You are here » home advanced search search results Pseudonaja nuchalis

Pseudonaja nuchalis GÜNTHER, 1858

Can you confirm these amateur observations of Pseudonaja nuchalis?

Add your own observation of
Pseudonaja nuchalis »

Find more photos by Google images search: Google images

Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Northern Brown Snake, Gwardar 
SynonymPseudonaja nuchalis GÜNTHER 1858: 227
Pseudelaps bancrofti DE VIS 1911: 25
Demansia nuchalis — FRY 1914: 195
Diemenia nuchalis — STERNFELD 1925: 226
Demansia acutirostris MITCHELL 1951
Pseudonaja nuchalis — COGGER 1983: 233
Pseudonaja nuchalis — WELCH 1994: 105
Pseudonaja imperitor WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985
Pseudonaja jukesi WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985
Pseudonaja vanderstraateni WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985
Pseudonaja nuchalis — COGGER 2000: 672
Pseudonaja acutirostris — WELLS 2002
Pseudonaja imperitor — WELLS 2002
Pseudonaja nuchalis — WELLS 2002
Pseudonaja nuchalis — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Pseudonaja nuchalis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 605
Pseudonaja nuchalis — MIRTSCHIN et al. 2017 
DistributionAustralia (Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia)

Type locality: Port Essington  
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1946.1.20.41 (Port Essington). Designation by Wells & Wellington (1985).
Holotype: NMV D12352, from unstated locality; Vic. by implication, restricted to junction of Murray and Darling Rivera by Coventry (1970) [Diemenia aspidorhyncha]
Holotype: QM J190, from Carl Creek, Norman River, Qld. [Brachysoma sutherlandi]
Holotype: QM J187, from Stannary Hills, Qld. [Pseudelaps bancrofti]
Holotype: QM J1508, from Cane Grass Station, via Charleville, Qld. [Diemenia carinata]
Holotype: SAMA R3133, from island in Lake Eyre, 28° 26'S, 137° 24'E~. S. A. [Demansia acutirostris] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis in SKINNER 2009. 
CommentType species: Pseudonaja nuchalis GÜNTHER 1858 is the type species of the genus Pseudonaja GÜNTHER 1858.

Synonymy: Kaiser et al. 2013 considered the generic names Dugitophis Wells 2002, Notopseudonaja Wells 2002, Placidaserpens Wells 2002 invalid and rejected their use instead of Pseudonaja.

The name Pseudonaja nuchalis is currently applied to a complex group of populations which almost certainly comprise a number of distinct species. The species described by WELLS & WELLINGTON (1985, 2002) are likely synonyms of P. nuchalis. However, clarification of their specific status requires more detailed analysis. For P. gowi no particular type specimen has been defined. The availability of its name under the provisions of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature is questionable (W. WÜSTER, pers. comm.). Diemenia aspidorhyncha MCCOY 1879 and Pseudonaja mengdeni WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985 have been removed from the synonymy of P. nuchalis by SKINNER 2009. Other synonymy and types after COGGER 1983.

Distribution: not in NSW. Most NSW populations formerly ascribed to nuchalis are P. aspidorhyncha, with a small number of records of P. mengdeni (G. Shea, pers. comm., 5 March 2021).

