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Dipsas catesbyi in Ecuador.jpg
Dipsas catesbyi in Ecuador.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Dipsadidae
Subfamily: Xenodontinae
Genus: Dipsas
Laurenti, 1768

Dipsas is a genus of nonvenomous New World colubrid snakes in the subfamily Xenodontinae.[1]

Geographic range[edit]

Species in the genus Dipsas are found from southern Mexico through Central America and South America, as far as Argentina and Paraguay.[1] [2]


The genus includes over 30 distinct species.[3]


Dipsas species are slender, small to medium-sized snakes, often no longer than 60 cm (24 in), and rarely longer than 100 cm (39 in). Coloration and color pattern may vary, but often consist of black and brown, frequently with alternating rings separated by white.

Behavior and diet[edit]

They are mostly arboreal snakes that mainly feed on land snails and slugs.


The following species are recognized as being valid.[4]

Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in a genus other than Dipsas.


  1. ^ a b De Lima, A.C.; Da Costa Prudente, A.L. 2009: Morphological variation and systematics of Dipsas catesbyi (Sentzen, 1796) and Dipsas pavonina Schlegel, 1837 (Serpentes: Dipsadinae). Zootaxa, 2203: 31-48. Abstract & excerpt
  2. ^ Cadle, John E. (2005). "Systematics of snakes of the Dipsas oreas complex (Colubridae: Dipsadinae) in western Ecuador and Peru, with revalidation of D. elegans (Boulenger) and D. ellipsifera (Boulenger)". Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. 158 (3): 67–136. doi:10.3099/0027-4100(2005)158[67:SOSOTD]2.0.CO;2. Retrieved 2011-02-11. 
  3. ^ "Dipsas". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "Dipsas ". The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.

Further reading[edit]

  • Freiberg MA. 1982. Snakes of South America. Hong Kong: T.F.H. Publications. 189 pp. ISBN 0-87666-912-7. (Genus Dipsas, pp. 93–94).
  • Laurenti JN. 1768. Specimen medicum, exhibens synopsin reptilium emendatam cum experimentis circa venena et antidota reptilium austriacorum. Vienna: "Joan. Thom. Nob. de Trattnern". 214 pp. + Plates I-V. (Dipsas, new genus, pp. 89–90).

External links[edit]

  • Fernandes, D.S.; Marques, O.A.V.; Argôlo, A.J.S. 2010: A new species of Dipsas Laurenti from the Atlantic Forest of Brazil (Serpentes: Dipsadidae). Zootaxa, 2691: 57–66. Preview