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Denisonia maculata.jpg
Denisonia maculata, ornamental snake
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Elapidae
Subfamily: Hydrophiinae
Genus: Denisonia
Krefft, 1869

Denisonia is a genus of venomous snakes in the family Elapidae. The genus is endemic to Australia.


The following two species are recognized as being valid.[1]


The generic name, Denisonia, is in honor of William Thomas Denison, mid 19th century governor of parts of Australia. The specific name, devisi, is in honor of English herpetologist Charles Walter De Vis.[2]


D. devisi is a short, thick, and slightly flat snake. The eyes are set near the top of the head and have a conspicuous iris. D. devisi is yellowish brown to olive green in colour with irregular, ragged edged narrow dark bands running across the body. De Vis's banded snake is usually confused with death adders as both have thick, banded bodies. The main difference is that the De Vis' banded snake’s tail does not taper abruptly and its head is not broad and triangular.

Geographic range[edit]

D. devisi is distributed throughout the alluvial flats of the mid eastern interiors of Australia.

Behaviour and habitat[edit]

D. devisi is a sluggish snake inhabiting low-lying areas and particularly near sites subjected to seasonal flooding. During the day, this adder stays in soil cracks or deep cavities and emerges at night to feed on frogs.


D. devisi gives birth to fully formed young (viviparous).


  1. ^ "Denisonia ". The Reptile Database.
  2. ^ 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. (Genus Denisonia, p. 69; species Denisonia devisi, p. 71).

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Krefft G (1869). The Snakes of Australia; An Illustrated and Descriptive Catalogue of All the Known Species. Sydney: Thomas Richards, Government Printer. xxv + 100 pp. + Plates I-XII. (Denisonia, new genus, pp. 82–83 + Plate XI, figure 4).
  • Waite ER, Longman HA (1920). "Descriptions of Little-known Australian Snakes". Rec. South Australian Mus. 1 (3): 173-180 + Plate XXVII. (Denisonia maculata var. devisi, new name, pp. 178–179, Text figure 36 + Plate XXVII, figure 2).
  • Wilson, Steve (2003). Reptiles of the Southern Brigalow Belt. Australia: World Wildlife Fund. pp. 33–34.