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Lamprophis aurora (LINNAEUS, 1758)

IUCN Red List - Lamprophis aurora - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Lamprophiinae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesE: Aurora House Snake
G: Aurora-Hausschlange 
SynonymColuber Aurora LINNAEUS 1758: 219 (?)
Coluber aurora — SHAW 1802: 544
Natrix aurora — MERREM 1820: 97
Lycodon aurora BOIE 1827: 523
Coronella aurora — SCHLEGEL 1837: 75
Lamprophis aurora — FITZINGER 1843: 25
Lamprophis aurora — DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 431
Lamprophis aurora — BOULENGER 1893: 321
Lamprophis aurora — SCHMIDT & KUNZ 2005: 91
Lamprophis aurora — MATTISON 2007: 242
Lamprophis aurora — KELLY et al. 2011
Lamprophis aurora — WALLACH et al. 2014: 353 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (Cape Province north to Transvaal), Swaziland, E Botswana

Type locality: “America” (fide LINNAEUS 1758; in error) 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: NRM (= NHRM) (Stockholm) 
CommentSynonymy partly after DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854.

Type species: Coluber Aurora LINNAEUS 1758 is the type species of the genus Lamprophis. Note that KELLY et al. (2011) distinguish between Lamprophis (sensu strictu)

Diagnosis (genus, sensu strictissimo fide KELLY et al. 2011): Lamprophis: (sensu strictissimo) – revised diagnosis: An endemicsouthern African genus diagnosed by the following combinationof characters: body elongated to stocky, and tail moderate to short;head moderate to small and generally rounded, slightly to moderately broader than neck and distinct from it; eye small to moder-ate, with vertically elliptical pupil; midbody scale rows 19–25,vertebral row not enlarged; dorsal scales smooth, generally with-out apical pits (except in some aurora); ventrals 165–230, withoutlateral keel; subcaudals paired, 28–74; anal entire; maxilla with sixanterior teeth increasing in size to the 6th, followed (sometimesafter a short diastema) by 9–13 ungrooved teeth gradually decreas-ing in size posteriorly; hemipenis variable – unforked (guttatus) orshallowly forked, shaft nude or spinose, with or without basalspines; distally, 6–8 pinnate rows of ossified spines that may beslightly webbed and decrease in size towards organ apex; lobesencircled by 3–4 (fuscus) or 6–8 (aurora) rows of fine spines; sulcussemi-centrifugal, divided (Bogert, 1940; Broadley, 1990; Branch,1998). See Table 4 in KELLY et al. 2011 for additional data. 
  • 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.
  • Bates, M.F.; Douglas, R.M. 1993. Life History Notes - Lamprophis aurora. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa (42): 38-39 - get paper here
  • Boie, F. 1827. Bemerkungen über Merrem's Versuch eines Systems der Amphibien, 1. Lieferung: Ophidier. Isis van Oken 20: 508-566. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1887. Synopsis of the snakes of South Africa. The Zoologist, London, (3) 11: 171-182
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Branch W R 1984. The house snakes of southern Africa (genus Lamprophis). Litteratura Serpentium 4 (3-4): 106-120
  • 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
  • Fitzinger, L. 1843. Systema Reptilium, fasciculus primus, Amblyglossae. Braumüller et Seidel, Wien: 106 pp. - get paper here
  • Fitzsimons, V. 1966. A check-list, with syntopic keys, to the snakes of southern Africa. Annals of the Transvaal Museum 25 (3): 35-79 - get paper here
  • Hall, R.; Haagner, G.V. 1993. Life History Notes - Lamprophis aurora. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa (42): 38-38 - get paper here
  • Hermann R 1989. Lamprophis aurora (Linnaeus 1754), eine selten gehaltene Hausschlange. Sauria 11 (3): 25-30 - 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
  • Laita, Mark 2013. Serpentine. Abrams and PQ Blackwell, Auckland, New Zealand, 200 unnumbered pages
  • Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii, Holmiæ. 10th Edition: 824 pp. - get paper here
  • Mattison, Chris 2007. The New Encyclopedia of Snakes. Princeton University Press
  • Merrem, B. 1820. Versuch eines Systems der Amphibien I (Tentamen Systematis Amphibiorum). J. C. Kriegeri, Marburg, 191 pp.
  • Schiffers-Lange, Josef 1995. Erfolgreiche Nachzucht von Lamprophis aurora (Linnaeus 1754). Elaphe 3 (4): 18-21
  • 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
  • Schmidt, D. & Kunz, K. 2005. Ernährung von Schlangen. Natur und Tier Verlag, Münster, 159 pp. - get paper here
  • Shaw, G. 1802. General Zoology, or Systematic Natural History. Vol.3, part 2. G. Kearsley, Thomas Davison, London: 313-615 - get paper here
  • 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.
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