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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Lepidosauromorpha
Superordo: Lepidosauria
Ordo: Squamata
Subordo: Serpentes
Infraordo: Caenophidia
Superfamilia: Colubroidea

Familia: Colubridae
Subfamilia: Ahaetuliinae
Genus: Dendrelaphis
Species (47): D. andamanensis – D. ashoki – D. bifrenalis – D. biloreatus – D. calligastra - D. caudolineatus - D. caudolineolatus – D. chaircacos – D. cyanochloris – D. effrenis – D. flavescens – D. formosus – D. fuliginosus – D. gastrostictus – D. girii – D. grandoculis – D. grismeri – D. haasi – D. hollonrakei – D. humayuni – D. inornatus – D. keiensis – D. kopsteini – D. levitoni – D. lineolatus – D. lorentzi – D. luzonensis – D. macrops – D. marenae – D. modestus – D. ngansonensis – D. nigroserratus – D. oliveri – D. papuensis – D. philippinensis – D. pictus – D. punctulatus – – D. striatus – D. striolatus – D. subocularis – D. terrificus – D. tristisD. underwoodi – D. vogeli – D. walli – D. wickrorumD. schokari

Synonyms: D. gorei
= D. biloreatus
; D. salomonis
= D. calligastra

Dendrelaphis Boulenger, 1890: 339

Ahaetulla Tweedie, 1953: 53
Dendrelaphis Savage, 1952: 212
Dendrelaphis Opinion, 1958

Primary references

Boulenger, G.A. 1890: The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp.


Rooijen, J. van; Vogel, G. 2008: A new species of Dendrelaphis (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Java, Indonesia. Raffles bulletin of zoology, 56: 189–197. PDF.
Rooijen, J. van & Vogel, G. 2008. Contributions to a review of the Dendrelaphis pictus complex (Serpentes: Colubridae) – 1. Description of a sympatric species. Amphibia-Reptilia 29: 101–115.
Vogel, G. & J. van Rooijen, 2011: Description of a new species of the genus Dendrelaphis Boulenger, 1890 from Myanmar (Squamata: Serpentes: Colubridae). Bonn Zoological Bulletin 60(1): 17–24. Full article: [1]
Wickramasinghe, L.J.M. 2016. A new canopy-dwelling species of Dendrelaphis (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Sinharaja, World Heritage Site, Sri Lanka. Zootaxa 4162(3): 504–518. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4162.3.5. Reference page.
Jiang, K., Ren, J.-L., Guo, J.-F., Wang, Z., Ding, L. & Li, J.-T. 2020. A new species of the genus Dendrelaphis (Squamata: Colubridae) from Yunnan Province, China, with discussion of the occurrence of D. cyanochloris (Wall, 1921) in China. Zootaxa 4743(1): 1–20. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4743.1.1 Paywall Reference page.


Uetz, P. & Hallermann, J. 2021. Dendrelaphis . The Reptile Database. Accessed on 7 March 2020.

Vernacular names
Deutsch: Bronzenattern
English: Asian Tree Snakes, Bronze-backs

Dendrelaphis is a genus of colubrid snakes, distributed from Pakistan, India and southern China to Indonesia, Timor-Leste, the Philippines, Australia, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. There are over forty described species. Asian species are known as bronzebacks, while the Australo-Papuan species are simply called treesnakes. All are non-venomous and entirely harmless to humans.


This list is based on the latest checklist of the snakes of the world[1] and recent revisions and descriptions published in the scientific literature.

The authors of a 2015 revision of the Australo-Papuan Dendrelaphis species recommended the synonymy of D. solomonis within D. calligaster, the elevation of D. keiensis to species status, the resurrection of D. lineolatus from within D. calligaster, and the resurrection of D. macrops and elevation of D. striolatus from within D. punctulatus. They also confined D. punctulatus to Australia and D. papuensis to the Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea.[2]

