You are here » home advanced search Gonyosoma prasinum

Gonyosoma prasinum (BLYTH, 1855)

Can you confirm these amateur observations of Gonyosoma prasinum?

Add your own observation of
Gonyosoma prasinum »

Find more photos by Google images search: Google images

Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Green Trinket Snake, Green Bush Rat Snake, Green Ratsnake
G: Grüne Strauchnatter, Grüne Spitzkopfnatter
Chinese: 绿锦蛇 
SynonymColuber prasinus BLYTH 1855: 291
Gonyosoma gramineum GÜNTHER 1864 (fide SMITH 1943)
Coluber prasinus — BOULENGER 1894: 59
Elaphe prasina — SMITH 1930
Elaphe prasina — SMITH 1943
Elaphe prasina — TWEEDIE 1950
Elaphe prasina — GRANDISON 1978: 288
Gonyosoma prasina — DOWLING & JENNER 1988
Elaphe prasina — SCHULZ 1996: 201
Gonyosoma prasina — DAS 1997
Elaphe prasina — MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997: 344
Elaphe prasina — COX et al. 1998: 53
Gonyosoma prasinum — DAVID et al. 2004
Gonyosoma prasinum — UTIGER et al. 2005
Elaphe prasina — ZHAO 2006
Gonyosoma prasinum — ZIEGLER et al. 2007
Elaphe prasina — DAS & YAAKOB 2007
Rhadinophis prasina — BURBRINK 2007
Elaphe prasina — STUART & HEATWOLE 2008
Gonyosoma prasinum — NGUYEN et al. 2009
Rhadinophis prasinus — SCHULZ 2011
Rhadinophis prasina — ZAHER et al. 2012
Rhadinophis prasinus — DAS 2012
Rhynchophis prasinus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 655
Gonyosoma prasinum — CHEN et al. 2014
Gonyosoma prasina — CHAN-ARD et al. 2015: 168
Gonyosoma prasinus — FELDMAN et al. 2015
Gonyosoma prasinum — BOUNDY 2020 
DistributionIndia (Darjeeling, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh [A. Captain, pers. comm.], Mizoram, Nagaland), NW Myanmar (= Burma), W Malaysia

Type locality: “Asám” [= Assam, India, but could be any part of north-eastern India]

gramineum: Type locality: “probably from Khasya” [= Khasi Hills, Meghalaya]  
TypesSyntypes: ZSI 7669 and ZSI 7671

Lectotype: BMNH 1946.1.10.22 (formerly IMC 7670 & BMNH 1860.3.19.1155), longest syntype 940 mm (W. Robinson), designated by Cox et al. (2013: 221), fide Wallach et al. 2014: 655. This is in error; this specimen does not belong to the original series of syntypes of Coluber prasinus but is the holotype of Gonyosoma gramineum (fide David et al. 2022).

