Pseudechis

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Pseudechis
Red belly.jpg
The Red Bellied-black Snake
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Elapidae
Genus: Pseudechis
Wagler, 1830
Species

See text

The genus Pseudechis contains the group of elapids commonly referred to as the Black Snakes. These snakes are found in every Australian state with the exception of Tasmania and some species are found in Papua New Guinea. They inhabit a variety of habitat types, from arid areas to swampland. All species are dangerous (Pseudechis signifying "like a viper, Gr. echis") and can inflict a potentially lethal bite. Most snakes in this genus reach about 2m and vary in colour. Some species are brown, where others are black. The most recognisable and widespread species in the genus are the Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus) and the Mulga Snake (King Brown) (Pseudechis australis). These snakes feed on lizards, frogs, birds, small mammals and even other snakes. All species lay eggs, except the Red-bellied Black Snake and Collett's Snake. The genus Pailsus is a synonym of Pseudechis, and more work is needed to understand species limits among the smaller species of the group.[1][2][3][4]

Species[edit]

There is current debate on the taxonomy of these snakes and more species are likely to be described in the near future.[5] Several recent phylogenetic studies have provided evidence of the presence of species beyond the six recognised in most books [6][7][8]

Mulga Snake or King Brown Snake, Pseudechis australis (Gray, 1842)
Spotted Mulga Snake, Pseudechis butleri (Smith, 1982)
Collett's Snake, Pseudechis collettii (Boulenger, 1902)
Blue-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis guttatus (De Vis, 1905)
Pseudechis pailsi (Hoser, 1998)
Papuan Black Snake, Pseudechis papuanus (Peters & Doria, 1878)
Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus (Shaw, 1794)
Papuan Dwarf King Brown, Pseudechis rossignolii (Hoser, 2000)
Pygmy Mulga Snake, Pseudechis weigeli (Wells & Wellington, 1987)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pseudechis australis at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database
  2. ^ Kuch, U.; Keogh, J.S.; Weigel, J.; Smith, L.A.; Mebs, D. (2005). "Phylogeography of Australia's king brown snake (Pseudechis australis) reveals Pliocene divergence and Pleistocene dispersal of a top predator". Naturwissenschaften 92 (3): 121–127. doi:10.1007/s00114-004-0602-0. PMID 15688185. 
  3. ^ Wüster, W., A.J. Dumbrell, C. Hay, C.E. Pook, D.J. Williams & B.G. Fry (2005). "Snakes across the Strait: Trans-Torresian phylogeographic relationships in three genera of Australasian snakes (Serpentes: Elapidae: Acanthophis, Oxyuranus and Pseudechis).". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 34(1): 1–14. "superseding; Wüster, W., et al. Phylogeny and classification of Australo-Papuan black snakes and mulga snakes: comments on genus Pailsus Hoser (1998)" 
  4. ^ Wüster W, Golay P, Warrell DA (August 1999). "Synopsis of recent developments in venomous snake systematics, No. 3". Toxicon 37 (8): 1123–9. doi:10.1016/S0041-0101(98)00248-7. PMID 10400296. 
  5. ^ Pseudechis at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database
  6. ^ Kuch, U.; Keogh, J.S.; Weigel, J.; Smith, L.A.; Mebs, D. (2005). "Phylogeography of Australia's king brown snake (Pseudechis australis) reveals Pliocene divergence and Pleistocene dispersal of a top predator". Naturwissenschaften 92 (3): 121–127. doi:10.1007/s00114-004-0602-0. PMID 15688185. 
  7. ^ Wüster, W., A.J. Dumbrell, C. Hay, C.E. Pook, D.J. Williams & B.G. Fry (2005). "Snakes across the Strait: Trans-Torresian phylogeographic relationships in three genera of Australasian snakes (Serpentes: Elapidae: Acanthophis, Oxyuranus and Pseudechis).". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 34(1): 1-14. 
  8. ^ "Profile".