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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: Pseudoxyrhophiidae
Genus: Compsophis
Subgenera: C. (Compsophis) – C. (Geodipsas)

Species: C. albiventris – C. boulengeri – C. fatsibe – C. infralineatus – C. laphystius – C. vinckei – C. zeny –

Compsophis Mocquard, 1894

Cadle, J.E., 1996: Systematics of snakes of the genus Geodipsas (Colubridae) from Madagascar, with descriptions of new species and observations on natural history. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 155(2): 33–87.
Glaw, F., Nagy, Z.T. & Vences, M. 2007. Phylogenetic relationships and classification of the Malagasy pseudoxyrhophiine snake genera Geodipsas and Compsophis based on morphological and molecular data. Zootaxa 1517(1): 53–62. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.1517.1.2 Paywall. ResearchGate Open access. Reference page.
Glaw & Vences: A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar Third edition (2007) ISBN 978-3-929449-03-7.
Mercurio, V. & F. Andreone, 2005: Description of a new Geodipsas snake from northern Madagascar (Squamata: Colubridae). Zootaxa 1093: 61–68. Abstract: [1].
Ziegler, T. ; M. Vences ; F. Glaw & W. Böhme, 1997: Genital morphology and systematics of Geodipsas Boulenger, 1896 (Reptilia: Serpentes: Colubridae), with description of a new genus. Revue Suisse de Zoologie 104 (1): 95–114. Full article: [2].

Vernacular names
English: Madagascar Big-head Snake

Compsophis is a genus of harmless snakes in the family Lamprophiidae. The genus is found only on the island of Madagascar.[1]


Seven species are recognized as being valid.[2]

Compsophis albiventris Mocquard, 1894
Compsophis boulengeri (Peracca, 1892)
Compsophis fatsibe (Mercurio & Andreone, 2005)
Compsophis infralineatus (Günther, 1882)
Compsophis laphystius (Cadle, 1996)
Compsophis vinckei (Domergue, 1988)
Compsophis zeny (Cadle, 1996)

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


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


Glaw F, Vences M (2007). A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar, 3rd Edition. Cologne, Germany: Vences and Glaw Verlag.
Compsophis at the Reptile Database. Accessed 29 May 2016.

Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Compsophis boulengeri, p. 34).

External links

Genus Compsophis at The Reptile Database

Further reading

Boulenger GA (1896). Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume III., Containing the Colubridæ (Opisthoglyphæ and Proteroglyphæ) ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiv + 727 pp. + Plates I-XXV. (Genus Compsophis, pp. 609–610; species C. albiventris, p. 610).
Glaw F, Nagy ZT, Vences M (2007). "Phylogenetic relationships and classification of the Malagasy pseudoxyrhophiine snake genera Geodipsas and Compsophis based on morphological and molecular data". Zootaxa 1517: 53–62.
Mocquard F (1894). "Reptiles nouveaux ou insuffisamment connus de Madagascar ". Compte-rendu Sommaire des Séances de la Société philomathique de Paris, Huitième Série [Eighth Series] 6 (17): 3-10. (Compsophis, new genus, p. 8; C. albiventris, new species, pp. 8–9). (in French).


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