Holotype: NHMUK 1946.1.10.22 (probably male) [gramineum] 
DiagnosisDescription (holotype, ZSI 7669, female): Body elongate, distinctly laterally compressed; head elongate, triangular, slightly narrowed anteriorly, rather thick posteriorly, flattened anteriorly, moderately distinct from the relatively thick neck; snout long, rather flattened, rounded from dorsal view, truncated from lateral view, not projecting beyond the lower jaw, 2.15 times as long as the horizontal eye diameter; no canthus rostralis; nostril lateral, large, vertically ovoid, piercing the upper posterior edge of the prenasal; eye large, its diameter about 1.6 times greater than the distance between its lower edge and the lower margin of the lip, with a round pupil; tail long, slender, cylindrical, tapering and prehensile.
Measurements.—SVL: 627 mm; TaL: 222 mm; TL: 849 mm; ratio TaL/TL: 0.261.
Head. HL: 24.5 mm; HW: 12.4 mm; SnL: 8.4 mm; DE-h: 3.9 mm; DE-v: 3.7 mm; DE-Lip: 2.5 mm; InNar-D: 5.4 mm; InOrb-D: 9.2 mm.
Body scalation. Dorsal scales in 21–19–15 rows, feebly keeled on 4th upper rows of each side plus the vertebral row, scales of the 1st–5th DSR smooth; scales of 1st DSR only barely enlarged; 203 ventral plates, distinctly angulate with a strong lateral keel; 107 subcaudal scales, all paired, angulate and laterally keeled; cloacal plate entire.
Head scalation. Arrangement of upper head scales complete, including 2 internasals, 2 prefrontals, 2 supraoculars, 1 frontal, and 2 parietals. Rostral well developed, wider than high, visible from above but barely separating internasals; a large nasal on each side, rectangular, much elongate, divided in its middle by the large nostril and a suture below the nostril, both parts pentagonal; internasals short but wide, more or less pentagonal, distinctly wider than long, in contact with each other along a long suture; prefrontals large, hexagonal, bent ventrolaterally and going low downward on the side of the snout, in contact with the loreal, about twice longer than internasals; one supraocular on each side, entire, subtriangular, broad, widening posteriorly, twice longer than wide and much narrower than the frontal; frontal bell-shaped, its round apex pointing backward, large but squat, slightly longer than wide, about 1.9 times longer than prefrontals; parietals large, long and wide and distinctly longer than frontal; 1/1 loreal scale, small, subrectangular, much elongate; 9/9 SL, 1st–4th SL tall, 1st–2nd in contact with the nasal, 2nd–3rd in contact with the loreal, 4th–6th entering orbit, 8th SL largest; 1/1 preocular, large, longer than high, reaching the upper head surface and touching the frontal as a wedge between the supraocular and the prefrontal; 2/2 small postoculars; 2+2 / 2+2 temporals; 10/10 IL, first pair in contact behind the mental, 1st–5th IL in contact with anterior chin shields, 6th IL largest; mental triangular, small; anterior chin shields shorter than posterior chin shields.
Coloration and pattern. The dorsum and sides of the body are uniform bluish-brown, somewhat paler on the lower sides on 1st and 2nd DSR. The tail is uniform bluish-brown as is the body.
The head is uniform deep greenish-blue above; rostral and region of the nasal and loreal paler, more yellowish-green; anterior supralabials pale greenish-blue, paler than the crown; other supralabials behind the level of the eye are pale bluish-green; temporal area ultramarine-blue. The chin and throat are pale greenish-yellow. The iris is greenish-grey; the pupil is black.
The venter is pale greenish-yellow anteriorly, more pale green posteriorly, darker bluish-green on the outer parts of ventral plates; keels of ventrals cream, forming on each side of the venter a pale line extending from the neck to the vent. The ventral surface of the tail is as the venter anteriorly quickly turning to dark reddish-brown. See also (Fig. 2A–e), David et al. 2022.

For a description of the Holotype of Gonyosoma gramineum see David et al. 2022: 181. 
CommentDistribution: Possibly in Bhutan (Lenz 2012). Erroneously reported for the Andaman Islands (DAS 1999). Populations from N Thailand, West Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, China (Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Hainan) are now considered to be G. coeruleum (David et al. 2022). “Probably” in Nepal, e.g. fide Schleich & Kästle (2002) but without specific records (David et al. 2022).

Synonymy: mostly following SMITH 1943 and David et al. 2022.

Behavior: diurnal.

Nomenclature: Rhadinophis is male and thus the name has to be “prasinus”.

Habitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyNamed after Greek “prasinos” = green. 
  • Bhupathy, S., Ramesh Kumar, S., Paramanandham, J., Thirumalainathan, P. and Pranjit Kumar Sarma 2013. Conservation of reptiles in Nagaland, India. In: K. K. Singh et al. (editors), Bioresources and Traditional Knowledge of Northeast India, Mizo Post-Graduate Science Society, pp. 181-186
  • Blyth, EDWARD. 1855. Notices and descriptions of various reptiles, new or little known [part 2]. J. Asiatic Soc. Bengal, Calcutta, 23 (3): 287-302 [1854] - get paper here
  • Boilstone, Mark 1993. The colubrid snakes of Laos. Litteratura Serpentium 13 (3): 74-82
  • Boulenger, George A. 1894. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume II., Containing the Conclusion of the Colubridæ Aglyphæ. British Mus. (Nat. Hist.), London, xi, 382 pp. - get paper here
  • Brachtel, N. 1995. Das Portrait: Elaphe prasina (Blyth). Sauria 17 (1): 1-2 - get paper here
  • Burbrink, Frank T. and Robin Lawson 2007. How and when did Old World ratsnakes disperse into the New World? Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 43 (1): 173-189 - get paper here
  • Chan-ard, T., Parr, J.W.K. & Nabhitabhata, J. 2015. A field guide to the reptiles of Thailand. Oxford University Press, NY, 352 pp. [see book reviews by Pauwels & Grismer 2015 and Hikida 2015 for corrections] - get paper here
  • Chan-ard,T.; Grossmann,W.; Gumprecht,A. & Schulz,K. D. 1999. Amphibians and reptiles of peninsular Malaysia and Thailand - an illustrated checklist [bilingual English and German]. Bushmaster Publications, Würselen, Gemany, 240 pp. [book review in Russ. J Herp. 7: 87] - get paper here
  • Chen, Xin; Alexander d. Mckelvy, L. Lee Grismer, Masafumi Matsui, Kanto Nishikawa, Frank T. Burbrink 2014. The phylogenetic position and taxonomic status of the Rainbow Tree Snake Gonyophis margaritatus (Peters, 1871) (Squamata: Colubridae). Zootaxa 3881 (6): 532–548 - get paper here
  • Cox, Merel J.; Van Dijk, Peter Paul; Jarujin Nabhitabhata & Thirakhupt,Kumthorn 1998. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Ralph Curtis Publishing, 144 pp.
  • Das, I. 1999. Biogeography of the amphibians and reptiles of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. In: Ota,H. (ed) Tropical Island herpetofauna..., Elsevier, pp. 43-77
  • Das, I. 2012. A Naturalist's Guide to the Snakes of South-East Asia: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. Oxford J, ohn Beaufoy Publishing - get paper here
  • DAVID, Patrick; MEREL J. COX, OLIVIER S. G. PAUWELS, LAWAN CHANHOME AND KUMTHORN THIRAKHUPT 2004. Book Review - When a bookreview is not sufficient to say all: an in-depth analysis of a recent book on the snakes of Thailand, with an updated checklist of the snakes of the Kingdom. The Natural History Journal of Chulalongkorn University 4(1): 47-80 - get paper here
  • DAVID, PATRICK; PATRICK D. CAMPBELL, KAUSHIK DEUTI, SJON HAUSER, VINH QUANG LUU, TRUONG QUANG NGUYEN, NIKOLAI ORLOV, OLIVIER S. G. PAUWELS, LAU- REN SCHEINBERG, PRIYADARSI GIRIJA SANKAR SETHY0, TON SMITS, ALEXANDRE TEYNIÉ & GERNOT VOGEL 2022. On the distribution of Gonyosoma prasinum (Blyth, 1854) and Gonyosoma coeruleum Liu, Hou, Ye Htet Lwin, Wang & Rao, 2021, with a note on the status of Gonyosoma gramineum Günther, 1864 (Squamata: Serpentes: Colubridae). Zootaxa 5154 (2): 175–197 - get paper here
  • Dowling, H.G., & Jenner, J.V. 1988. Snakes of Burma: checklist of reported species and bibliography. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (76): 19 pp. - get paper here
  • Grandison, A. G. C. 1978. Snakes of West Malaysia and Singapore. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien 81 [1977]: 283-303 - get paper here
  • Grossmann, W. 2002. Elaphe prasina (BLYTH). Sauria (Suppl.) 24 (3): 573-576 - get paper here
  • GUMPRECHT, A. 2006. Kurzmitteilung: Gonyosoma prasinum, Grüne Strauchnatter. Sauria 28 (1): 53 - get paper here
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Hecht, Vera L.; Cuong T. Pham, Tao T. Nguyen, Truong Q. Nguyen, Michael Bonkowski & Thomas Ziegler 2013. First report on the herpetofauna of Tay Yen Tu Nature Reserve, northeastern Vietnam. Biodiversity Journal 4 (4): 507–552
  • Lalremsanga, H.T.; Saipari Sailo and Chinliansiama 2011. Diversity of Snakes (Reptilia: Squamata) and Role of Environmental Factors in Their Distribution in Mizoram, Northeast India. Advances in Environmental Chemistry - get paper here
  • Le, Dzung Trung; Anh Ngoc Dao, Dat Thang Pham, Thomas Ziegler, and Truong Quang Nguyen 2018. New records and an updated list of snakes from Yen Bai Province, Vietnam. Herpetology Notes 11: 101-108 - get paper here
  • Lenz, Norbert 2012. Von Schmetterlingen und Donnerdrachen - Natur und Kultur in Bhutan. Karlsruher Naturhefte 4, Naturkundemuseum Karlsruhe, 124 pp.
