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Herald Snake (Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia) (6888666734)

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
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: Colubridae
Subfamilia: Colubrinae
Genus: Crotaphopeltis
Species: Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia

Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia (Laurenti, 1768)

Type locality: “India orientali” = Africa.

Holotype: None. Description based on fig. 6, plate xxxiii in Seba 1734.

Coronella hotamboeia Laurenti, 1768: 58
Leptodira rufescens Gmelin, 1789: 1094 — Günther, 1895: 525
Coronella rufescens — Schlegel, 1837
Heterurus rufescens — Duméril & Bibron, 1854: 1170
Leptodira rufescens — Boettger, 1893: 119
Leptodira hotamboeia - Peracca, 1897
Leptodira hitamboeia — Boulenger, 1897: 279 (in error)
Leptodeira hotamboeia — Schmidt, 1923: 107
Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia hotamboeia — Loveridge, 1937: 276
Tarbophis barnum-browni Bogert, 1940
Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia ruziziensis Laurent, 1956
Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia — Broadley, 1968
Crotaphopeltis bicolor (Leach, 1819)
Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia — Auerbach, 1987: 184
Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia — Rödel & Mahsberg, 2000


Laurenti, J. N. 1768. Specimen medicum, exhibens synopsin reptilium emendatam cum experimentis circa venena et antidota reptilium austracorum, quod authoritate et consensu. Vienna, Joan. Thomae, 217 pp.
Rödel, M.O.; Kouadio, K., & Mahsberg, D. 1999. Die Schlangenfauna des Comoé-Nationalparks, Elfenbeinküste: Ergänzungen und Ausblick. Salamandra 35 (3): 165–180.
Trape, J.-F. & Mane, Y. 2006. Guide des serpents d’Afrique occidentale. Savane et désert. [Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger]. IRD Editions, Paris, 226 pp.
Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia at the New Reptile Database. Accessed on 25 August 2008.

Vernacular names
English: Herald Snake, Red-lipped Snake

Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia, commonly known as the herald snake or the red-lipped snake, is a species of snake in the family Colubridae. The species is endemic to Sub-Saharan Africa.


Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia can be identified by its olive green or grey body, multiple white speckles, distinctive black head, and red, yellow, white, or black upper lip. It can grow to an average total length (including tail) of 70 cm (28 in), but may reach up to 1 metre (39 inches) in total length.[3]

C. hotamboeia feeds on amphibians (including rain frogs), lizards, and other snakes (only in captivity).[3]

The red-lipped snake has been known to live for between 10 and 15 years.[3]

Adult females of C. hotamboeia lay between 6 and 19 eggs in early summer.[3]
Geographic range

Endemic to Sub-Saharan Africa, the herald snake is present in Zambia, throughout South Africa (except for the Karoo and Northern Cape) as well as Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, southern and central Mozambique, and northern Botswana.[3]

The herald snake favors marshy areas in lowland forest, moist savanna, grasslands, and fynbos.[3]

Wagner, P., Penner, J., Rödel, M.-O., Luiselli, L., Branch, W.R., Chirio, L., Howell, K. & Malonza, P.K. 2021. Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T13264994A13265005. Downloaded on 05 September 2021.
"Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia ". The Reptile Database.

"Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia ". Biodiversity Explorer, the Web of Life in Southern Africa.

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. (Leptodira hotambœia, pp. 89–91).
Branch, Bill (2004). Field Guide to Snakes and other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Third Revised edition, Second impression. Sanibel Island, Florida: Ralph Curtis Books. 399 pp. ISBN 0-88359-042-5. (Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia, p. 97 + Plate 33).
Laurenti JN (1768). Specimen medicum, exhibens synopsin reptilium emendatam cum cum experimentis circa venena et antidota reptilium austriacorum. Vienna: "Joan. Thom. Nob. de Trattern". 214 pp. + Plates I-V. (Coronella hotamboeia, new species, p. 85). (in Latin).


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