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Pseudechis porphyriacus (SHAW, 1794)

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesE: Red-bellied Black Snake, Australian black snake
G: Rotbäuchige Schwarzotter 
SynonymColuber porphyriacus SHAW 1794: 27
Trimeresurus leptocephalus LACÉPÈDE 1804: 209
Acanthophis tortor LESSON 1830
Naja porphyrica SCHLEGEL 1837: 479 (in error pro Coluber porphyriacus)
Trimeresurus porphyreus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 1247
Pseudechis porphyraicus [sic] MCCOY 1867 (in error pro Coluber porphyriacus)
Pseudechys porphyriacus — MCCOY 1878
Pseudechis porphyriacus — COGGER 1983
Pseudechis porphyriacus — WELCH 1994: 103
Pseudechis porphyriacus — COGGER 2000: 668
Pseudechis porphyriacus eipperi HOSER 2003
Pseudechis porphyriacus rentoni HOSER 2003
Pseudechis porphyriacus — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Pseudechis porphyriacus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 597 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria)  
TypesSyntypes: presumed lost, from unspecified locality.
Lectotype: (only syntype located), RMNH unnumbered, from Australia, designated by Cogger 1983 [Trimeresurus leptocephalus].
Syntypes: not found, from Australasia (Port Jackson, N. S. W. and New South Wales) [Acanthophis tortor]. 
CommentSynonymy after COGGER 1983.

Synonymy: P. p. eipperi and rentoni are probably synonyms of the nominate form, P. porphyriacus (W. WÜSTER, pers. comm., 15 Dec 2010).


Type species: Coluber porphyriacus SHAW 1794: 27 is the type species of the genus Pseudechis WAGLER 1830.

Distribution: see map of localities in MADDOCK et al. 2016. 
  • Blackburn, D.G. 1994. Standardized criteria for the recognition of embryonic nutritional patterns in squamate reptiles. Copeia 1994 (4): 925-935 - get paper here
  • Blackburn, Daniel G. 1999. Are Viviparity and Egg-guarding Evolutionarily Labile in Squamates?. Herpetologica 55 (4): 556-573 - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp.
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • 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
  • Hoser, R. 2003. A re-assessment of the taxonomy of the red-bellied black snakes (Pseudechis) with the description of two new subspecies. Boydii, unnumbered: 15-18 - get paper here
  • Kaiser, H.; Crother, B.I.; Kelly, C.M.R.; Luiselli, L.; O’Shea, M.; Ota, H.; Passos, P.; Schleip, W.D. & Wüster, W. 2013. Best Practices: In the 21st Century, Taxonomic Decisions in Herpetology are Acceptable Only When Supported by a Body of Evidence and Published via Peer-Review. Herpetological Review 44 (1): 8-23
  • Kay, G.M.; D. Michael; M. Crane; S. Okada; C. MacGregor; D. Florance; D. Trengove; L. McBurney; D. Blair; D.B. Lindenmayer. 2013. A list of reptiles and amphibians from Box Gum Grassy Woodlands in south-eastern Australia. Check List 9 (3):476-481 - get paper here
  • LaCépède, B. G. E. L. 1804. Mémoire sur plusieurs animaux de la Nouvelle- Hollande dont la description n’a pas encore été publiée. Annales du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, 4:184-211 - get paper here
  • Lesson, R.P. 1830. Description de quelques reptiles nouveaux ou peu connus. In: M.L.I. Duperrey, Voyage Autour du Monde Execute par Ordre du Roi, sur la Corvette de La Majeste, La Coquille, exécuté Pendant les Annees 1822, 1823, 1824 et 1825. 2. Zoologie 2 (1). Arthur Bertrand, Paris: 1-65 - get paper here
  • Longman, H. A. 1915. Reptiles from Queensland and the Northern Territory. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 3: 30-34.
  • Maddock, Simon T.;Aaron Childerstone, Bryan Grieg Fry, David J. Williams , Axel Barlow, Wolfgang Wüster 2016. Multi-locus phylogeny and species delimitation of Australo-Papuan blacksnakes (Pseudechis Wagler, 1830: Elapidae: Serpentes) Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 107: 48-55 [2017, but published online 2016] - get paper here
  • McCoy, F. 1867. On the recent zoology and palaeontology of Victoria. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 20: 175-202 - get paper here
  • McCoy, F. 1878. Pseudechys porphyriacus (SHAW SP.). The Black Snake. Hoplocephalus superbus (Günth.) The Copper-head snake [... etc...] Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria 1: 5- - get paper here
  • Michael, D.R.; D.B. Lindenmayer; M. Crane; C. MacGregor; R. Montague-Drake; L. McBurney. 2011. Reptilia, Murray catchment, New South Wales, southeastern Australia. Check List 7 (1):25-29 - get paper here
  • Mo, Matthew 2015. Herpetofaunal community of the constructed Lime Kiln Bay Wetland, south Sydney, New South Wales. Victorian Naturalist 132 (3): 64-72 - get paper here
  • Murphy, Michael J. 1994. Reptiles and amphibians of Seven Mile Beach National park, NSW. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 24 (2): 24-30
  • Phillips, Ben L and Richard Shine 2006. An invasive species induces rapid adaptive change in a native predator: cane toads and black snakes in Australia. Proc. R. Soc. B 273 (1593): 1545-1550, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2006.3479 - 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
  • Shaw,G. 1794. The Zoology of New Holland. London, 33 pp. - get paper here
  • Shine, R. 1977. Habitats, diets, and sympatry in snakes: a study from Australia. Can. J. Zool. 55: 1118-1128
  • Shine, Richard; Grigg, Gordon;Shine, Terri G.;Harlow, Peter 1981. Mating and male combat in Australian blacksnakes, Pseudechis porphyriacus. Journal of Herpetology 15 (1): 101-107 - get paper here
  • Simpson, KNG 1973. AMPHIBIANS, REPTILES AND MAMMALS OF THE MURRAY RIVER region between Mildura and Renmark, Australia. Mem. Nat. Mus. Vict. 34: 275-279 - 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.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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