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Elapsoidea sundevallii SMITH, 1848

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesElapsoidea sundevallii decosteri BOULENGER 1888
Elapsoidea sundevallii fitzsimonsi LOVERIDGE 1944
Elapsoidea sundevallii longicauda BROADLEY 1971
Elapsoidea sundevallii media BROADLEY 1971
Elapsoidea sundevallii sundevallii (SMITH 1848) 
Common Namessundevallii: Sundevall's Garter Snake, African Garter Snake
decosteri : De Coster's Garter Snake
fitzsimonsi: Kalahari Garter Snake
longicauda: Long-tailed Garter Snake
media: Highveld Garter Snake 
SynonymElapsoidea sundevallii sundevallii (SMITH 1848)
Elaps sunderwallii [sic] SMITH 1848: 66
Elapsoidea sundevallii — PETERS 1880
Elapechis sundevallii BOULENGER 1896
Elapsoidea sundevallii sundevallii — LOVERIDGE 1944: 228
Elapsoidea sundevallii sundevallii — BRANCH 1981: 14
Elapechis sundervallii — ELTER 1981
Elapsoidea sundevallii sundevallii — BOYCOTT 1992
Elapsoidea sunderwallii sunderwallii — DOBIEY & VOGEL 2007
Elapsoidea sundevallii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 267

Elapsoidea sundevallii decosteri BOULENGER 1888
Elapsoidea decosteri BOULENGER 1888: 141
Elapechis decosteri — STERNFELD 1910: 57
Elapsoidea sundevallii decosteri — LOVERIDGE 1944: 217
Elapsoidea sundevallii decosteri — BROADLEY 1959
Elapsoidea sundevallii decosteri — BROADLEY 1962
Elapsoidea sundevallii decosteri — BRANCH 1981: 16
Elapsoidea sundevallii decosteri — BOYCOTT 1992
Elapsoidea sunderwallii decosteri — DOBIEY & VOGEL 2007

Elapsoidea sundevalli fitzsimonsi LOVERIDGE 1944: 229
Elapechis decosteri — STERNFELD 1910 (non Elapsoidea decosteri BOULENGER 1888)
Elapechis sundevallii — FITZSIMONS 1935 (non Elaps sunderwalli SMITH)
Elapsoidea sundevallii — MERTENS 1937 (non SMITH 1849)
Elapsoidea sundevalli fitzsimonsi LOVERIDGE 1944
Elapsoidea sundevalli fitzsimonsi — FITZSIMONS & BRAIN 1958
Elapsoidea sundevalli fitzsimonsi — BRANCH 1981: 15
Elapsoidea sundevallii fitzsimonsi — AUERBACH 1987: 194
Elapsoidea sundevallii fitzsimonsi — BROADLEY in GOLAY et al. 1993: 135
Elapsoidea sunderwallii fitzsimonsi — DOBIEY & VOGEL 2007
Elapsoidea sundevallii fitzsimonsi — BROADLEY & BLAYLOCK 2013

Elapsoidea sundevallii longicauda BROADLEY 1971
Elapsoidea sundevallii decosteri — FITZSIMONS 1962 (part.) (non E. d. BOUL.)
Elapsoidea sundevalli fitzsimonsi — FITZSIMONS 1962 (part.) (non LOVERIDGE 1944)
Elapsoidea sundevallii longicauda — BRANCH 1981: 15
Elapsoidea sundevallii longicauda — AUERBACH 1987: 194
Elapsoidea sundevallii longicauda — BROADLEY in GOLAY et al. 1993: 136
Elapsoidea sunderwallii longicauda — DOBIEY & VOGEL 2007
Elapsoidea sunderwallii longicauda — PIETERSEN et al. 2013
Elapsoidea sundevallii longicauda — BROADLEY & BLAYLOCK 2013
Elapsoidea sundevallii longicauda — VERBURGT et al. 2018

