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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
Subfamilia: Hydrophiinae
Genus: Demansia
Species (14): D. angusticeps – D. calodera – D. flagellatio – D. olivacea – D. papuensis – D. psammophis – D. quaesitor – D. reticulata – D. rimicola – D. rufescens – D. shinei – D. simplex – D. torquata – D. vestigiata

Demansia Gray, 1842

Uetz, P. & Hallermann, J. 2021. Demansia . The Reptile Database. Accessed on 1 May 2021.

Vernacular names
English: Venomous Whip Snakes

Demansia is a genus of venomous snakes of the family Elapidae. Members of the genus are commonly known as whip snakes or whipsnakes, as are members of several other genera.


All species of the genus Demansia are gray, brown, gray-green, or beige, save for Demansia psammophis (yellow-faced whip snake), which may be cream-coloured. Whip snakes are long and slender. They have large eyes and relatively small heads that are only slightly wider than their bodies. All species in the genus Demansia are venomous.

Whip snakes of the genus Demansia are found in Australia, Papua New Guinea in the area around Port Moresby, and nearby islands.

Demansia whip snakes eat mainly lizards. These whipsnakes are diurnal (active in the day), and use their keen eyesight to hunt. The prey dies quickly from the effects of the snake's venom.
Interaction with humans

In 2007 a man died after being bitten by a whip snake in Victoria. Their bites are generally regarded as akin to a bee sting and relatively harmless, but the man became woozy and went into cardiac arrest before paramedics arrived.[1]

The following 14 species are recognized as being valid.[2]

Demansia angusticeps (Macleay, 1888) - narrow-headed whipsnake
Demansia calodera Storr, 1978 - black-necked whipsnake
Demansia flagellatio Wells & Wellington, 1985 - long-tailed whipsnake
Demansia olivacea (Gray, 1842) - olive whipsnake
Demansia papuensis (Macleay, 1877) - greater black whipsnake
Demansia psammophis (Schlegel, 1837) - yellow-faced whipsnake
Demansia quaesitor Shea, 2007 - sombre whipsnake
Demansia reticulata (Gray, 1842) - reticulated whipsnake
Demansia rimicola Scanlon, 2007 - soil-crack whipsnake
Demansia rufescens Storr, 1978 - rufous whip snake
Demansia shinei Shea, 2007 - Shine's whipsnake
Demansia simplex Storr, 1978 - grey whipsnake
Demansia torquata (Günther, 1862) - collared whipsnake
Demansia vestigiata (De Vis, 1884) - lesser black whipsnake

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

Whip snake (disambiguation)


Harrison, Dan (17 April 2007). "'Harmless' snake proves deadly". The Age. Retrieved 5 November 2021.

Genus Demansia at The Reptile Database.

Further reading

Gray JE (1842). "Description of some hitherto unrecorded species of Australian Reptiles and Batrachians". Zoological Miscellany 2: 51-57. (Demansia, new genus, p. 54).


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