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Limnophis bicolor GÜNTHER, 1865

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Bicolored Swamp Snake 
SynonymLimnophis bicolor GÜNTHER 1865: 96
Limnophis bicolor — BOCAGE 1866: 47
Helicops bicolor — MONARD 1931: 102
Glypholycus bicolor — WITTE 1933: 86
Glypholycus bicolor — LAURENT 1947: 10
Limnophis bicolor — BROADLEY 1998
Limnophis bicolor — BROADLEY et al. 2003: 175
Limnophis bicolor — WALLACH et al. 2014: 384
Limnophis bicolor — CONRADIE et al. 2020 
DistributionSW Angola, S Zambia (Okavango and Zambezi drainage basins), E/S Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), elevation 1000 - 1800 m.  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.1.14.53-54 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): “Habit stout, cylindrical; form of the head as in Tropidonotus; tail rather short. Scales smooth, short, in nineteen rows; anal and subcaudals divided. A single anterior and two posterior frontals; loreal present. Maxillary teeth in an uninterrupted series, gradually increasing in size posteriorly, the last being distinctly larger than the preceding, and not grooved” (Günther 1865: 96; still valid fide W. Conradie, pers. comm. 12 July 2020). 
CommentSubspecies: Limnophis bicolor bangweolicus MERTENS 1936 has been elevated to full species status.

Type species: Limnophis bicolor GÜNTHER 1865 is the type species of the genus Limnophis GÜNTHER 1865. Previously the genus was considered as a member of the Colubrinae.

Habitat: Mostly associated with streams and lagoons in the higher plateaus of Angola, Zambia and DRC. Except for the two low-lying records with a degree of uncertainty (e.g. Bengo and Kinshasa), most of the known occurrences are at elevations between 1 000 and 1 800 m (Conradie et al. 2020).

Distribution: for a map of the genus see Deepak et al. 2021: Fig. 1.

Phylogenetics: for a phylogenetic analysis of Sub-saharan Natricine genera see Deepak et al. 2021. 
  • Auerbach, R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • Bocage,J.V. du B. 1866. Lista dos reptis das possessões portuguezas d'Africa occidental que existem no Museu Lisboa. Jorn. Sci. Math. Phys. Nat. Lisboa 1: 37-56 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D. G. 1974. The Striped Swamp Snake Limnophis bicolor - A New Snake for Rhodesia. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa (12): 8-8 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1991. The Herpetofauna of Northern Mwinilunga Distr., Northw. Zambia. Arnoldia Zimbabwe 9 (37): 519-538
  • 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
  • Chifundera, K. 1990. Snakes of Zaire and their bites. Afr. Stud. Monogr. (Kyoto) 10(3): 137-157.
  • Chippaux, Jean-Philippe & Kate Jackson 2019. Snakes of Central and Western Africa. Johns Hopkins University Press, 448 pp. [detaileld review in HR 51 (1): 161] - get paper here
  • Conradie W and Branch WR. 2016. The herpetofauna of the Cubango, Cuito, and lower Cuando river catchments of south-eastern Angola. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 10 (2) [Special Section]: 6–36 - get paper here
  • CONRADIE, WERNER; NINDA L. BAPTISTA, LUKE VERBURGT, CHAD KEATES, JAMES HARVEY, TIMOTEO JULIO & GOTZ NEEF. 2021. Contributions to the herpetofauna of the Angolan Okavango-Cuando-Zambezi river drainages. Part 1: Serpentes (snakes). Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 15(2): 244–278. - get paper here
  • Conradie, Werner; V Deepak , Chad Keates & David J Gower 2020. Kissing cousins: a review of the African genus Limnophis Günther, 1865 (Colubridae: Natricinae), with the description of a new species from north-eastern Angola. African Journal of Herpetology 69 (1): 79–107 - get paper here
  • Deepak, V, Simon T Maddock, Rhiannon Williams, Zoltán T Nagy, Werner Conradie, Sara Rocha, D James Harris, et al. 2021. Molecular Phylogenetics of Sub-Saharan African Natricine Snakes, and the Biogeographic Origins of the Seychelles Endemic Lycognathophis seychellensis. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 161: 107152 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1865. Fourth account of new Species of Snakes in the Collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 15: 89-98. - get paper here
  • Haagner,G.V.; Branch,W.R. & Haagner,A.J.F. 2000. Notes on a collection of reptiles from Zambia and adjacent areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Annals of the Eastern Cape Museum 1: 1 – 25
  • Laurent, R. 1947. Notes sur quelques reptiles appartenant a la collection du Musée Royal d'Histoire Naturelle de belgique. Bull. Mus. Hist. nat. Belg. 23 (16): 1-12
  • Marques, Mariana P.; Luis M. P. Ceríaco , David C. Blackburn , and Aaron M. Bauer 2018. Diversity and Distribution of the Amphibians and Terrestrial Reptiles of Angola -- Atlas of Historical and Bibliographic Records (1840–2017). Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (Ser. 4) 65: 1-501 (Supplement II)
  • Monard, ALBERT 1931. Mission scientifique Suisse dans l'Angola. Résultats scientifiques. Reptiles. Bull. Soc. Neuchâtel Sci. Nat., vol. 33, pp. 89-111. [1930] - get paper here
  • Pietersen, Darren, Verburgt, Luke & Davies, John 2021. Snakes and other reptiles of Zambia and Malawi. Struik Nature / Penguin Random House South Africa, 376 pp., ISBN 9781775847373
  • 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.
  • Witte, G. F. de 1933. Reptiles récoltés au Conge Belge par le Dr. H. Schouteden et par M. G.-F. Witte. Ann. Mus. Conge belge Zool. Ser. 1 Tome III: 53-100.
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