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Philothamnus natalensis (SMITH, 1848)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Natal Green Snake 
SynonymDendrophis (Philothamnus) natalensis SMITH 1848
Dendrophis (Philothamnus) albovariata SMITH 1848: 137
Ahaetulla irregularis var. natalensis — GÜNTHER 1858: 152
Ahaetulla natalensis — GÜNTHER 1863: 285
Dendrophis subcarinatus JAN 1869 (fide BOULENGER 1894 and WALLACH)
Chlorophis natalensis — BOULENGER 1894: 94
Philothamnus natalensis — BOCAGE 1882: 18
Chlorophis natalensis — GÜNTHER 1895: 528
Philothamnus natalensis natalensis — BOYCOTT 1992
Philothamnus natalensis natalensis — BROADLEY & BLAYLOCK 2013
Philothamnus natalensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 557
Philothamnus natalensis natalensis — BATES et al. 2014: 417
Philothamnus natalensis — ENGELBRECHT et al. 2018 
DistributionE Republic of South Africa (Eastern Cape etc.), Swaziland, KwaZulu-Natal, S Mozambique, SE Zimbabwe

Type locality: "Port Natal" [= Durban, Natal, South Africa]  
TypesHolotype: unlocated, an 820 mm specimen (A. Smith, 1831) 
CommentYear has been reported as “1848”.

Synonymy after BOULENGER 1894, LOVERIDGE 1958, and WALLACH (pers. comm.)

Habitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Bocage, J.V.B. de 1882. Notice sur les espèces du genre "Philothamnus" qui se trouvent au Muséum de Lisbonne. Jorn. Sci. Math. Phys. Nat. Lisboa 9 (33): 1-20 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Boycott, R.C. 1992. An Annotated Checklist of the Amphibians and Reptiles of Swaziland. The Conservation Trust of Swaziland - get paper here
  • Boycott, Richard C. 2015. Philothamnus natalensis occidentalis Broadley, 1966, Western Natal Green Snake, Reproduction. African Herp News (62): 23-25 - get paper here
  • Boycott, Richard C. and James Culverwell. 2015. Geographic Distribution. Philothamnus natalensis occidentalis Broadley, 1966, Western Natal Green Snake. African Herp News (62): 38-40 - get paper here
  • Branch, W. R. 1986. Venoms and Snakebites: Philothamnus natalensis: Venom. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa (32): 34-34 - get paper here
  • Branch, William R. 1993. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers, 144 S.
  • Branch, William R. & Hanekom, N. 1989. The herpetofauna of the Tsitsikamma Coastal and Forest National Parks. Koedoe (Pretoria), 30 (1987): 49-60. - get paper here
  • Broadley, D. & Blaylock 2013. The Snakes of Zimbabwe and Botswana. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 387 pp. [book review in Sauria 35 (2): 59 and Copeia 2014: 388] - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1966. A review of the Natal green snake, Philothamnus natalensis (A.Smith), with a description of a new subspecies. Ann. Natal Mus. 18 (2): 417-423.
  • Engelbrecht, H.M., Branch, W.R., Greenbaum, E., Alexander, G.J., Jackson, K., Burger, M., Conradie, W., Kusamba, C., Zassi-Boulou, A-G., Tolley, K.A. 2018. Diversifying into the branches: species boundaries in African green and bush snakes, Philothamnus (Serpentes: Colubridae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 130: 357-365 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1858. Catalogue of Colubrine snakes of the British Museum. London, I - XVI, 1 - 281
  • Günther, A. 1895. Notice of Reptiles and Batrachians collected in the eastern half of tropical Africa. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (6) 15: 523-529. - get paper here
  • Günther,A. 1863. On some species of tree-snakes (Ahaetulla). Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 11: 283-287. - get paper here
  • Haagner, G. V. 1997. Philothamnus natalensis occidentalis, Western Green Snake, Size. African Herp News (26): 30 - get paper here
  • Haagner, G.V.; Branch, W.R. 1995. Life History Notes - Philothamnus natalensis occidentalis. African Herp News (23): 44-44 - get paper here
  • Harport, V. & Reissig, J. 2020. Herpetofauna-Tour im Osten Südafrikas. Elaphe 2020 (5): 34-44
  • 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
  • Hughes, B. 1985. Progress on a taxonomic revision of African green tree snakes (Philothamnus spp.). In: Schuchmann, K.L. (ed.) Proceedings of the International Symposium on African Vertebrates. ZFMK, Bonn, pp. 511-530
  • Jacobsen, Niels H.G.; Errol W. Pietersen & Darren W. Pietersen 2010. A preliminary herpetological survey of the Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary on the San Sebastian Peninsula, Vilankulo, Mozambique. Herpetology Notes 3: 181-193
  • Loveridge,A. 1958. Revision of five african snake genera. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 119: 1-198 (141) - get paper here
  • Phelps, Tony 2002. A study of the Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, with particular reference to long-term-refugia. Herpetological Bulletin (80): 7-19 - get paper here
  • Smith, A. 1838. Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa, consisting chiefly of Figures and Descriptions of the Objects of Natural History collected during an Expedition into the Interior of South Africa, in the years 1834, 1835, and 1836 . . . Vol. 3, Reptilia. Smith, Elder, and Co., London [This series was published in 28 parts; see Waterhouse 1880, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1880:489-491, and Jentink 1893, Notes Leyden Mus. 15:182, for publication dates and contents.] - get paper here
  • Smith, A. 1848. Illustrations of the zoology of South Africa, Reptilia. Smith, Elder, and Co., London - get paper here
  • Venter, Jan A.; Werner Conradie 2015. A checklist of the reptiles and amphibians found in protected areas along the South African Wild Coast, with notes on conservation implications. Koedoe 57 (1): 1-25. doi: 10.4102/koedoe.v57i1.1247 - 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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