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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: Homalopsoidea

Familia: Homalopsidae
Genus: Homalopsis

Species (5): H. buccata – H. hardwickii – H. mereljcoxi – H. nigroventralis – H. semizonata

Homalopsis Kuhl & van Hasselt, 1822: 101

Type species: Coluber horridus Merrem, 1820 (in error) [=Daudin, 1803], by monotypy.

Primary references

Kuhl, K. & Van Hasselt, J.C. 1822. Uittreksel uit de brieven van Heeren Kuhl en van Hasselt, aan de Heeren C.J. Temminck, Th. van Swinderen en W. de Haan. Algemeene Konst- en Letterbode 7: 99–104. Reference page.

Additional references

Murphy, J.C. et al. 2012. The masked water snakes of the genus Homalopsis Kuhl & van Hasselt, 1822 (Squamata, Serpentes, Homalopsidae), with the description of a new species. Zootaxa 3208: 1–26. Preview. Preview
Murphy, J.C. & Voris, H.K. 2014. A Checklist and Key to the Homalopsid Snakes (Reptilia, Squamata, Serpentes), with the Description of New Genera. Fieldiana: Life and Earth Sciences 8: 1–43. Reference page.
Pauwels, O.S.G. & Sumontha, M. 2016. Taxonomic identity of two enigmatic aquatic snake populations (Squamata: Homalopsidae: Cerberus and Homalopsis) from southern Thailand. Zootaxa 4107(2): 293–300. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4107.2.11. Reference page.


Uetz, P. & Hallermann, J. 2021. Homalopsis . The Reptile Database. Accessed on 25 November 2018.

Homalopsis is a genus of snakes of the family Homalopsidae.[1][2][3] The genus is restricted to South East Asia and includes five currently recognized species.[1][4] Like all members of the family Homalopsidae, Homalopsis are rear-fanged and mildly venomous, though considered harmless to humans.[5]


Homalopsis are a freshwater aquatic species that are found in a wide range of habitats including ponds, rivers, flowing streams, swamps, marshes and other wetlands. Human disturbance and activity does not seem to hinder this species as much as others and can be actively found in disturbed habitat such as man-made drainage ditches and irrigated agriculture fields.[6]

This species is nocturnal and can be found in muddy bank holes or burrows during the day. It feeds primarily on fish but may also eat anurans and possibly crustaceans.[6]

Homalopsis are viviparous giving birth to live young.[3][7]

There are five species:[1]

Homalopsis buccata (Linnaeus, 1758)
Homalopsis hardwickii Gray, 1842
Homalopsis mereljcoxi Murphy, Voris, Murthy, Traub & Cumberbatch, 2012
Homalopsis nigroventralis Deuve, 1970
Homalopsis semizonata Blyth, 1855


Homalopsis at the Reptile Database. Accessed 15 September 2018.
Murphy, John C. & Voris, Harold K. (2014). "A checklist and key to the homalopsid snakes (Reptilia, Squamata, Serpentes), with the description of new genera". Fieldiana Life and Earth Sciences. 8: 1–43. doi:10.3158/2158-5520-14.8.1. S2CID 84404949.
Vitt, Laurie J. & Caldwell, Janalee P. (2014). Herpetology: An Introductory Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles (4th ed.). Academic Press. p. 617.
Murphy, John C.; Voris, Harold K.; Murthy, B. H. C. K.; Traub, Joshua & Cumberbatch, Christina (2012). "The masked water snakes of the genus Homalopsis Kuhl & van Hasselt, 1822 (Squamata, Serpentes, Homalopsidae), with the description of a new species". Zootaxa. 3208 (1): 1–26. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3208.1.1.
"Aquatic snakes southeast Asia". Field Museum.
Murphy, John C. 2007. Homalopsid Snakes: Evolution in the Mud. Krieger Publishing, Malabar, Florida, 249 pp.
Karns, D. R.; Voris, H. K. & Goodwin, T. G. (2002). "Ecology of Oriental-Australian rear-fanged water snakes (Colubridae: Homalopsinae) in the Pasir Ris Park Mangrove Forest, Singapore" (PDF). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. 50 (2): 487–498. S2CID 41170436.


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