On the Knowledge and Specific Status of Dendrelaphis ngansonensis (Bourret, 1935) (Reptilia: Serpentes: Colubridae)

Thomas Ziegler, Gernot Vogel


An overview of the currently recognized Dendrelaphis species, the bronzeback snakes, and their distribution is given with special emphasis on the Vietnamese taxa. We redescribe the holotype of Dendrophis pictus ngansonensis Bourret, 1935, a taxon from North Vietnam which was synonymized by Smith (1943) with Dendrelaphis pictus (Gmelin, 1789). New Vietnamese Dendrelaphis material, either collected by us in the field, or from several collections, proved to be identical with Bourret’s taxon ngansonensis, and clearly distinguishable from Dendrelaphis pictus. We therefore rescind Smith’s unfounded synonymization of these two taxa and supplement Bourret’s data on morphology, coloration, and distribution of the poorly known taxon ngansonensis. Both taxa are sympatric in Vietnam, what confirms the specific rank of ngansonensis. This status seems also to be justifiable with respect to variation in other taxa of Dendrelaphis known so far for South East Asia. Beside the first photographs of Dendrelaphis ngansonensis (Bourret, 1935) we finally provide first data on its habitat.


Reptilia; Squamata; Serpentes; Colubridae; Dendrelaphis; D. ngansonensis (Bourret; 1935); D. pictus (Gmelin; 1789); taxonomy; morphology; coloration; distribution; habitat; Vietnam

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30906/1026-2296-1999-6-3-199-208


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