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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: Elapoidea

Familia: Lamprophiidae
Genus: Boaedon
Species (13): B. capensis – B. fuliginosus – B. lineatus – B. littoralis – B. longilineatus – B. maculatus – B. olivaceus – B. paralineatus – B. perisilvestris – B. radfordi – B. subflavus – B. upembae – B. virgatus

Boaedon Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854

Type species: Boaedon lineatus Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854, by monotypy.

Additional references

Kelly, C.M.R., Branch, W.R., Broadley, D.G., Barker, N.P. & Villet, M.H. 2011. Molecular systematics of the African snake family Lamprophiidae Fitzinger, 1843 (Serpentes: Elapoidea), with particular focus on the genera Lamprophis Fitzinger 1843 and Mehelya Csiki 1903. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 58(3): 415–426. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2010.11.010 Reference page.
Greenbaum, E., Portillo, F., Jackson, K. & Kusamba, C. 2015. A phylogeny of Central African Boaedon (Serpentes: Lamprophiidae), with the description of a new cryptic species from the Albertine Rift. African Journal of Herpetology 64(1): 18–38. DOI: 10.1080/21564574.2014.996189 Reference page.
Trape, J.-F. & Mediannikov, O. 2016. Cinq serpents nouveaux du genre Boaedon Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854 (Serpentes : Lamprophiidae) en Afrique centrale. Bulletin de la Société Herpétologique de France 159: 61–111. Reference page.


Uetz, P. & Hallermann, J. 2022. Boaedon . The Reptile Database. Accessed on 9 February 2020.

Vernacular names
English: African House Snakes

Boaedon is a genus of African lamprophiids consisting of the "brown" house snakes. The genus was originally described by Duméril but the species contained were reclassified as Lamprophis by Fitzinger in 1843, this taxonomy remained widely accepted until November 2010 when a phylogenetic study was published by C.M.R Kelly et al. who resurrected the Boaedon clade.[1] Although commonly regarded as belonging to the Colubridae, primary literature usually lists them, and related species, as belonging to the family Lamprophiidae within the superfamily which includes the venomous cobras and mambas, Elapoidea.[1]


There are currently 20 species in Boaedon, however new species are frequently being described:

Angolan house snake, Boaedon angolensis Bocage, 1895
Boaedon bedriagae Boulenger, 1905[2]
Bocage’s brown house snake, Boaedon bocagei Hallermann, Ceríaco, Schmitz, Ernst, Conradie, Verburgt, Marques, & Bauer, 2020
Branch’s brown house snake, Boaedon branchi Hallermann, Ceríaco, Schmitz, Ernst, Conradie, Verburgt, Marques, & Bauer, 2020
Cape house snake, Boaedon capensis Duméril & Bibron, 1854
Frade’s brown house snake, Boaedon fradei Hallermann, Ceríaco, Schmitz, Ernst, Conradie, Verburgt, Marques, & Bauer, 2020
Brown house snake, Boaedon fuliginosus (Boie, 1827)
Striped house snake, Boaedon lineatus Duméril & Bibron, 1854
Coastal house snake, Boaedon littoralis Trape & Mediannikov, 2016
Long-lined house snake, Boaedon longilineatus Trape & Mediannikov, 2016
Dotted house snake, Boaedon maculatus (Parker, 1932)
Boaedon mendesi Ceríaco, Arellano, Jadin, Marques, Parrinha & Hallermann, 2021[2]
Namibian house snake, Boaedon mentalis (Günther, 1888)
Central African lined house snake, Boaedon paralineatus Trape & Mediannikov, 2016
Boaedon perisilvestris Trape & Mediannikov, 2016
Radford's house snake, Boaedon radfordi Greenbaum, Portillo, Jackson, & Kusamba, 2015
Yellow house snake, Boaedon subflavus Trape & Mediannikov, 2016
Boaedon upembae (Laurent, 1954)
Boaedon variegatus Bocage, 1867
Hallowell's house snake, Boaedon virgatus (Hallowell, 1854)

Archetypal Appearance

All members of the genus Boaedon are small snakes, generally attaining lengths of little more than 4 feet (120 cm) in length. Sexually dimorphic, females are always larger than males who attain lengths of approx. 2 feet (60 cm) there is some variance between species and between geographic locales of species.
Adult female "patternless" Boaedon capensis

Overall body colouration is typically sandy brown to black but green, orange, red and a variety of other locale specific variations do exist. All species are nocturnal by nature and present with vertically elliptic pupils, they also present with few exceptions a v-shaped set of stripes stretching from the rostral scale through the eye to the rear of the head. Body pattern varies between species, B. olivaceus, B. upembae, B. mentalis, & B. fuliginosus are all naturally pattern less, B. capensis & B. maculatus both have patternless variants and B. lineatus typically has lateral striping running the length of the body. These are highly variable snakes and confusion is common when attempting to distinguish them from one another.
Geographic Range

House snakes occur in all of sub-Saharan Africa, inhabiting dense forests and deserts as well as all other habitats in between. They are commonly found around towns where they will feast on the rodents which gather there.
External Links
House Snake Forums
House Snake Captive care Guide


Kelly, C.M.R., et al. Molecular systematics of the African snake family Lamprophiidae, Fitzinger, 1843 (Serpentes: Elapoidea), with particular focus on the genera Lamprophis, Fitzinger 1843 and Mehelya, Csiki 1903. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. (2010), doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2010.11.010
Ceríaco, Luis MP; Arellano, Ana Lisette; Jadin, Robert C.; Marques, Mariana P.; Parrinha, Diogo; Hallermann, Jakob (2021-01-15). "Taxonomic revision of the Jita snakes (Lamprophiidae: Boaedon) from São Tomé and Príncipe (Gulf of Guinea), with the description of a new species". African Journal of Herpetology. 70: 1–31. doi:10.1080/21564574.2020.1832152. ISSN 2156-4574. S2CID 234262958.


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