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Gonionotophis nyassae (GÜNTHER, 1888)

IUCN Red List - Gonionotophis nyassae - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Lamprophiinae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesE: Dwarf File Snake, Black File Snake
G: Schwarze Feilenschlange 
SynonymSimocephalus nyassae GÜNTHER 1888: 328
Simocephalus nyassae — BOULENGER 1893: 347
Gonionotophis degrijsi WERNER 1906: 53
Mehelya nyassae — BROADLEY 1959
Mehelya nyassae — RASMUSSEN 1981: 176
Mehelya nyassae — AUERBACH 1987: 158
Mehelya nyassae — BOYCOTT 1992
Mehelya nyassae — BROADLEY 1998
Gonionotophis nyassae — KELLY et al. 2011
Mehelya nyassae — WALLACH et al. 2014: 425
Gonionotophis nyassae — BATES et al. 2014: 361 
DistributionZimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, NE Republic of South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Zambia, N/S Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), S Somalia

Type locality: Lake Nyassa.

degrijsi: Type locality: Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
TypesType: BMNH 1946.1.14.52.
Syntypes: ZMB 18815, 18816, female, male [degrijsi] 
  • Auerbach, R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • 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.
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - 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, 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. & HOWELL, K. M. 1991. A check list of the reptiles of Tanzania, with synoptic keys. Syntarsus 1: 1—70
  • 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. 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.
  • Broadley, D.G.; Doria, C.T. & Wigge, J. 2003. Snakes of Zambia. An Atlas and Field Guide. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 280 pp. [review in Sauria 26 (3): 21]
  • Broadley, Donald G. and F. P. D. Cotterill. 2004. The reptiles of southeast Katanga, an overlooked 'hot spot'. [Congo]. African Journal of Herpetology 53 (1): 35-61. - get paper here
  • Günther,A. 1888. Contribution to the knowledge of snakes of tropical Africa. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (6) 1: 322-335 - get paper here
  • Hallermann, J. 2007. The status of problematic snake types of the Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Reptilia, Serpentes). Mitt. Mus. Nat.kd. Berl., Zool. Reihe 83 (2): 160–165
  • 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
  • Kelly, Christopher M.R.; William R. Branch, Donald G. Broadley, Nigel P. Barker, Martin H. Villet 2011. Molecular systematics of the African snake family Lamprophiidae Fitzinger, 1843 (Serpentes: Elapoidea), with particular focus on the genera Lamprophis Fitzinger 1843 and Mehelya Csiki 1903. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 58(3): 415-426 - get paper here
  • Lanza, B. 1990. Amphibians and reptiles of the Somali Democratic Republic: check list and biogeography. Biogeographia, 14: 407-465 [1988]
  • Lanza, Benedetto; Donald G. Broadley 2014. A review of the genus Gonionotophis in north-eastern Africa (Squamata: Lamprophiidae). . Acta Herpetologica 9 (1): 89-97 - get paper here
  • Lanza,B. 1983. A list of the Somali amphibians and reptiles. MONITORE ZOOLOGICO ITALIANO, new Ser., SUPPL. 18 (8): 193-247
  • Lönnberg, E. 1910. Two new snakes from Lower Congo. Arkiv för Zoologi 7 (8): 1-8
  • Maritz, Bryan, John L. Blackburn and Paul Huang. 2014. Gonionotophis nyassae (Günther, 1888) Black File Snake. Diet. African Herp News (61): 25-26
  • Pietersen, Errol and Darren Pietersen 2002. Mehelya nyassae, Black File Snake. Diet and defenze. African Herp News (35):13-14
  • Rasmussen,J.B. 1981. The snakes from the rainforest of the Usambara Mountains, Tanzania: a checklist and key. Salamandra 17 (3-4): 173-188 - 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
  • VISSER, J. 2012. Gonionotophis nyassae Gunther, 1888. African Herp News (56): 32
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Werner, Franz Josef Maria 1906. Neue Reptilien aus Deutsch-Ostafrika. Zool. Anz. 30: 53-55. - get paper here
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