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Cyl ruffus 061212 2025 tdp.jpg
Red-tailed pipe snake, C. ruffus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Superfamily: Booidea
Family: Cylindrophiidae
Fitzinger, 1843
Genus: Cylindrophis
Wagler, 1828[1]

The Cylindrophiidae are a monotypic family[2] of nonvenomous snakes containing the genus Cylindrophis found in Asia. These are burrowing snakes and all have checkered black-and-white bellies. Currently, eight species are recognized, with no subspecies.[3] Common names include: Asian pipe snakes.[2]

Geographic range[edit]

They are found from Sri Lanka east through Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Malay Archipelago to as far east as Aru Islands off the southwestern coast of New Guinea. They also are found in southern China (Fujian, Hong Kong and on Hainan Island) and in Laos.[1]


The teeth are moderate and subequal, with 10-12 in each Maxillary and none in the Premaxillary. The head is small, not distinct from neck. The eyes are very small, with round or vertically subelliptic pupils. The head has large symmetrical shields, with the nostrils in a single nasal, which forms a suture with its fellow behind the rostral. It has loreal or preocular, and a small postocular. A mental groove is found. The body is cylindrical. The dorsal scales are smooth, in 19, 21, or 23 rows. Ventral scales are slightly larger than or equal to dorsal scales. The tail is extremely short and blunt.[4]


The genus Cylindrophis contains the following eight species.

Species[3] Taxon author[3] Common name[5] Geographic range[1]
C. aruensis Boulenger, 1920 Aru cylinder snake Indonesia: The Aru Islands
C. boulengeri Roux, 1911 Boulenger's pipe snake Indonesia: the islands of Babar, Timor, and Wetar
C. isolepis Boulenger, 1896 Jampea Island pipe snake Indonesia: Jampea Island
C. lineatus Blanford, 1881 Blanford's pipe snake Indonesia: Borneo and Sarawak
C. maculatus (Linnaeus, 1758) Ceylonese cylinder snake Sri Lanka
C. melanotus Wagler, 1828 black pipe snake Indonesia: Sulawesi (Celebes), the Tabukan Islands, the Sangihe Islands, the Sula Islands, Halmahera and Batjan
C. opisthorhodus Boulenger, 1897 island pipe snake Indonesia: Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo and Flores.
C. ruffusT (Laurenti, 1768) red-tailed pipe snake Myanmar and southern China (Fujian, Hong Kong and on Hainan Island), south into Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, the Malay Peninsula and the East Indies to Indonesia (the Riau Archipelago, Sumatra, Bangka, Borneo, Java, Sulawesi, Buton and the Sula Islands

T) Type species.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Washington, District of Columbia: Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. ^ a b "Cylindrophiidae". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 17 August 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c "Cylindrophis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 17 August 2007. 
  4. ^ Boulenger GA. 1893. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume I., Containing the Families ... Ilysiidæ ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiii + 448 pp. + Plates I-XXVIII. (Genus Cylindrophis, pp. 134-135).
  5. ^ Cylindrophis at the Reptile Database. Accessed 17 August 2007.

External links[edit]