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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: Colubridae
Subfamilia: Colubrinae
Genus: Oxybelis
Species (11): O. acuminatus – O. aeneus – O. brevirostris – O. fulgidus – O. inkaterra – O. koehleri – O. microphthalmus – O. potosiensis – O. rutherfordi – O. vittatus – O. wilsoni

Oxybelis Wagler, 1830: 183

Type species: Dryinus aeneus Wagler, 1824, by monotypy.


Dryinus Fitzinger, 1826: 60 [preoccupied by Dryinus Latreille, 1804, Dryinus Fabricius, 1805 and Dryinus Merrem, 1820]
Type species: Coluber fulgidus Daudin, 1803, by subsequent designation of Fitzinger (1843: 27).
Plastor Gistel, 1848: X [substitute name for Oxybelis Wagler erroneously believed preoccupied by Oxybelus Fabricius]

Primary references

Wagler, J.G. 1830. Natürliches System der Amphibien, mit vorangehender Classification der Säugetiere und Vögel. Ein Beitrag zur vergleichenden Zoologie.. J.G. Cotta'schen Buchhandlung: München, Stuttgart, & Tübingen. 354 pp. BHL Reference page.
Fitzinger, L. 1826. Neue classification der reptilien nach ihren natürlichen verwandtschaften. Nebst einer verwandtschafts-tafel und einem verzeichnisse der reptilien-sammlung des K. K. zoologischen museum's zu Wien. J.G. Hübner: Wien. vii + 66 pp. BHL Reference page.
Gistel, J.N.F.X. 1848. Naturgeschichte des Thierreichs. Für höhere Schulen. Mit einem Atlas von 32 Tafeln (darstellend 617 illuminirte Figuren) und mehreren dem Texte eingedruckten Xylographien. Hoffmann, Stuttgart: xvi + 216 + [4] pp., 32 pl. DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.97235. BHL Reference page.

Additional references

Jadin, R.C., Blair, C., Jowers, M.J., Carmona, A. & Murphy, J.C. 2019. Hiding in the lianas of the tree of life: Molecular phylogenetics and species de-limitation reveal considerable cryptic diversity of New World Vine Snakes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 134: 61–65. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2019.01.022 Paywall Reference page.
Jadin, R.C., Blair, C., Orlofske, S.A., Jowers, M.J., Rivas, G.A., Vitt, L.J., Ray, J.M., Smith, E.N. & Murphy, J.C. 2020. Not withering on the evolutionary vine: Systematic revision of New World Vine Snakes. Organisms, Diversity & Evolution 20: 723–746. DOI: 10.1007/s13127-020-00461-0 Open access Reference page.
Jadin, R.C., Jowers, M.J., Orlofske, S.A., Duellman, W.E., Blair, C. & Murphy, J.C. 2021. A new vine snake (Reptilia, Colubridae, Oxybelis) from Peru and redescription of O. acuminatus. Evolutionary Systematics 5: 1–12. DOI: 10.3897/evolsyst.5.60626 Open access Reference page.


Uetz, P. & Hallermann, J. 2021. Oxybelis . The Reptile Database. Accessed on 10 March 2021.

Vernacular names
English: New World Vine Snakes

Oxybelis is a genus of colubrid snakes, endemic to the Americas, which are commonly known as vine snakes. Though similar in appearance to the Asian species of vine snakes of the genus Ahaetulla, they are not closely related, and are an example of convergent evolution.

Geographic range

Species of Oxybelis are found from the southwestern United States, through Central America, to the northern countries of South America.

Body slender and laterally compressed, tail long. Head elongated and distinct from neck. Pupil of eye round.[2]

Dorsal scales smooth or weakly keeled, with apical pits, and arranged in 15 or 17 rows at midbody. Ventrals rounded at sides, subcaudals paired (divided).[2]

Maxillary teeth 20–25, subequal, except for the 3-5 most posterior, which are slightly enlarged and grooved on the outer surface. Anterior mandibular teeth strongly enlarged.[2]

There are ten widely recognized species in the genus Oxybelis.[3]

Oxybelis aeneus (Wagler, 1824) - Mexican vine snake
Oxybelis brevirostris (Cope, 1861) - Cope's vine snake
Oxybelis fulgidus (Daudin, 1803) - green vine snake
Oxybelis inkaterra Jadin, Jowers, Orlofske, Duellman, Blair, & Murphy, 2021 - Inkaterra vine snake
Oxybelis koehleri Jadin, Blair, Orlofske, Jowers, Rivas, Vitt, Ray, Smith, & Murphy, 2020 - Köhler’s vine snake
Oxybelis microphthalmus Barbour & Amaral, 1926 - thrornscrub vine snake
Oxybelis potosiensis (Taylor, 1941) - Gulf Coast vine snake
Oxybelis rutherfordi Jadin, Blair, Orlofske, Jowers, Rivas, Vitt, Ray, Smith, & Murphy, 2020 - Rutherford’s vine snake
Oxybelis vittatus (Girard), 1854
Oxybelis wilsoni Villa & McCranie, 1995 - Roatan vine snake

Nota bene A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in a genus other than Oxybelis.

The specific name, wilsoni, is in honor of American herpetologist Larry David Wilson.[4]

Wright AH, Wright AA (1957). Handbook of Snakes of the United States and Canada. Ithaca and London: Comstock. 1,105 pp. (in 2 volumes) (Genus Oxybelis, p. 565).
Boulenger GA (1896). Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume III., Containing the Colubridæ (Opisthoglyphæ and Proteroglyphæ) ... Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). London. xiv + 727 pp. + Plates I-XXV. (Genus Oxybelis, pp. 189-190, Figure 15).
"Oxybelis ". The Reptile Database.

Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Oxybelis wilsoni, pp. 287-288).

Further reading

Wagler J (1830). Natürliches System der AMPHIBIEN mit vorangehender Classification der SÄUGTHIERE und VÖGEL. Ein Beitrag zur vergleichenden Zoologie. Munich, Stuttgart and Tübingen: J.G. Cotta. vi + 354 pp + 1 Plate. (Oxybelis, new genus, p. 183).


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