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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: Henophidia

Familia: Pythonidae
Subfamilia: Pythoninae
Genus: Aspidites
Species (2): A. melanocephalus – A. ramsayi

Aspidites Peters, 1877


Schleip, W.D.; O'Shea, M. 2010: Annotated checklist of the recent and extinct pythons (Serpentes, Pythonidae), with notes on nomenclature, taxonomy, and distribution. ZooKeys, 66: 29–79. ISSN: 1313-2970 (online) ISSN: 1313-2989 (print) DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.66.683

Aspidites is a genus of pythons endemic to Australia. The name can be translated as "shield bearer" and pertains to the symmetrically shaped head scales. Currently, two species are recognized.[2]


These snakes lack the heat-sensitive pits between the labial scales that most other python species have.

The head is slightly wider than the neck, and the eyes are small, with a vertically elliptic pupils.[3]
Distribution and habitat

They are found in Australia except in the south of the country.[1]

Both species are nocturnal,[4] and terrestrial.[5]

Oviparous, the females stay with their eggs until they hatch.

Species[2] Taxon author[2] Common name[4] Geographic range[1]
A. melanocephalusT


(Krefft, 1864) Black-headed python Australia in the northern half of the country, excluding the very arid regions.
A. ramsayi

Aspidites ramsayi -Australia Zoo, Queensland, Australia-8a.jpg

(Macleay, 1882) Woma Australia in the west and center of the country: from Western Australia through southern Northern Territory and northern South Australia to southern Queensland and northwestern New South Wales. Its range may be discontinuous.

T) Type species.[1]

Two new subspecies, A. ramsayi panoptes, the western woma python, and A. r. richardjonesii, the desert woma python, were described by Hoser (2001).[6] However, these descriptions are questionable, as they do not include proper diagnoses and seem to be based only on distribution.[6] [7]

McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
"Aspidites". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 9 September 2007.
Boulenger GA. 1893. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume I., Containing the Families...Boidæ... Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, Printers.) London. xiii + 448 pp. + Plates I.- XXVIII. (Genus Aspidites, p. 91.)
Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
Goin CJ, Goin OB, Zug GR. 1978. Introduction to Herpetology, Third Edition. W.H. Freeman. San Francisco. xi + 378 pp. ISBN 0-7167-0020-4. (Aspidites, p. 319.)
Aspidites ramsayi at the Reptile Database. Accessed 9 September 2007.

Wüster W, Bush B, Keogh JS, O'Shea M, Shine R. 2001. Taxonomic contributions in the "amateur" literature: comments on recent descriptions of new genera and species by Raymond Hoser. Litteratura Serpentium 21: 67-91. PDF Archived 9 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine at Wolfgang Wüster Archived 25 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 10 September 2007.

Further reading

Krefft G. 1864. Description of Aspidiotes melanocephalus, a New Snake from Port Denison, N.E. Australia. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1864: 20-22. ("Aspidiotes, nov. gen.", p. 20.)
Peters W. 1877. Über die von S.M.S. Gazelle mitgebrachten Amphibien. Monatsberichte der Königlichen Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin 1876: 528-535, 914. (Aspidiotus melanocephalus, p. 533; and Aspidites, p. 914.)

External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aspidites.

Aspidites at the Reptile Database. Accessed 9 September 2007.


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