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Furina tristis (GÜNTHER, 1858)

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Brown-headed or grey-naped snake 
SynonymGlyphodon tristis GÜNTHER 1858: 211
Brachysoma triste — GÜNTHER 1863
Mainophis robusta MACLEAY 1877: 36
Denisonia fenestrata DE VIS 1905: 50
Glyphodon tristis — BARBOUR 1914
Furina tristis — STORR 1981
Glyphodon tristis — COGGER 1983: 226
Furina tristis — GOLAY et al. 1993: 138
Furina tristis — FRANK & RAMUS 1995: 245
Furina tristis — COGGER 2000: 653
Glyphodon tristis — SCANLON 2003
Glyphodon tristis — GREER 2006 (online)
Furina tristis — FERGUSON et al. 2012
Furina tristis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 298 
DistributionAustralia (Queensland, Cape York peninsula), Islands of Torres Strait,
Papua New Guinea (SE Irian Jaya)

Type locality: NE coast of Australia  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.18.99 (formerly,
Syntypes: AM R31896-7, from Mawatta, Binaturi River (as Katow), Papua New Guinea [Mainophis robusta].
Syntypes: QM J200, from Qld.; other syntype presumed lost [Denisonia fenestrata] 
CommentSynonymy mainly after COGGER 1983.


Type species: Glyphodon tristis GÜNTHER 1858: 211 is the type species of the genus Glyphodon GÜNTHER 1858: 210, now a synonym of Furina Duméril 1853. 
  • Barbour, T., 1914. On some Australasian reptiles. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 27: 201—206. - get paper here
  • Charlton, Tom & David Nixon 2020. Predation on the Common Blind Snake (Indotyphlops braminus; Daudin, 1803) by the Brown-headed Snake (Furina tristis; Günther, 1858) in Central Province, Papua New Guinea. Captive & Field Herpetology 4 (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.
  • de Vis, Charles Walter de 1905. A new genus of lizard. On Typhlops torresianus. Ann. Queensland Museum (Brisbane) 6: 48 - get paper here
  • de Vis, Charles Walter de 1905. A new genus of lizard. Ann. Queensland Museum (Brisbane) 6: 46-52
  • Ferguson, D., Mathieson, M. & Eyre, T. 2012. Southerly range extension of the poorly known, Queensland endemic yellow-napped snake Furina barnardi (squamata: elapidae) into the Mulga Lands. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 56 (1): 9-12 - get paper here
  • Golay,P, H.M. SMITH, D.G. BROADLEY, J. R. DIXON, C., MCCARTHY, J. C. RAGE, B. SCHÀTTI & M.TORIBA 1993. Endoglyphs and other major venomous snakes of the world. A checklist. [type catalogue] Aire-Genève, Azemiops S. A. Herpetological Data Center: i-xv + 1-478.
  • Günther, A. 1858. Catalogue of Colubrine snakes of the British Museum. London, I - XVI, 1 - 281
  • Lettoof, Damian and Daniel Natusch. 2015. Furina tristis (brown-headed snake) diet. Herpetological Review 46 (4): 644 - get paper here
  • Macleay, W. 1877. The ophidians of the Chevert Expedition. Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 2: 33-41 (given as 1878 on title page but published in 1877) - get paper here
  • O'Shea,M. 1996. A Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea. Independent Publishing, Port Moresby, xii + 239 pp. - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Scanlon, John D. 2003. The Australian Elapid genus Cacophis: Morphology and phylogeny of rainforest crowned snakes. The Herpetological Journal 13 (1):1-20 - get paper here
  • Shine R 1981. Ecology of Australian elapid snakes of the genera Furina and Glyphodon. Journal of Herpetology 15 (2): 219-224 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M. 1981. The genus Furina (Serpentes: Elapidae) in Western Australia. Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 9: 119-123 - 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.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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