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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: Colubroidea

Familia: Dipsadidae
Subfamilia: Dipsadinae
Genus: Coniophanes
Species (17): C. alvarezi – C. andresensis – C. bipunctatus – C. dromiciformis – C. fissidens – C. imperialis – C. joanae – C. lateritius – C. longinquus – C. melanocephalus – C. meridanus – C. michoacanensis – C. piceivittis – C. quinquevittatus – C. schmidti – C. taeniatus – C. taylori

Coniophanes Hallowell in Cope, 1860: 248

Type species: Coronella fissidens Günther, 1858, by original designation.

Primary references

Cope, E.D. 1860. Catalogue of the Colubridae in the Museum of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, with notes and descriptions of new species. Part 2. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 12: 241–266. BHL Reference page.

Additional references

Ponce-Campos, P. & Smith, H.M. 2001. A review of the Stripeless Snake (Coniophanes lateritius) complex of Mexico. Bulletin of the Maryland Herpetological Society 37(1): 10–17. BHL Reference page.
Flores-Villela, O. & Smith, E.N. 2009. A new species of Coniophanes (Squamata: Colubridae), from the coast of Michoacán, México. Herpetologica 65(4): 404–412. DOI: 10.1655/07-079.1 Reference page.
Palacios-Aguilar, R. & Flores-Villela, O. 2020. Taxonomic revision and comments on two groups of the genus Coniophanes (Squamata: Dipsadidae). Vertebrate Zoology 70(2): 111–124. DOI: 10.26049/VZ70-2-2020-02 Open access Reference page.


Uetz, P. & Hallermann, J. 2022. Coniophanes . The Reptile Database. Accessed on 16 May 2018.

Vernacular names
English: Black-striped Snakes
español: Culebras ventripunteadas

Coniophanes is a genus of colubrid snakes, typically referred to as black-striped snakes, but they also have many other common names. The genus consists of 17 species, and despite the common name, not all of them display striping.

Geographic range
Black-striped snake (Coniophanes imperialis) from Playon de la Gloria, Marquez de Comillas, Chiapas, Mexico

Species of Coniophanes are found primarily in Mexico and Central America, but range as far north as southern Texas in the United States, and as far south as Peru in South America.

Snakes of the genus Coniophanes grow to a total length (including tail) of 31–46 cm (12–18 in) and are typically brown in color, with black striping down the sides and center of the back, and a red or orange underside. Some of the species, such as C. alvarezi, are solid brown.
Habitat and behavior

Coniophanes snakes are secretive burrowers. They spend most of their time digging into loose soils, forest leaf litter, or under rotting cactus. They are nocturnal, emerging from their underground retreats in the late evening to feed on frogs, lizards, small rodents, and smaller snakes.

Species in the genus Coniophanes are oviparous, laying clutches of up to 10 eggs in loose soil. The eggs hatch in around 40 days, depending on relative temperature and humidity. Hatchlings are about 17 cm (6.5 in) in length.

The following 17 species are recognized as being valid.[2]

C. alvarezi Campbell, 1989 – Chiapan stripeless snake – Mexico
C. andresensis Bailey, 1937 – Isla San Andrés snake – Isla San Andrés, Colombia
C. bipunctatus (Günther, 1858) – two-spotted snake – Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, and Costa Rica
C. b. bipunctatus (Günther, 1858)
C. b. biseriatus H.M. Smith, 1940
C. dromiciformis (W. Peters, 1863) – Peters' running snake – Ecuador and Peru
C. fissidens (Günther, 1858) – yellowbelly snake – Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia
C. f. convergens Shannon & H.M. Smith, 1950
C. f. dispersus H.M. Smith, 1941
C. f. fissidens (Günther, 1858)
C. f. proterops (Cope, 1860)
C. f. punctigularis (Cope, 1860)
C. imperialis (Baird & Girard, 1859) – black-striped snake – United States (Texas), Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras
C. i. imperialis (Baird & Girard, 1859)
C. i. clavatus (W. Peters, 1864)
C. i. copei Hartweg & Oliver, 1938
C. joanae Myers, 1966 – Panama
C. lateritius Cope, 1862 – stripeless snake – Mexico
C. longinquus Cadle, 1989 – Peru
C. melanocephalus (W. Peters, 1869)
C. meridanus Schmidt & Andrews, 1936 – peninsula stripeless snake
C. michoacanensis Flores-Villela & E.N. Smith, 2009
C. piceivittis Cope, 1870 – Cope's black-striped snake – Mexico, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica
C. p. frangivirgatus J. Peters, 1950
C. p. piceivittis Cope, 1870
C. quinquevittatus (A.M.C. Duméril, Bibron & A.H.A. Duméril, 1854) – five-striped snake – Mexico and Guatemala
C. schmidti Bailey, 1937 – faded black-striped snake – Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala.
C. taeniata (W. Peters, 1870) – Mexico
C. taylori Hall, 1951

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

Wright AH, Wright AA (1957). Handbook of Snakes of the United States and Canada. Ithaca and London: Comstock Publishing Associates, a division of Cornell University Press. 1,105 pp. (in 2 volumes). (Genus Coniophanes, p. 153).

"Coniophanes ". The Reptile Database.

Further reading

Freiberg M (1982). Snakes of South America. Hong Kong: T.F.H. Publications. 189 pp. ISBN 0-87666-912-7. (Genus Coniophanes, p. 93).
Hallowell E (1860). In: Cope ED (1860). "Catalogue of the Colubridæ in the Museum of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, with notes and descriptions of new species. Part 2". Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 12: 241-266. (Coniophanes, new genus, p. 248).


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