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NHM London Twig snake (Thelotornis kirtlandii)

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: Thelotornis
Species: Thelotornis kirtlandii

Thelotornis kirtlandii (Hallowell, 1844)

Holotype: ANSP 5271.

Type locality: “Liberia”.

Uetz, P. & Hallermann, J. 2022. Thelotornis kirtlandii. The Reptile Database. Accessed on 23 October 2018.

Vernacular names
English: Forest Vine Snake

The forest vine snake (Thelotornis kirtlandii), also known commonly as the twig snake and the bird snake (as are other members of the genus Thelotornis), is a species of venomous snake in the family Colubridae. The species is endemic to Africa.


The specific name, kirtlandii, is in honor of American naturalist Jared Potter Kirtland.[2]
Geographic range

T. kirtlandii is found in Sub-Saharan Africa, south to a latitude of about 17° S. It has been recorded from Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia.[1]

T. kirtlandii is known to eat small birds.

T. kirtlandii is oviparous.[1]

"Thelotornis kirtlandii ". 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. ("Thelotornis kirtlandi [sic]", p. 142).

Further reading

Hallowell E (1844). "Descriptions of new species of African Reptiles". Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 2: 58-62. (Leptophis kirtlandii, new species, p. 62).
Spawls, Stephen; Howell, Kim; Hinkel, Harald; Menegon, Michele (2018). Field Guide to East African Reptiles, Second Edition. London: Bloomsbury Natural History. 624 pp. ISBN 978-1472935618.


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