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Psammophis subtaeniatus2.jpg
Psammophis subtaeniatus, Limpopo, South Africa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Lamprophiidae
Genus: Psammophis

Psammophis aegyptius
Psammophis angolensis
Psammophis ansorgii
Psammophis biseriatus
Psammophis brevirostris
Psammophis condanarus
Psammophis crucifer
Psammophis elegans
Psammophis indochinensis
Psammophis jallae
Psammophis leightoni
Psammophis leithii
Psammophis leopardinus
Psammophis lineatus
Psammophis lineolatus
Psammophis longifrons
Psammophis mossambicus
Psammophis namibensis
Psammophis notostictus
Psammophis occidentalis
Psammophis orientalis
Psammophis phillipsi
Psammophis praeornatus
Psammophis pulcher
Psammophis punctulatus
Psammophis rukwae
Psammophis schokari
Psammophis sibilans
Psammophis subtaeniatus
Psammophis sudanensis
Psammophis tanganicus
Psammophis trigrammus
Psammophis trinasalis
Psammophis zambiensis

Psammophis is a genus of colubrid snakes currently comprising 33 species 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 word psammophis was coined by the herpetologist Heinrich Boie in 1826, a compound of the Hellenistic Greek ψαμμο- 'sand' + Classical Greek ὄϕις snake, thus sand-snake.[3]


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 posteriorteeth are small. The head is elongated and distinct from the neck, with an angular canthus rostralis. The eyes are rather large, with round pupils. Its body is elongated and cylindrical with smooth scales in 15 or 17 rows, with apical pits. Ventral scales are rounded or obtusely angulated laterally, and the tail is long with the subcaudals in two rows.


Thirty four species are known, from Africa and southern Asia.[4] Chiefly sand-snakes, they are also found on low bushes. They feed principally on lizards.[5]


  1. ^ UETZ, P. 2012. (ed.). The Reptile Database. http://www.reptile-
  2. ^ BATES, M.F., BRANCH, W.R., BAUER, A.M., BURGER, M., MARAIS, J., ALEXANDER, G.J. & DE VILLIERS, M.S. (eds). 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
  3. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd edition, s.v.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Boulenger, G. A. 1890. Fauna of British India. Reptilia and Batrachia.