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Oligodon ancorus

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: Colubridae
Subfamilia: Colubrinae
Genus: Oligodon
Species: Oligodon ancorus

Oligodon ancorus (Girard, 1858)

Type locality: Philippine Islands (Luzon, Mindoro).

Xenodon ancorus Girard, 1858: 182
Simotes purpurascens — Günther, 1858: 25 (part.)
Simotes phaenochalinus — Cope, 1860: 244
Simotes aphanospilus Cope, 1860: 245
Holarchus ancorus — Taylor, 1918
Oligodon ancorus — Leviton, 1963: 463


Girard, C. 1858: Descriptions of some new Reptiles, collected by the US. Exploring Expedition under the command of Capt. Charles Wilkes, U.S.N. Third Part. Proc. Acad. nat. Sci. Philad. 9: 181–182 [1857].
Taylor, Edward H. 1918: Two new snakes of the genus Holarchus with descriptions of other Philippine species. The Philippine Journal of Science 13 (6D): 359–369, 2 plates.
Leviton, A.E. 1963: Contributions to a review of Philippine snakes. I. The snakes of the genus Oligodon. Philippine J. Sci. 91 (4): 459–484 [1962].
Oligodon ancorus at the New Reptile Database. Accessed on 27 sep 2008.

Vernacular names
English: Northern Short-headed Snake

Oligodon ancorus, commonly known as the northern short-headed snake, is a species of colubrid[1][2] snake found on the islands of Luzon and Mindoro in the Philippines, and the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. However, whether the populations from Sumatra, described as Oligodon rhombifer, belong to this species has been contested.[2]


The taxonomic status of Oligodon ancorus has been a matter of dispute. It was declared to be the same species as Oligodon rhombifer in 2008, but was revised to a different species in 2013, when a study found that O. rhombifer existed in Sumatra, where O. ancorus was not found.[2]

Oligodon ancorus is a member of the genus Oligodon, a genus common throughout central and tropical Asia.[3] The genus belongs to the snake family Colubridae, the largest snake family, with member species being found on every continent except Antarctica.[4]
Habitat and ecology

Oligodon ancorus is a lowland species, found between sea level and 600 meters above sea level. It is terrestrial, being found in coastal forests and mid-montane tropical forests. It has also been found in secondary growth.[1]

The snake is endemic to the Philippines, being found on Mindoro and Luzon islands.[1]

The range of O. ancorus' overlaps with some protected regions on Luzon island.[1] However, it has never been a very abundant species, and its population is threatened by deforestation, which has consumed most of its coastal habitat in the last 100 year.[1] Its population is severely fragmented. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists it as "Near threatened."[1]

Brown, R.; Ledesma, M.; Rico, E.L. (2009). "Oligodon ancorus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2009: e.T169903A6688428. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2009-2.RLTS.T169903A6688428.en. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
Hallerman, Jakob; Uetz, Peter. "Oligodon ancorus". The Reptile Database. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
David P, Vogel G, Pauwels OS (2008). "A new species of the genus Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826 (Squamata: Colubridae) from northern Vietnam, southern China and central Laos" (PDF). Zootaxa. 1939: 19–37.
Bauer, Aaron M. (1998). Cogger, H.G.; Zweifel, R.G. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 188–195. ISBN 0-12-178560-2.


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