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Hoplocephalus bungaroides SCHLEGEL, 1837

IUCN Red List - Hoplocephalus bungaroides - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Broad-headed Snake
G: Breitkopfotter 
SynonymHoplocephalus bungaroides WAGLER 1830: 342 (nom. nud.)
Naja bungaroides SCHLEGEL 1837: 477 (non Naja bungaroides BOIE 1828)
Elapocormus Bungaroïdes — FITZINGER 1843: 28
Alecto variegata DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 1254
Alecto Bungaroïdes DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 1257
Hoplocephalus bungaroides — COGGER 1983: 227
Hoplocephalus bungaroides — WELCH 1994: 65
Hoplocephalus bungaroides — COGGER 2000: 658
Hoplocephalus bungaroides — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Hoplocephalus bungaroides — WALLACH et al. 2014: 336 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales)

Type locality: Port Jackson, N. S. W. (but see note below).  
TypesLectotype: MNHN-RA 7678 (Port Jackson), collected J. Quoy & P. Gaimard, designation by Wells & Wellington (1985). Syntypes: MNHN-RA 7678 (Port Jackson) and MNHN-RA 7679 (Indes? MNHN catalogue indicated Australia), from Port Jackson, N. S. W. and "Indes?", see Guibé & Roux-Estève (1972). Duméril, Bibron & Duméril (1854) cite "Nouvelle Hollande" and Australia as the locality for MNHP 7679. 
CommentSynonymy after COGGER 1983.


Type species: Naja bungaroides SCHLEGEL 1837: 477 is the type species of the genus Hoplocephalus WAGLER 1830. Wagler 1830 refers to Cuvier who seems to have used the name Hoplocephalus earlier.

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
  • Adams, D. 1973. Broad-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides). Herpetofauna (Sydney) 5: 19-22
  • 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.
  • Downes, S. 1999. Prey Odor Influences Retreat-site Selection by Naive Broadheaded Snakes (Hoplocephalus bungaroides) Journal of Herpetology 33 (1): 156-159. - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C., Bibron, G. & DUMÉRIL, A. H. A., 1854. Erpétologie générale ou histoire naturelle complète des reptiles. Tome septième. Deuxième partie, comprenant l'histoire des serpents venimeux. Paris, Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret: i-xii + 781-1536 - get paper here
  • Goldingay, R. L. 2017. Persistence of Australia's most threatened snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides) in Australia's oldest National Park. Journal of Zoology; DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12505 - get paper here
  • Goldingay, R. L. 2018. Persistence of Australia's most threatened snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides) in Australia's oldest National Park. Journal of Zoology 304 (3): 202–209 - get paper here
  • Guibé, J. & Roux-Estève, R. 1972. Les types de Schlegel (Ophidiens) présents dans les collections du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle de Paris. Zoologische Mededelingen 47: 129-134 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Hayes, D. 1973. Observation on distribution of the broad-headed snake Hoplocephalus bungaroides (Boie). Herpetofauna (Sydney) 6: 27-28
  • Hoser, Raymond 1995. The Australian broad-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides). Reptilian 3 (10): 15-27 - get paper here
  • Hoser, Raymond T. 1995. Hoplocephalus bungaroides, the broad-headed snake in captivity. Litteratura Serpentium 15 (3): 59-62 - get paper here
  • Hoser, Raymond T. 1995. The Australian broad-headed snake Hoplocephalus bungaroides in the wild. Litteratura Serpentium 15 (4): 92-99 - get paper here
  • Hosmer, W. 1952. The broadheaded snake Hoplocephalus bungaroides (Boie) also known as the fierce snake, and night snake. N. Qd. Nat 20: 14-16
  • Llewelyn, John, Jonathan K. Webb and Richard Shine. 2010. Flexible defense: context-dependent antipredator responses of two species of Australian elapid snakes. Herpetologica 66 (1): 1-11 - get paper here
  • Murphy, Michael J. 1996. A possible threat to the broad-headed snake Hoplocephalus bungaroides: degradation of habitat by the feral goat Capra hircus. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 26 (2): 37-38
  • Newell, D.A.; Goldingay, R.L. 2005. Distribution and habitat assessment of the broad-headed snake Hoplocephalus bungaroides. Australian Zoologist 33 (2): 168-179 - get paper here
  • Ormsby, A. I. 1947. Notes on the broad-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides). Proc. R. Zool. Soc. N. S. W. 1946-47: 19-21 - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Schlegel, H. 1837. Essai sur la physionomie des serpens. Partie Descriptive. La Haye (J. Kips, J. HZ. et W. P. van Stockum), 606 S. + xvi - get paper here
  • Shea, G. M. 2021. Dr. John Mair, Captain Collet Barker, and the discovery of the Australian Keelback, Tropidonophis mairii (Serpentes, Colubridae). Bibliotheca Herpetologica 15 (3): 18–28 - get paper here
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • Ukuwela, K.D.B., de Silva, A., Sivaruban, A. et al. 2022. Diversity, distribution, and natural history of the marine snakes of Sri Lanka. Marine Biodiversity 52, 24 (2022) - 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.
  • Wells, R. 1984. Literature: Remarks on the Prey Preferences of Hoplocephalus bungaroides. Litteratura Serpentium 4 (3/4)141 - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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