Elapsoidea sundevallii media BROADLEY 1971
Elapechis guentheri — GOUGH 1908 (non E. güntherii BOCAGE 1866)
Elapechis sundevallii — GOUGH 1908 (part.)
Elapsoidea sundevallii decosteri — FITZSIMONS 1935 (part.)
Elapsoidea sundevallii media — BRANCH 1981: 14
Elapsoidea sundevallii media — BROADLEY in GOLAY 1993: 136
Elapsoidea sunderwallii media — DOBIEY & VOGEL 2007 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Eswatini (= Swaziland)

decosteri: E Eswatini, S Mozambique, E South Africa (NE KwaZulu-Natal); Type locality: Delagoa Bay, Mozambique.

fitzsimonsi: Namibia, N/C Botswana, Republic of South Africa (Mier Kalahari, Northern Cape; W North West Province); Type locality: Gomodino Pan, Kalahari, Botswana.

longicauda: W Mozambique, N Republic of South Africa (N Limpopo), SE Zimbabwe; Type locality: Malugwe Pan, Gona re Zhou National Park, SE Zimbabwe (elevation 425 m).

media: Republic of South Africa (Gauteng, Free State, S Limpopo, E Northern Cape; E North West Province, N,W Mpumalanga); Type locality: Galulis Farm, Edenvale, near Johannesburg, Transvaal (elevation: 1600 m).

sundevallii: W Eswatini, NE Republic of South Africa (SE KwaZulu-Natal, SE Mpumalanga); Type locality: South Africa to the eastward of Cape colony (= SE KwaZulu-Natal).  
TypesType: lost.
Type lost [decosteri]
Type: NMZB 14514 (formerly UM = Umtali Museum), Natural History Musum of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo [longicauda]
Type: DNMNH 33362 (formerly TM = Transvaal Museum Pretoria) [media]
Type: FMNH 17667 (Field Museum, Chicago) [fitzsimonsi] 

SMITH’s original spelling (1848) was corrected in a later volume of the “Illustrations” to “Sundevallii”. E. s. multicincta has been moved to E. loveridgei. Synonyms, distribution, and types mostly from BROADLEY in GOLAY et al. 1993.

Description: juveniles of this species are banded while adults are uniformly slate-grey to black or dark brown on the back but whitish/pinkish on their belly.

