Julia's ground snake

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Julia's ground snake
Liophis juliae at Rosalie-a01.jpg
Julia's Ground Snake in Rosalie, Dominica.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Xenodontinae
Genus: Liophis
Species: L. juliae
Binomial name
Liophis juliae
(Cope, 1879)
  • L. j. juliae (Cope, 1879)
  • L. j. copeae (Parker, 1936)
  • L. j. mariae (Barbour, 1914)
  • Aporophis juliae Cope, 1879
  • Acrophis juliae — Cope, 1879
  • Dromicus juliae Garman, 1887
  • Liophis juliae Günther, 1888
  • Erythrolamprus juliae
    Grazziotin et al., 2012
  • Liophis juliae Wallach, 2014 [1]

Julia's ground snake (Liophis juliae) is a species of colubrid snake found in the Caribbean, on the Lesser Antilles islands of Dominica and Guadeloupe.


The specific name, juliae, is in honor of Julia Cope Collins (1866-1959), who was the only child of American herpetologist Edward Drinker Cope, the describer of this species.[2]


The nominate subspecies, L. j. juliae, is endemic to Dominica, where it may be found everywhere but the highest elevations. L. j. copeae is found on numerous islands in the Guadeloupean archipelago, while L. j. mariae is restricted to the Guadeloupean island of Marie-Galante. Its relative rareness in Guadeloupe is attributed to the presence of the mongoose, which is absent from Dominica.


L. juliae can reach half a meter (20 inches) in total length (including tail). Its coloration is typically white or yellowish flecks on a glossy dark ground color, but some individuals are uniformly dark.


Julia's ground snake eats lizards, frogs, and insects.

Defensive behavior[edit]

L. juliae is harmless to humans, but may release a foul-smelling cloacal secretion if provoked.


  1. ^ "Erythrolamprus juliae ". The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.
  2. ^ 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. (Liophis juliae, p. 137).

Further reading[edit]

  • Cope ED. (1879). "Eleventh Contribution to the Herpetology of Tropical America". Proc. Amer. Philosophical Soc. 18: 261-277. ("Aporophis juliæ ", new species, pp. 274–275).
  • Malhotra, Anita; Thorpe, Roger S. (1999). Reptiles and Amphibians of the Eastern Caribbean. London and Oxford: Macmillan Education Ltd. ISBN 0-333-69141-5. (pp. 39–40, 84, 86-88, 123).
  • Powell, Robert; Henderson, Robert W. (2005). "Conservation Status of Lesser Antillean Reptiles". Iguana 12 (2): 63-77.
  • Schwartz A, Thomas R. (1975). A Check-list of West Indian Amphibians and Reptiles. Carnegie Museum of Natural History Special Publication No. 1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Carnegie Museum of Natural History. 216 pp. (Dromicus juliae, p. 182).

External links[edit]