Boomsong’s stream snake

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Boomsong’s stream snake
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Natricinae
Genus: Isanophis
David, Pauwels (fr), T.Q.Nguyen, & Vogel, 2015
Species: I. boonsongi
Binomial name
Isanophis boonsongi
(Taylor & Elbel, 1958)
  • Parahelicops boonsongi Taylor & Elbel, 1958
  • Opisthotropis boonsongi W. Brown & Leviton, 1961
  • Opisthotrophis boonsongi Chan-ard et al., 1999
  • Isanophis boonsongi David et al., 2015

Boomsong’s stream snake (Isanophis boonsongi), also known as Boomsong's keelback,[1] is a species of snake in the family Colubridae, subfamily Natricinae (keelbacks). It is monotypic in the genus Isanophis.[2] The species is endemic to Thailand.


The Boomsong's stream snake is a rare snake only known from 3 collections. It was originally described as Parahelicops boonsongi in 1958 on the basis of a single collection[3] and has since been argued by different authors to fall within either Parahelicops or Opisthotropis.[4][2] Most recently, a 2015 study described a new genus, Isanophis, to accommodate this species, on the basis of morphological differences in the teeth size, eye size and placement, pupil shape, keel shape, gross body morphology, and presence of a single prefrontal scale.[5]

Higher taxonomy of Isanophis is variable, with some authors recognizing Natricidae as its own family[5] and others treating it as a subfamily of Colubridae (Natricinae).[2]

Geographic range[edit]

I. boonsongi is known only from Loei Province in northeastern Thailand although it may occur in Laos, southern China, and Vietnam.[5] As it is only known from three collections, it is treated as Data Deficient in The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.[1]


I. boonsongi is a nocturnal snake, found in sub-montane forests and may be aquatic or semi-aquatic, feeding on frogs and fishes.[2][1]


The genus name Isanophis refers to Isan, a northeastern region of Thailand where it has been found, and ophis (Greek), meaning snake.[5] The specific name, boonsongi, commemorates Thai zoologist and conservationist Dr. Boonsong Lekagul.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d Chan-Ard, T. (2012). "Parahelicops boonsongi". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012-1.RLTS.T41214A2951873.en. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  2. ^ a b c d e Isanophis boonsongi at the Reptile Database. Accessed 5 December 2016.
  3. ^ Taylor, E. H.; Elbel, R. E. (1958). "Contribution to the herpetology of Thailand". University of Kansas Science Bulletin. 38: 1033–1189. doi:10.5962/bhl.part.10972. (Parahelicops boonsongi, new species, pp. 1156–1159, Figure 31).
  4. ^ Cox, Merel J. (1995). "Opisthotrophis boonsongi ". Herpetological Review 26 (3): 157.
  5. ^ a b c d David, Patrick; Pauwels, Olivier S. G.; Nguyen, Truong Quang; Vogel, Gernot (2015). "On the taxonomic status of the Thai endemic freshwater snake Parahelicops boonsongi, with the erection of a new genus". Zootaxa 3948 (2): 203-217. (Isanophis, new genus, pp. 205–206; Isanophis boonsongi, new combination, pp. 206–208, Figure 1).
  6. ^ 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. (Opisthotropis boonsongi, p. 31).