Distribution: see map in Broadley 1971: 602 (Fig. 6). Erroneously reported from Gambia (as “Senegambie”, Loveridge 1944, HÅKANSSON 1981). Their report likely represents Elapsoidea semiannuta (or less likely Elapsoidea trapei), JF Trape, pers. comm., 17 April 2020). 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. Carl Jakob Sundevall (sometimes Sundewall) (1801-1875), a zoologist, ornithologist, and arachnologist. 
  • Auerbach, R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • Bates, M.F. 1992. Life History Notes - Elapsoidea sundevallii media. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa (41): 44-44 - get paper here
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Bauer, Aaron M.; Branch, William R. & Haacke, Wulf D. 1993. The herpetofauna of the Kamanjab area and adjacent Damaraland, Namibia. Madoqua (Windhoek) 18 (2): 117-145. - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Boulenger,G.A. 1888. On new or little known South African reptiles. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (6) 2: 136-141 - get paper here
  • Boulenger,G.A. 1897. On little-known snakes from Natal. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (6) 20: 374-376 - get paper here
  • Boycott, R.C. 1992. An Annotated Checklist of the Amphibians and Reptiles of Swaziland. The Conservation Trust of Swaziland - get paper here
  • Branch, W. R. 1981. The venomous snakes of southern Africa 2. Elapidae and Hydrophidae. Bull. Maryland Herp. Soc. 17 (1): 1-47 - get paper here
  • Branch, William R. 1993. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers, 144 S.
  • Broadley, D. & Blaylock 2013. The Snakes of Zimbabwe and Botswana. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 387 pp. [book review in Sauria 35 (2): 59 and Copeia 2014: 388] - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1959. The herpetology of Southern Rhodesia. Part I--the snakes. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 120 (1): 1-100 [reprint 1972] - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1962. On some reptile collections from the North-Western and North-Eastern Districts of Southern Rhodesia 1958-1961, with descriptions of four new lizards. Occ. Pap. Nat. Mus. South. Rhodesia 26 (B): 787-843
  • Broadley, D.G. 1971. A revision of the African snake genus Elapsoidea BOCAGE (Elapidae). Occ. Pap. Nat. Mus. Rhodesia B4 (32): 577-626
  • Broadley, D.G. 1998. A review of the African Elapsoidea semiannulata complex Elapidae). African Journal of Herpetology 47: 13-23 [1999] - get paper here
  • Dobiey, M. & Vogel, G. 2007. Venomous Snakes of Africa - Giftschlangen Afrikas. Edition Chimaira, Terralog 15, 150 pp. - get paper here
  • Elter, O. 1981. Cataloghi. V - La collezione erpetologica del Museo di Zoologia dell’Università di Torino. Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali. Torino
  • Fitzsimons, V.F.M.; Brain, C.K. 1958. A Short account of the Reptiles of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park. Koedoe, 1(1): 99-104 - get paper here
  • Golay,P, H.M. SMITH, D.G. BROADLEY, J. R. DIXON, C., MCCARTHY, J. C. RAGE, B. SCHÀTTI & M.TORIBA 1993. Endoglyphs and other major venomous snakes of the world. A checklist. [type catalogue] Aire-Genève, Azemiops S. A. Herpetological Data Center: i-xv + 1-478.
  • Günther,A. 1888. Contribution to the knowledge of snakes of tropical Africa. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (6) 1: 322-335 - get paper here
  • Herrmann, H.-W.; W.R. Branch 2013. Fifty years of herpetological research in the Namib Desert and Namibia with an updated and annotated species checklist. Journal of Arid Environments 93: 94–115 - get paper here
  • Jakobsen A. 1997. A review of some East African members of the genus Elapsoidea Bocage with the description of a new species from Somalia and a key for the genus (Reptilia, Serpentes, Elapidae). Steenstrupia 22: 59-82.
  • Jordaan, P.R., Steyl, J.C.A., Hanekom, C.C., Xander Combrink 2020. Fire-associated reptile mortality in Tembe Elephant Park, South Africa. Fire Ecol (2020) 16: 3 - get paper here
  • Loveridge,A. 1944. Further revisions of African snake genera. Bull. Mus. comp. Zool. Harvard 95 (2): 121-247 - get paper here
  • Pietersen, Darren W. Pietersen, Errol W. Haacke, Wulf D. 2013. First herpetological appraisal of the Parque Nacional de Banhine, Gaza Province, southern Mozambique. Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 3: 153-163 - get paper here
  • Smith, A. 1849. Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa. 3 (Reptiles). Smith, Elder, and Co., London [facsimile published by Winchester Press, Johannesburg, 1977] - get paper here
  • Spawls, S., Branch, B. 1995. The Dangerous Snakes of Africa. Blandford, London, 192 pp.
  • Sternfeld, R. 1910. Zur Schlangenfauna Deutsch-Südwestafrikas. Mehrere Fälle von Mimikry bei afrikanischen Schlangen. Mitt. zool. Mus. Berlin, 5: 51-60 - get paper here
  • Tolley KA, Telford NS, Makhubo BG, Power RJ, Alexander GJ 2023. Filling the gap: Noteworthy herpetological discoveries in North West Province, South Africa. Zoosystematics and Evolution 99(1): 101-116 - get paper here
  • Tolley, Krystal; Nicolas S Telford, Buyisile G Makhubo, Kim J Scholtz, Jody M Barends, Graham J Alexander 2020. Refinement of locality data for Fitzsimons Garter Snake (Elapsoidea sundevallii fitzsimonsi) provides a better estimate of distribution. Herpetology Notes 13: 685-692 - get paper here
  • VERBURGT, L.; T. BODBIJL & J. MARAIS 2018. Elapsoidea sundevalli longicauda (Smith, 1848). Long-tailed Garter Snake. African Herp News (68): 26 - 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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