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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: Simoselaps
Species (5): S. anomalus – S. bertholdi – S. bimaculatus – S. littoralis – S. minimus

Simoselaps Jan, 1859: 123

Type species: Elaps bertholdi Jan, 1859, by monotypy.
Primary references

Jan, G. 1859. Plan d’une iconographie descriptive des ophidiens, et description sommaire de nouvelles espèces de serpents. Revue et magasin de zoologie pure et appliquée Série 2, 11: 122–130; 148–157. BHL (Part I); BHL (Part II) Reference page.


Uetz, P. & Hallermann, J. 2021. Simoselaps . The Reptile Database. Accessed on 20 July 2018.

Vernacular names
English: Australian Coral Snakes

Simoselaps, or Australian coral snakes, is a genus composed of 12 species of venomous elapid snakes.

Geographic range

Species of the genus Simoselaps are found throughout Australia.

Australian coral snakes are small snakes. They have smooth and polished scales, shovel-shaped snouts, and are brightly marked with bands or annuli.
Habitat and behavior

Species of Simoselaps are found mainly in arid regions. They are burrowing snakes which move beneath the surface through loose sand or soil. At night they come to the surface to feed on small lizards and reptile eggs.

All species of Australian coral snakes are oviparous and lay clutches of three to five eggs.
Simoselaps fasciolatus

Species Authority Subsp. Common name Geographic range
S. anomalus (Sternfeld, 1919) None northern desert banded snake Australia (Northern Territory, South and Western Australia)
S. approximans (Glauert, 1954) None north-western shovel-nosed snake Western Australia
S. australis (Krefft, 1864) None Australian coral snake South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria
S. bertholdi (Jan, 1864) None desert banded snake Australia
S. calonotus (A.M.C. Duméril, Bibron & A.H.A. Duméril, 1854) None black-striped burrowing snake Western Australia
S. fasciolatus (Günther, 1872) 2 narrow-banded shovel-nosed snake South and Western Australia, New South Wales, Northern Territory and Queensland
S. incinctus (Storr, 1968) None unbanded shovel-nosed snake Australia: Northern Territory and Queensland
S. littoralis (Storr, 1968) None west-coast banded snake Western Australia
S. minimus (Worrell, 1960) None Dampierland burrowing snake Western Australia
S. morrisi Horner, 1998 None Arnhem shovel-nosed snake[1] Australia:Northern Territory
S. roperi (Kinghorn, 1931) None northern shovel-nosed snake Western Australia, Kimberley Region and Northern Territory
S. semifasciatus (Günther, 1863) 3 southern shovel-nosed snake, half-girdled snake Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland

Several of the above species are sometimes placed in the genera Brachyurophis or Neelaps.

Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Simoselaps morrisi, p. 183).

Further reading

Cogger HG (2000). Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, Sixth Edition. Sanibel Island, Florida: Ralph Curtis Publishing. 808 pp.
Horner P (1998). "Simoselaps morrisi sp. nov. (Elapidae), a new species of snake of the Northern Territory". The Beagle 14: 63–70.
Jan [G] (1859). "Plan d'une Iconographie descriptive des Ophidiens et Description sommaire de nouvelles espèces de Serpents ". Revue et Magasin de Zoologie Pure et Apliquée, Paris, Series 2, 11: 122–130. (Simoselaps, new subgenus, p. 123). (in French).
Storr GM (1978). "Taxonomic notes on the reptiles of the Shark Bay region, Western Australia". Records of the Western Australian Museum 6 (3): 303–318.


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