Species in the genus Calamaria share the following characteristics. The eight to 11 maxillary teeth are subequal; the anterior mandibular teeth are somewhat longer than the posterior ones. The head is not distinct from neck; the eye is small, with a round pupil; the nostril is pierced in a minute nasal scale. No loreal, internasal, or temporal scales are present; the preocular can be present or absent; the parietals contact the labials. The body is cylindrical, with smooth dorsal scales, without apical pits, in 13 rows. The tail is short; the subcaudals are paired.
^Boulenger GA. 1894. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume II., Containing the Conclusion of the Colubridæ Aglyphæ. London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xi + 382 pp. + Plates I-XX. (Genus Calamaria, p. 330).
^Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Calamaria pfefferi, p. 205).