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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: Psammophiidae
Genus: Psammophis
Species (34): P. aegyptius – P. angolensis – P. ansorgii – P. biseriatus – P. brevirostris – P. condanarus – P. crucifer – P. elegans – P. indochinensis – P. jallae – P. leightoni – P. leithii – P. leopardinus – P. lineatus – P. lineolatus – P. longifrons – P. mossambicus – P. namibensis – P. notostictus – P. occidentalis – P. odysseus - P. orientalis – P. phillipsii – P. praeornatus – P. pulcher – P. punctulatus – P. rukwae – P. schokari – P. sibilans – P. subtaeniatus – P. sudanensis – P. tanganicus – P. trigrammus – P. trinasalis – P. zambiensis

Psammophis Boie in Fitzinger, 1826: 30

Type species: Coluber sibilans Linnaeus, 1758, by subsequent designation.
Additional references

Broadley, D.G. 1966. A review of the African Stripe-bellied Sand-snakes of the genus Psammophis. Arnoldia (Rhodesia) 2(36): 1–9. Reference page.
Broadley, D.G. 1975. A review of Psammophis leightoni and Psammophis notostictus in southern Africa (Serpentes: Colubridae). Arnoldia (Rhodesia) 7(13): 1–17. Reference page.
Broadley, D.G. 2002. A review of the species of Psammophis Boie found south of latitude 12°S (Serpentes: Psammophiinae). African Journal of Herpetology 51(2): 83–119. DOI: 10.1080/21564574.2002.9635466 Reference page.
Hughes, B. & Wade, E. 2002. On the African leopard whip snake, Psammophis leopardinus Bocage, 1887 (Serpentes, Colubridae), with the description of a new species from Zambia. Bulletin of the Natural History Museum. Zoological series 68(2): 75–81. DOI: 10.1017/S0968047002000080 Reference page.


Uetz, P. & Hallermann, J. 2021. Psammophis . The Reptile Database. Accessed on 27 October 2018.

Psammophis is a genus of snakes in the family Lamprophiidae. The genus comprises 34 species, which are found in Africa and Asia.[1] Psammophis are diurnal and prey on lizards and rodents which they actively hunt. All species in the genus are venomous, and the venom is considered mild and not dangerous to humans.[2]


The generic name Psammophis was coined by the Austrian herpetologist Leopold Fitzinger in 1826, a compound of the Hellenistic Greek ψαμμο, "sand" + Classical Greek ὄϕις, "snake", thus sand-snake.[3]

In the genus Psammophis the maxillary teeth are 10 to 13 in number, with one or two in the middle much enlarged and fang-like, preceded and followed by an interspace; the two posterior teeth are grooved. The anterior mandibular teeth are long, and the posterior teeth are small. The head is elongated and distinct from the neck, with an angular canthus rostralis. The eye is rather large, with a round pupil. The body is elongated and cylindrical with smooth dorsal scales in 15 or 17 rows at midbody, with apical pits. The ventral scales are rounded or obtusely angulate laterally, and the tail is long with the subcaudals in two rows.[4]
Geographic range

Thirty-four species of Psammophis are known, from Africa and southern Asia.[1]

Psammophis species are chiefly sand-snakes, but they are also found on low bushes.[4]

Species in the genus Psammophis feed principally on lizards.[4]

All species in the genus Psammophis are oviparous.[5]

The following 34 species are recognized as being valid.[1]

Psammophis aegyptius Marx, 1958
Psammophis afroccidentalis Trape, Böhme, & Mediannikov, 2019
Psammophis angolensis (Bocage, 1872)
Psammophis ansorgii Boulenger, 1905
Psammophis biseriatus W. Peters, 1881
Psammophis brevirostris W. Peters, 1881
Psammophis condanarus (Merrem, 1820)
Psammophis crucifer (Daudin, 1803)
Psammophis elegans (Shaw, 1802)
Psammophis indochinensis M.A. Smith, 1943
Psammophis jallae Peracca, 1896
Psammophis leightoni Boulenger, 1902
Psammophis leithii Günther, 1869
Psammophis leopardinus Bocage, 1887
Psammophis lineatus (A.M.C. Duméril, Bibron & A.H.A. Duméril, 1854)
Psammophis lineolatus (Brandt, 1838)
Psammophis longifrons Boulenger, 1896
Psammophis mossambicus W. Peters, 1882
Psammophis namibensis Broadley, 1975
Psammophis notostictus W. Peters, 1867
Psammophis orientalis Broadley, 1977
Psammophis phillipsii (Hallowell, 1844)
Psammophis praeornatus (Schlegel, 1837)
Psammophis pulcher Boulenger, 1895
Psammophis punctulatus A.M.C. Duméril, Bibron & A.H.A. Duméril, 1854
Psammophis rukwae Broadley, 1966
Psammophis schokari (Forskål, 1775)
Psammophis sibilans (Linnaeus, 1758)
Psammophis subtaeniatus W. Peters, 1882
Psammophis sudanensis F. Werner, 1919
Psammophis tanganicus Loveridge, 1940
Psammophis trigrammus Günther, 1865
Psammophis trinasalis F. Werner, 1902
Psammophis zambiensis Hughes, 2002

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

Genus Psammophis at The Reptile Database.
Bates MF, Branch WR, Bauer AM, Burger M, Marais J, Alexander GJ, De Villiers MS. (editors) (2014). Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd edition, s.v.
Boulenger GA (1890). The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. London: Secretary of State for India in Council. (Taylor and Francis, printers). xviii + 541 pp. (Genus Psammophis, p. 365, Figure 107).

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. (Genus Psammophis, p. 89).

Further reading
Fitzinger LI (1826). Neue Classification der Reptilien nach ihre natürlichen Verwandtschaften. Nebst einer Verwandtshafts-tafel und einem Verzeichnisse der Reptilien-Sammlung des K.K. zoologischen Museum's zu Wien. Vienna: J.G. Heubner. five unnumbered + 67 pp. + one plate. (Psammophis, new genus, p. 29). (in German and Latin).
Trape, Jean-François; Crochet, Pierre-André; Broadley, Donald G.; Sourouille, Patricia; Mané, Youssouph; Burger, Marius; Böhme, Wolfgang; Saleh, Mostafa; Karan, Anna; Lanza, Benedetto; Mediannikov, Oleg (2019). "On the Psammophis sibilans group (Serpentes, Lamprophiidae, Psammophiinae) north of 12°S, with the description of a new species from West Africa" (PDF). Bonn Zoological Bulletin. 68 (1): 61–91. doi:10.20363/BZB-2019.68.1.061. ISSN 2190-7307. Retrieved 14 April 2021.


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