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Hoplocephalus bitorquatus (JAN, 1859)

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Pale-headed Snake 
SynonymAlecto bitorquata JAN 1859: 128
Hoplocephalus sulcans DE VIS 1884: 138
Hoplocephalus waitii OGILBY 1894: 261
Denisonia angulata DE VIS 1905: 51
Denisonia revelata DE VIS 1911: 22
Hoplocephalus bitorquatus — COGGER 1983: 227
Hoplocephalus bitorquatus — WELCH 1994: 65
Hoplocephalus bitorquatus — COGGER 2000: 657
Hoplocephalus bitorquatus — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Hoplocephalus bitorquatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 336
Hoplocephalus bitorquatus — MIRTSCHIN et al. 2017 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Queensland)

Type locality: Australia (type info erroneously cites Sydney, N. S. W. as type locality.  
TypesHolotype: SMF 20533 (= 9349a in Boettger, 1893; Mertens, 1922)
Syntypes: lost (presumed), from Mitchell district, Qld. [Hoplocephalus sulcans]
Holotype: AM 6590, from unknown locality [Hoplocephalus waitii].
Holotype: QM J194, from Qld. [Denisonia angulata].
Holotype: QM J2957, from Stannary Hills, Qld. [Denisonia revelata]. 
CommentSynonymy after COGGER 1983.


Habitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyPresumably named after the Latin bis (two) plus torquatus (collared), relating to the head pattern. (G. Shea, pers. comm., 9 Feb 2024) 
  • 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.
  • Covacevich, J. 1968. The Snakes of Brisbane. Brisbane: Queensland Museum 27 pp.
  • De Vis, C. W. 1884. Descriptions of a new snake with a synopsis of the genus Hoplocephalus. Proc. Roy. Soc. Queensland 1: 138-140 - get paper here
  • De Vis, C. W. 1911. Description of snakes apparently new. Ann. Qd Mus. 10: 22-25
  • de Vis, Charles Walter de 1905. A new genus of lizard. On Typhlops torresianus. Ann. Queensland Museum (Brisbane) 6: 48 - get paper here
  • de Vis, Charles Walter de 1905. A new genus of lizard. Ann. Queensland Museum (Brisbane) 6: 46-52
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Jan, G. 1859. Plan d'une iconographie descriptive des ophidiens et description sommaire de nouvelles espèces de serpents. Rev. Mag. Zool., Paris (2) (11-12): 122-130 - get paper here
  • Mirtschin, P., Rasmussen, A.R. & Weinstein, S.A. 2017. Australia’s Dangerous snakes. CSIRO Publishing, 424 pp. - get paper here
  • Murphy, Michael J. and Jessica K. Murphy 2015. Survey of the reptiles and amphibians of Merriwindi State Conservation Area in the Pilliga forest of northern inland New South Wales. Australian Zoologist: 37 (4): 517-528 - get paper here
  • Ogilby, J. D. 1894. Description of a new Australian snake. Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 9: 261-262 - get paper here
  • Shelton, M. B., & Goldingay, R. L. 2021. Comparative survey techniques for a cryptic Australian snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus). Australian Journal of Zoology - get paper here
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • 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.
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