etc...] Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria 1: 5- - get paper here
  • Mirtschin, P., Rasmussen, A.R. & Weinstein, S.A. 2017. Australia’s Dangerous snakes. CSIRO Publishing, 424 pp. - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Rawlinson P A 1991. Taxonomy and distribution of the Australian tiger snakes (Notechis) and copperheads (Austrelaps) (Serpentes, Elapidae). ROYAL SOCIETY OF VICTORIA PROCEEDINGS 103 (2): 125-135
  • Rawlinson, P.A. 1969. The reptiles of East Gippsland. Proc. R. Soc. Vict. 82: 113-128
  • Shine, Richard; Claire Goiran, Catherine Shilton, Shai Meiri, Gregory P Brown 2019. The life aquatic: an association between habitat type and skin thickness in snakes. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, blz136 - 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.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
External links  
Is it interesting? Share with others:

As link to this species use URL address:

without field 'search_param'. Field 'search_param' is used for browsing search result.

Please submit feedback about this entry to the curator