Dendrelaphis andamanensis (Anderson, 1871) – Andaman bronzeback
Dendrelaphis ashoki Vogel & Van Rooijen, 2011 – Ashok's bronzeback[3]
Dendrelaphis bifrenalis (Boulenger, 1890), Boulenger's bronzeback – southern India and Sri Lanka[4]
Dendrelaphis biloreatus (Wall, 1908) – Gore's bronzeback
Dendrelaphis calligaster (Günther, 1867) – northern treesnake, green treesnake, coconut treesnake
Dendrelaphis caudolineatus (Gray, 1834) – striped bronzeback
Dendrelaphis caudolineolatus (Günther, 1869)
Dendrelaphis chairecacos (Boie, 1827) – Karnataka bronzeback
Dendrelaphis cyanochloris (Wall, 1921) – blue bronzeback
Dendrelaphis flavescens Gaulke, 1994 – Sulu bronzeback
Dendrelaphis formosus (Boie, 1827) – elegant bronzeback
Dendrelaphis fuliginosus (Griffin, 1909) – Negros bronzeback
Dendrelaphis gastrostictus (Boulenger, 1894) – spot-bellied treesnake, montane treesnake
Dendrelaphis girii Vogel & Van Rooijen, 2011 – Giri's bronzeback[3]
Dendrelaphis grandoculis (Boulenger, 1890) – southern bronzeback[4]
Dendrelaphis grismeri Vogel & Van Rooijen, 2008 – Grismer's bronzeback
Dendrelaphis haasi Van Rooijen & Vogel, 2008 – Haas's bronzeback
Dendrelaphis hollinrakei Lazell, 2002 – Shek Kwu Chau island tree snake[5]
Dendrelaphis humayuni Tiwari & Biswas, 1973 – Nicobar bronzeback
Dendrelaphis keiensis (Mertens, 1926) – Kei Islands bronzeback
Dendrelaphis kopsteini Vogel & Van Rooijen, 2012 – Kopstein's bronzeback
Dendrelaphis inornatus (Boulenger, 1897) – Lesser Sunda bronzeback
Dendrelaphis levitoni Van Rooijen & Vogel, 2008 – Palawan bronzeback
Dendrelaphis lineolatus (Jacquinot & Guichenot, 1853)
Dendrelaphis lorentzii (van Lidth de Jeude, 1911) – Lorentz River treesnake
Dendrelaphis luzonensis Leviton, 1961 – Luzon bronzeback
Dendrelaphis macrops (Günther, 1877) – big-eyed treesnake
Dendrelaphis marenae Vogel & Van Rooijen, 2008 – Maren Gaulke's bronzeback
Dendrelaphis modestus (Boulenger, 1894) – Moluccan bronzeback, grey bronzeback, striped bronzeback
Dendrelaphis ngansonensis (Bourret, 1835) – Ngan Son bronzeback
Dendrelaphis nigroserratus Vogel, Van Rooijen & Hauser, 2012 – sawtooth-necked bronzeback
Dendrelaphis oliveri (Taylor, 1950) – Oliver's bronzeback
Dendrelaphis papuensis (Boulenger, 1895) – Trobriand Islands treesnake
Dendrelaphis philippiensis (Günther, 1879) – Philippine bronzeback
Dendrelaphis pictus (Gmelin, 1789) – painted bronzeback, common bronzeback
Dendrelaphis punctulatus (Gray, 1827) – common treesnake, Australian treesnake
Dendrelaphis schokari (Kuhl, 1820) – Schokar's bronzeback
Dendrelaphis sinharajensis Wickramasinghe, 2016 – Sinharaja tree snake
Dendrelaphis striatus (Cohn, 1905) – striped bronzeback
Dendrelaphis striolatus (Peters, 1867) – Palau treesnake
Dendrelaphis subocularis (Boulenger, 1888) – mountain bronzeback, Burmese bronzeback
Dendrelaphis terrificus (Peters, 1872) – Sulawesi bronzeback, terrific bronzeback
Dendrelaphis tristis (Daudin, 1803) – common bronzeback, Daudin's bronzebackack
Dendrelaphis underwoodi Van Rooijen & Vogel, 2008 – Underwood's bronzeback
Dendrelaphis vogeli Jiang, Guo, Ren, & Li, 2020 – Vogel's bronzeback
Dendrelaphis walli Vogel & Van Rooijen, 2011 – Wall's bronzeback native to Myanmar[6]
Dendrelaphis wickrorum Danushka et al, 2020 – Wickramasinghes’ bronzeback


Bronzebacks range in total length (body + tail) from 2 feet (0.61 m) to up to 6 feet (1.8 m). All species have slender bodies with a long tail. Males are shorter in length and brighter in coloration; they also tend to be more active. Females are stouter with duller or darker colorations and are less active. Typical coloration includes red, brown or orange on the head with bronze, brown or olive-green running down the length of the back. The underside of the body is usually bright to pale green or yellow. They have big eyes and bright red tongues. The tail is fully prehensile.

Primary prey consists of lizards and frogs but the larger species are capable of taking birds, bats and small rodents. These snakes are entirely nonvenomous.

Wallach, V.; Williams, K. L.; Boundy, J. (2014). Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. ISBN 978-1-4822-0847-4.
van Rooijen, J.; Vogel, G. & Somaweera, R. (2015). "A revised taxonomy of the Australo-Papuan species of the colubrid genus Dendrelaphis (Serpentes: Colubridae)". Salamandra. 51 (1): 33–56.
Vogel, G.; Van Rooijen, J. (2011). "Contributions to a review of the Dendrelaphis pictus (Gmelin, 1789) complex (Serpentes: Colubridae) – 3. The Indian forms, with the description of a new species from the Western Ghats". Journal of Herpetology. 45 (1): 100–110. doi:10.1670/09-035.1. S2CID 85867473.
Boulenger, G. A. (1890). "Genus Dendrophis". Reptilia and Batrachia: The Fauna of British India Including Ceylon and Burma. London: Taylor and Francis. pp. 337–339.
Lazell, J. D. (2002). "The herpetofauna of Shek Kwu Chau, South Chinese Sea, with descriptions of two new colubrid snakes". Memoirs of the Hong Kong Natural History Society. 25: 1–82.

Vogel, G.; Van Rooijen, J. (2011). "Description of a new species of the genus Dendrelaphis Boulenger, 1890 from Myanmar (Squamata: Serpentes: Colubridae)". Bonn Zoological Bulletin. 60 (1): 17–24.

Further reading

Boulenger GA (1894). Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume II., Containing the Conclusion of the Colubridæ Aglyphæ. London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xi + 382 pp. + Plates I-XX. (Genus Dendrelaphis, p. 87, Figure 7).
Gow, Graeme F. (1983). Snakes of Australia, Completely Revised Edition. HarperCollins Australia. 128 pp. ISBN 0-207-14437-0.
Wall F (1921). Ophidia Taprobanica or the Snakes of Ceylon. Colombo, Ceylon [Sri Lanka]: Colombo Museum. (H.R. Cottle, Government Printer). xxii + 581 pp. (Genus Dendrelaphis, pp. 220–221).


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