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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: Alethinophidia
Clades: Afrophidia - Amerophidia

Genera incertae sedis: †Colombophis

The Alethinophidia are an infraorder of snakes that includes all snakes other than blind snakes and thread snakes. Snakes have long been grouped into families within Alethinophidia based on their morphology, especially that of their teeth. More modern phylogenetic hypotheses using genetic data[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] support the recognition of 19 extant families (see below), although the taxonomy of alethinophidian snakes has long been debated, and ultimately the decision whether to assign a particular clade to a particular Linnaean rank (such as a superfamily, family, or subfamily) is arbitrary.


The infraorder name Alethinophidia derives from the two Ancient Greek words ἀληθινός (alēthinós), meaning "truthful, genuine", and ὄφις (óphis), meaning "snake".[12][13]
Fossil record

Fossils of alethinophidians were found in Cenomanian (Middle Cretaceous) sites of Wadi Milk Formation in Wadi Abu Hashim, Sudan.[1] Coniophis presents the vertebral morphology similar to modern-day Aniliidae. Two extinct families from the same location, the Anomalophiidae and Russellophiidae, also belong to the Alethinophidia. Krebsophis is the earliest russellophiid. The family Nigerophiidae includes both aquatic[1] Nubianophis from Wadi Abu Hashim and Nigerophis from the Palaeocene of Niger. The genus Eoanilius (belongs to Aniliidae) appeared in the Eocene. It is also existed in Oligocene and early Miocene.[1]

  • Superfamily Amerophidia
    • Family: Aniliidae Stejneger, 1907—red pipesnake
    • Family: Tropidophiidae Brongersma, 1951—Caribbean dwarf "boas" or thunder snakes
  • Superfamily Booidea
    • Family: Boidae Gray, 1825—boas (see article for comments on former families or subfamilies Calabariidae/inae, Sanziniidae/inae, Charinidae/inae, Erycidae/inae, Candoiidae/inae)
  • Superfamily Pythonoidea
    • Family: Pythonidae Fitzinger, 1826—pythons
    • Family: Loxocemidae Cope, 1861—Mexican burrowing pythons
    • Family: Xenopeltidae Bonaparte, 1845—sunbeam snakes
  • Superfamily Uropeltoidea
    • Family: Uropeltidae Müller, 1832—shield-tailed snakes
    • Family: Cylindrophiidae Fitzinger, 1843—Asian pipe snakes
    • Family: Anomochilidae Cundall, Wallach and Rossman, 1993—dwarf pipe snakes
  • Family: Bolyeriidae Hoffstetter, 1946—Splitjaw snakes
  • Family: Xenophidiidae Wallach & Günther, 1998—Spine-jawed snakes
  • Family: Acrochordidae Bonaparte, 1831—wart or file snakes
  • Family: Xenodermidae Oppel, 1811—odd-scaled snakes
  • Family: Pareidae Oppel, 1811—snail-eating snakes
  • Family: Viperidae Oppel, 1811—vipers (including pit vipers)
    • Subfamily: Azemiopinae Liem, Marx and Rabb, 1971—Fea's viper
    • Subfamily: Crotalinae Oppel, 1811—pitvipers (including rattlesnakes)
    • Subfamily: Viperinae Oppel, 1811—true vipers
  • Family: Homalopsidae Günther, 1864—Asian mudsnakes
  • Superfamily: Elapoidea F. Boie, 1827
    • Family: Prosymnidae Gray, 1849
    • Family: Psammophiidae Dowling, 1967
    • Family: Lamprophiidae Fitzinger, 1843
    • Family: Elapidae F. Boie, 1827—Cobras, coral snakes, mambas, taipans, sea snakes, and others
    • Family: Atractaspididae Günther, 1858—African burrowing asps, stiletto snakes, harlequin snakes
  • Superfamily: Colubroidea Oppel, 1811
    • Family: Colubridae Oppel, 1811—colubrids, typical snakes
    • Family: Sibynophiidae Dunn, 1928—hinged-teeth snakes
    • Family: Natricidae Bonaparte, 1838—keelbacks
    • Family: Pseudoxenodontidae McDowell, 1987
    • Family: Dipsadidae Bonaparte, 1838

See also

Scolecophidia, blind snakes, thread snakes.
List of snakes, overview of all snake genera.


J.-C. Rage and C. Werner. 1999."Mid-Cretaceous (Cenomanian) snakes from Wadi Abu Hashim, Sudan: The earliest snake assemblage". 35, 85-110
"Alethinophidia". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
Pyron, R. A.; Burbrink, F.; Wiens, J. J. (2013). "A phylogeny and revised classification of Squamata, including 4161 species of lizards and snakes". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 13: 93. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-13-93. PMC 3682911. PMID 23627680.
Reynolds, RG; Niemiller, ML; Revell, LJ (2014). "Toward a Tree-of-Life for the boas and pythons: multilocus species-level phylogeny with unprecedented taxon sampling" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 71: 201–213. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2013.11.011. PMID 24315866. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-12-02. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
Streicher, J. W.; Ruane, S. (2018). "Phylogenomics of Snakes". eLS: 1–8. doi:10.1002/9780470015902.a0027476. ISBN 9780470015902.
Figueroa, A.; McKelvy, A. D.; Grismer, L. L.; Bell, C. D.; Lailvaux, S. P. (2016). "A species-level phylogeny of extant snakes with description of a new colubrid subfamily and genus". PLOS ONE. 11 (9): e0161070. Bibcode:2016PLoSO..1161070F. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161070. PMC 5014348. PMID 27603205.
Zheng, Y; Wiens, JJ (2016). "Combining phylogenomic and supermatrix approaches, and a time-calibrated phylogeny for squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) based on 52 genes and 4162 species" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 94 (Pt B): 537–547. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2015.10.009. PMID 26475614.
Scanlon, J. D.; Lee, M. S. Y. (2011). Aldridge, R. D.; Sever, D. M. (eds.). The Major Clades of Living Snakes: Morphological Evolution, Molecular Phylogeny, and Divergence Dates in Reproductive Biology and Phylogeny of Snakes. Enfield, NH: Science Publishers. pp. 55–95.
Vidal, N.; Delmas, A. S.; Hedges, S. B. (2007). Henderson, R. W.; Powell, R. (eds.). The higher-level relationships of alethinophidian snakes inferred from seven nuclear and mitochondrial genes. Eagle Mountain, Utah, USA: Eagle Mountain Publishing. pp. 27–33.
Vitt, L. J.; Caldwell, J. P. (2014). Herpetology: an introductory biology of amphibians and reptiles (4th ed.). Burlington: Academic Press. pp. 108–109.
Uetz, Peter. "Serpentes at The Reptile Database". The Reptile Database. EMBL. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
Bailly, Anatole (1981-01-01). Abrégé du dictionnaire grec français. Paris: Hachette. ISBN 978-2010035289. OCLC 461974285.
Bailly, Anatole. "Greek-french dictionary online". Retrieved January 7, 2019.


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