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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: Elapidae
Genus: Boulengerina
Species: B. annulata – B. christyi –

Boulengerina Dollo, 1886

Etymology: boulengerina: named in appreciation after Belgian-British zoologist George Albert Boulenger.

Wallach, V., Wüster, W. & Broadley, D.G. 2009. In praise of subgenera: taxonomic status of cobras of the genus Naja Laurenti (Serpentes: Elapidae). Zootaxa 2236: 26–36. Abstract & excerpt PDF Reference page.

Vernacular names
English: Water Cobras
svenska: Vattenkobror
ไทย: งูเห่าน้ำ

Boulengerina is a genus or subgenus of elapid venomous snakes known commonly as water cobras, so named because of their semiaquatic nature. The genus has two recognised species, which are native to central and southern Africa.


Some recent molecular studies have suggested that the genus Boulengerina should be synonymised with the genus Naja, because the water cobras are closely related to some species of Naja.[1]

Wallach, Wüster and Broadley, re-ranked Boulengerina as a subgenus within Naja comprising the two species already recognised as forming genus Boulengerina plus Naja melanoleuca, as Naja (Boulengerina) melanoleuca, and the species formerly known as Paranaja multifasciata, now Naja (Boulengerina) multifasciata.[2]

The generic name, Boulengerina, is in honor of Belgian-born British herpetologist George Albert Boulenger.[3]

Boulengerina annulata (Buchholz & W. Peters, 1876) – ringed water cobra
Boulengerina christyi Boulenger, 1904 – Christy's water cobra

Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in a genus other than Boulengerina.
Geographic distribution

B. annulata – Cameroon, Gabon, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda, Burundi, and Zambia.
B. christyi – Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo.

See also

False water cobra, Hydrodynastes gigas


Nagy ZT, Vidal N, Vences M, Branch WR, Pauwels OSG, Wink M, Joger U (2005). "Molecular systematics of African Colubroidea (Squamata: Serpentes)". In: Huber BA, Sinclair BJ, Lampe K-H (Editors) (2005). African Biodiversity: Molecules, Organisms, Ecosystems. Bonn: Museum Koenig. pp. 221–228.
Wallach V, Wüster W, Broadley DG (2009). "In praise of subgenera: taxonomic status of cobras of the genus Naja Laurenti (Serpentes: Elapidae)". Zootaxa 2236: 26–36.
Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Boulengerina, p. 33).


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