  • Liu S, Hou M, Lwin YH, Wang Q, Rao D 2021. A new species of Gonyosoma Wagler, 1828 (Serpentes, Colubridae), previously confused with G. prasinum (Blyth, 1854). Evolutionary Systematics 5(1): 129-139 - get paper here
  • Luu, V. Q., Dinh, T. S., Lo, O. V., Nguyen, T. Q. and Ziegler, T. 2020. New records and an updated list of reptiles from Ba Vi National Park, Vietnam. Bonn Zoological Bulletin 69: 1-9.
  • Manthey, U. & Grossmann, W. 1997. Amphibien & Reptilien Südostasiens. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 512 pp. - get paper here
  • Nguyen TV, Brakels P, Maury N, Sudavanh S, Pawangkhanant P, Idiiatullina S, Lorphengsy S, Inkhavilay K, Suwannapoom C, Poyarkov NA. 2020. New herpetofaunal observations from Laos based on photo records. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 14(2) [General Section]: 218–249 (e248) - get paper here
  • Nguyen, S.V., Ho, C.T. and Nguyen, T.Q. 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 768 pp.
  • Pauwels, O.S.G.; Dorz, B. & Vogel, G. 2006. Elaphe prasina (BLYTH 1854) in Thailand. Elaphe 14 (4): 62 - get paper here
  • Pham AV, Ziegler T, Nguyen TQ 2020. New records and an updated checklist of snakes from Son La Province, Vietnam. Biodiversity Data Journal 8: e52779 - get paper here
  • Pham, Anh Van; Son Lan Hung Nguyen, Truong Quang Nguyen 2014. New records of snakes (Squamata: Serpentes) from Son La Province, Vietnam. Herpetology Notes 7: 771-777 - get paper here
  • Purkayastha J. 2013. An Amateur’s Guide to Reptiles of Assam. EBH Publishers (India) - get paper here
  • Schulz, K. D. 1996. Eine Monographie der Schlangengattung Elaphe Fitzinger. Bushmaster, Berg (CH): 1-460
  • Schulz, K.D. & Grossmann, W. 2000. Pflege und Zucht von Elaphe prasina (BLYTH 1854). Sauria 22 (2): 31-36 - get paper here
  • SCHULZ, Klaus-Dieter 1991. Die hinterasiatischen Kletternattem der Gattung Elaphe Teil XX Elaphe prasina (BLYTH 1854) und Elaphe frenata (GRAY 1853). Sauria 13 (2): 15-17 - get paper here
  • Schulz, Klaus-Dieter 1996. A monograph of the colubrid snakes of the genus Elaphe Fitzinger. Koeltz Scientific Books, 439 pp.
  • Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 pp.
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • Stuart, B.L. & Heatwole, H. 2008. Country records of snakes from Laos. Hamadryad 33: 97–106 - get paper here
  • Syafiq MF, Badli-Sham BH, Grismer LL, Ahmad AB 2023. Uneven species occurrence and richness of lowland snakes (Serpentes, Squamata) in Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia, with new locality records. ZooKeys 1168: 11–39
  • Tweedie, M.W.F. 1950. Notes on Malayan reptiles, No.2. Bull. Raffles Mus. No 23: 191-199
  • Tweedie,M.W.F. 1940. Notes on Malayan reptiles. Bull. Raffles Mus., Singapore 16: 83-87
  • Utiger, U.; Schatti, B. & Helfenberger, N. 2005. The oriental colubrine genus Coelognathus FITZINGER, 1843 and classification of old and new world racers and ratsnakes (Reptilia, Squamata, Colubridae, Colubrinae). Russ. J. Herpetol. 12 (1): 39-60 - get paper here
  • Utiger, Urs, Notker Helfenberger, Beat Schätti, Catherine Schmidt, Markus Ruf and Vincent Ziswiler 2002. Molecular systematics and phylogeny of Old World and New World ratsnakes, Elaphe Auct., and related genera (Reptilia, Squamata, Colubridae). Russ. J. Herpetol. 9 (2): 105-124. - 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.
  • Wang, Kai; Jinlong Ren, Hongman Chen, Zhitong Lyu, Xianguang Guo Ke Jiang, Jinmin Chen, Jiatang Li, Peng Guo, Yingyong Wang, Jing Che 2020. The updated checklists of amphibians and reptiles of China. Biodiversity Science 28 (2): 189-218 - get paper here
  • Whitaker, Romulus and Ashok Captain 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp., reprinted 2007 - get paper here
  • WU Guang-ju, WU Tong-he, ZHU Jie, XIAO Li 2002. A new record of snake in Sichuan - Elaphe prasina. Sichuan Journal of Zoology 21 (2)
  • Zaher, Hussam; feliPe g. graZZiotin, roberta graboski, ricardo g. fuentes Paola sáncheZ-martineZ giovanna g. montingelli ya-Ping Zhang, robert W. murPhy 2012. Phylogenetic relationships of the genus Sibynophis (Serpentes: Colubroidea). Pap. Avuls. Zool. 52 (12): 141-149 - get paper here
  • Zhao, E.M. 2006. The snakes of China [in Chinese]. Hefei, China, Anhui Sience & Technology Publ. House, Vol. I, 372 pp., Vol. II (color plates), 280 pp.
  • ZIEGLER, THOMAS; RALF HENDRIX, VU NGOC THANH, MARTINA VOGT, BERNHARD FORSTER & DANG NGOC KIEN 2007. The diversity of a snake community in a karst forest ecosystem in the central Truong Son, Vietnam, with an identification key. Zootaxa 1493: 1-40 - get paper here
External links  
Is it interesting? Share with others:

Please submit feedback about this entry to the curator