EtymologyThe genus was named after Greek pseudos (= false) + genus Naja, presumably simply from the broad similarity of the type species (P. nuchalis) to that genus (‘typical’ cobras). 
  • Banks, C. 1981. Notes on seasonal colour change in a western brown snake. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 13: 29-30
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Bush, B. 1981. Reptiles of the Kalgoorlie-Esperance Region. B. Bush, Perth, 46 pp - get paper here
  • Bush, B. & Maryan, B. 2006. Snakes and Snake-like Reptiles of Southern Western Australia. Snakes Harmful & Harmless, Stoneville, Perth, Western Australia, 40 pp. - get paper here
  • Bush, Brian 1989. Polymorphism in captive bred siblings of the snake, Pseudonaja nuchalis. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 19 (2): 28-32 - get paper here
  • Bush, Brian 1989. Ontogenetic colour change in the Gwardar, Pseudonaja nuchalis. West. Aust. Nat. 18 (2): 25. - get paper here
  • 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.
  • Coventry, A. J. 1970. Reptile and amphibian type specimens housed in the National Museum of Victoria. Mem. Natl. Mus. Vic. 31: 115-124. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Fearn, S.; Sambono, J. 2000. Records of the Western brown snake Pseudonaja nuchalis (Serpentes: Elapidae) fromTownsville, North East Queensland. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 30 (2): 50
  • Fry, D. B. 1914. On a collection of reptiles and batrachians from Western Australia. Rec. West. Austral. Mus. 1:174-210 - get paper here
  • Gillam, M. W. 1979. The genus Pseudonaja (Serpentes : Elapidae) in the Northern Territory. Territory Parks Wildl. Commn. Res. Bull. 1: 1-28
  • Günther, A. 1858. Catalogue of Colubrine snakes of the British Museum. London, I - XVI, 1 - 281 - get paper here
  • Hutchinson M N 1990. The generic classification of the Australian terrestrial elapid snakes. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 29 (3): 397-405 - 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
  • Kinghorn, J. Roy 1924. Reptiles and batrachians from south and south-west Australia. Rec. Austral. Mus. 14 (3): 163-183 - get paper here
  • Longman, H. A. 1915. Reptiles from Queensland and the Northern Territory. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 3: 30-34. - get paper here
  • McCoy, F. 1879. Diemenia superciliosa (Fischer) The common brown snake; Diemenia microlepidota (McCoy) Small-scaled brown snake, Diemenia aspidorhyncha (McCoy) The shield-fronted brown snake. [...] Prod. Zool. Vict. 3: 11-13. - get paper here
  • Mirtschin, P., Rasmussen, A.R. & Weinstein, S.A. 2017. Australia’s Dangerous snakes. CSIRO Publishing, 424 pp. - get paper here
  • Mitchell, F. J. 1951. The South Australian Reptile Fauna. Part. 1. Ophidia. Rec. South Austral. Mus. 9: 545—557. - get paper here
  • Orange, Paul 1992. Colour Morphs in Pseudonaja nuchalis (Serpentes: Elapidae) - Variation on a Theme? Herpetofauna (Sydney) 22 (1): 22
  • Parkin, T., Jolly, C. J., de Laive, A., & von Takach, B. 2020. Snakes on an urban plain: Temporal patterns of snake activity and human–snake conflict in Darwin, Australia. Austral Ecology - get paper here
  • Shine, Richard; Claire Goiran, Catherine Shilton, Shai Meiri, Gregory P Brown 2019. The life aquatic: an association between habitat type and skin thickness in snakes. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, blz136 - get paper here
  • Skinner, Adam 2009. A multivariate morphometric analysis and systematic review of Pseudonaja (Serpentes, Elapidae, Hydrophiinae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 155 (1): 171-197 - get paper here
  • Skinner, Adam; Stephen C. Donnellan; Mark N. Hutchinson and Rhonda G. Hutchinson 2005. A phylogenetic analysis of Pseudonaja (Hydrophiinae, Elapidae, Serpentes) based on mitochondrial DNA sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Volume 37 (2): 558-571 - get paper here
  • Somaweera, R. 2009. Snakes of Darwin. Poster, University of Sydney
  • Sternfeld, R. 1925. Beiträge zur Herpetologie Inner-Australiens. Abhandlungen Herausgegeben von der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft, 38: 221—251
  • 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, Richard W. 2002. Taxonomy of the Genus Pseudonaja (Reptilia: Elapidae) in Australia. Australian Biodiversity Record (7): 1-41
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
External links  
Is it interesting? Share with others:

As link to this species use URL address:

without field 'search_param'. Field 'search_param' is used for browsing search result.

Please submit feedback about this entry to the curator