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Lycophidion ornatum PARKER, 1936

IUCN Red List - Lycophidion ornatum - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Ornate Wolf Snake 
SynonymLycophidion ornatum PARKER 1936: 122
Lycophidion capense ornatum — LOVERIDGE 1942: 266
Lycophidion ornatum — BROADLEY & HUGHES 1993
Lycophidion ornatum — BROADLEY 1998
Lycophidion ornatum — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 25
Lycophidion ornatum — BROADLEY 1996
Lycophidion ornatum — CHIRIO & LEBRETON 2007
Lycophidion ornatum — WALLACH et al. 2014: 411
Lycophidion ornatum — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 401 
DistributionAngola, N/S/E Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), Congo (Brazzaville), Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, W Tanzania, Republic of South Sudan (RSS), Cameroon (Broadley 1992), Nigeria.

Type locality: Congulu, Angola.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1936.8.1.690 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Postnasal usually separated from first supralabial. Dorsal scales with single apical pits, in 17-17- 17 rows; ventrals 179-198 in males, 188-206 in females; subcaudals 41-52 in males, 34-46 in females (Broadley 1996: 16).

Coloration: Dark grey-brown stippled with white, except for two rows of dark dorsal
spots; a well-defined pale band round the snout bifurcates behind the eye, the lower branch terminating at the angulus oris (Broadley 1996: 16).

Skull short, without parietal crests (Broadley 1996: 16).

Size. Largest male (CAS 156707 - 30 km N of Bukavu. Kivu. Zaire) 280 + 55 = 335 mm; largest female (FMNH 35308- Idjwi Island. Kivu. Zaire) 395 + 66 = 461 mm (Broadley 1996: 16).

Diagnosis also in Laurent 1968: 471. 
CommentDistribution: Map: Laurent 1968: 482, Broadley 1996 
EtymologyThe Latin ornata, -us, = decorated" or "ornamented," refers to the ornate coloration. 
  • Broadley, D G 1992. The taxonomy and zoogeography of the genus Lycophidion (Serpentes: Colubridae). Journal of the Herpetological Association of Africa 40: 30-36 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D. G. & HOWELL, K. M. 1991. A check list of the reptiles of Tanzania, with synoptic keys. Syntarsus 1: 1—70
  • Broadley, D.G. 1996. A revision of the genus Lycophidion Fitzinger (Serpentes: Colubridae) in Africa south of the equator. Syntarsus 3: 1-33. - get paper here
  • 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. & Hughes,B. 1993. A review of the genus Lycophidion (Serpentes: Colubridae) in northeastern Africa. The Herpetological Journal 3 (1): 8-18 - 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
  • Chirio, L. & Lebreton, M. 2007. Atlas des reptiles du Cameroun. MNHN, IRD, Paris 688 pp.
  • Gower, D.; Garrett, K. & Stafford, P. 2012. Snakes. Firefly Books, Buffalo, NY,<br />144 p..
  • Hughes, Daniel F., Eli Greenbaum and Mathias Behangana. 2016. Lycophidion ornatum (Ornate Wolf Snake) Diet and feeding behavior. Herpetological Review 47 (1): 147-148 - get paper here
  • Laurent, R.F. 1968. A re-examination of the snake genus Lycophidion Duméril & Bibron. Bull. Mus. comp. Zool. Harvard 136 (12): 461-482 - get paper here
  • Loveridge, A. 1942. Scientific results of a fourth expedition to forested areas in east and central Africa. IV. Reptiles. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 91: 237-373 - get paper here
  • 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)
  • Parker, H.W. 1936. Dr. Karl Jordan's expedition to South-West Africa and Angola: herpetological collections. Novitates Zoologicae 40: 115-146 - get paper here
  • Pauwels, O. S., & Colyn, M. 2023. On a Diverse Collection of Snakes from Amadjabe, Left Bank of the Congo River, Northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society, 58(3), 34-47 - get paper here
  • Pitman,C.R.S. 1974. A guide to the snakes of Uganda. Codicote, Wheldon & Wesley, L., 290 pp.
  • Spawls, S.; Howell, K.; Drewes, R.C. & Ashe, J. 2002. A field guide to the reptiles of East Africa. Academic Press, 543 pp. [reviews in HR 34: 396 and Afr. J. Herp. 51; 147] - get paper here
  • Spawls, Steve; Kim Howell, Harald Hinkel, Michele Menegon 2018. Field Guide to East African Reptiles. Bloomsbury, 624 pp. - get paper here
  • Stephen Spawls; Tomáš Mazuch& Abubakr Mohammad 2023. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of North-east Africa. Bloomsbury, 640 pp. - get paper here
  • Trape, J.F. & R. ROUX-ESTÈVE 1995. Les serpents du Congo: liste commentée et clé de détermination. Journal of African Zoology 109 (1): 31-50
  • TRAPE, JEAN-FRANÇOIS & CELLOU BALDÉ 2014. A checklist of the snake fauna of Guinea, with taxonomic changes in the genera Philothamnus and Dipsadoboa (Colubridae) and a comparison with the snake fauna of some other West African countries. Zootaxa 3900 (3): 301–338 - 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.
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