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Oligodon affinis.jpg
Western kukri snake Oligodon affinis
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Oligodon
Fitzinger, 1826[1]

76 known species[2]

Oligodon is genus of colubrid snakes that was first described by the Austrian zoologist Fitzinger in 1826.[1] This genus is widespread throughout central and tropical Asia.[3]


Oligodon are also known as kukri snakes. They are egg eaters and are usually under 90 cm (35 in) in length; different species display widely variable patterns and colorations. They subsist mostly by scavenging the eggs of birds and reptiles. Besides eggs, species of this genus also feeds on lizards, frogs, and small rodents. Oligodon is a rear-fanged snake genus. They have a set of enlarged teeth placed in the back of their mouths, as well as functional Duvernoy's glands. They are not dangerous to humans, though. Bites by some species have been reported to bleed excessively, suggesting presence of anticoagulants in the Duvernoy's gland secretions.[4] Species of Oligodon are mostly nocturnal, and live on the floor of mature forests.

The common name of the genus comes from the kukri, a distinctively shaped Nepalese knife, which is similar in shape to the broad, flattened, curved hind teeth of Oligodon species. These teeth are specially adapted for their main diet of eggs; the teeth slit open eggs as they are being swallowed by the snake, allowing for easier digestion.


There are 76 recognized species in the genus Oligodon according to Reptile Database as of August 2017[2]

The source column gives direct links to the sources used:

EX - Extinct, EW - Extinct in the Wild
CR - Critically Endangered, EN - Endangered, VU - Vulnerable
NT - Near Threatened, LC - Least Concern
DD - Data Deficient, NE - Not Evaluated

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

Common name Species Authority Geographic range Conservation status Source
Western kukri snake, Malabar brown kukri snake O. affinis Günther, 1862 India (Kerala, Tamil Nadu) LC IUCN RDB
Light-barred kukri snake O. albocinctus (Cantor, 1839) Nepal, Bangladesh, India (Assam, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh), Burma, Vietnam, China (Tibet, Yunnan) RDB
Northern short-headed snake O. ancorus (Girard, 1858) Philippines (Mindoro, Luzon) NT IUCN RDB
Annam kukri snake O. annamensis Leviton, 1953 Vietnam (Lam Dang Province) DD IUCN RDB
Spotted kukri snake, ringed kukri snake O. annulifer (Boulenger, 1893) Brunei, Malaysia (Sabah, Sarawak) LC IUCN RDB
Sandy Kukri Snake O. arenarius Vassilieva, 2015 S Vietnam (Ba Ria–Vung Tau Province) RDB
Russet kukri snake, common kukri snake, banded kukri O. arnensis (Shaw, 1802) Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India (West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab), Pakistan, Nepal RDB
Barron's kukri snake O. barroni (M.A. Smith, 1916) Thailand, Southern Vietnam, Cambodia, South Laos LC IUCN RDB
Javanese mountain kukri snake, Boie's kukri snake O. bitorquatus F. Boie, 1827 Indonesia (Java, possibly South Sumatra and Sumbawa) LC IUCN RDB
Boo-Liat's kukri snake O. booliati[5] Leong & Grismer, 2004 Malaysia (Tioman island) CR IUCN RDB
Short-tailed kukri snake, shorthead kukri snake O. brevicauda Günther, 1862 India (Tamil Nadu, Kerala) VU IUCN RDB
Templeton's kukri snake O. calamarius (Linnaeus, 1758) Sri Lanka RDB
Assam kukri snake O. catenatus (Blyth, 1854) India, Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, South China (Guangdong, Guangxi) RDB
Cat Tien kukri snake O. cattienensis Vassilieva, Geissler, Galoyan, Poyarkov, Van Devender & Böhme, 2013 Dong Nai, Viet Nam RDB
Chinese kukri snake O. chinensis (Günther, 1888) southern China, northern Vietnam LC IUCN RDB
Black cross-barred kukri snake, ashy kukri snake, golden kukri snake, Günther's kukri snake O. cinereus (Günther, 1864) India (Assam, Arunachal Pradesh), Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Burma, Thailand, peninsular Malaysia, China (Yunnan, Hong Kong, Hainan, Guangxi, Fujian, Guangdong) LC IUCN RDB
O. condaoensis Nguyen, Nguyen, Le & Murphy, 2016 S Vietnam (Hon Ba Island) RDB
Pegu kukri snake O. cruentatus (Günther, 1868) Burma LC IUCN RDB
O. culaochamensis Nguyen et al., 2017 Vietnam RDB
North-east Indian kukri snake, Cantor's kukri snake O. cyclurus (Cantor, 1839) India (Assam), Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China (Yunnan), Nepal, Bangladesh LC IUCN RDB
O. deuvei[6] David, Vogel &
van Rooijen, 2008
Cambodia, southern Vietnam, Laos, North East Thailand LC IUCN RDB
Gray's kukri snake, Bengalese kukri snake O. dorsalis (Gray & Hardwicke, 1835) India (Assam), Bhutan, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand RDB
Eberhardt's kukri snake O. eberhardti Pellegrin, 1910 Vietnam, China (Guangxi, Fujian), possibly Laos, Cambodia and Burma LC IUCN RDB
Nagarkot kukri snake O. erythrogaster Boulenger, 1907 Central and East Nepal, India (Sikkim) RDB
Red-striped kukri snake, Namsang kukri snake O. erythrorhachis Wall, 1910 India (Arunachal Pradesh) DD IUCN RDB
Jewelled kukri snake, Everett's kukri snake[7] O. everetti Boulenger, 1893 Indonesia (Kalimantan), Malaysia (Sabah) LC IUCN RDB
Small-banded kukri snake, fasciolated kukri snake O. fasciolatus (Günther, 1864) Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam LC IUCN RDB
Forbes' kukri snake O. forbesi (Boulenger, 1883) Indonesia (Selaru and Yamdena in Tanimbar Islands) LC IUCN RDB
Taiwan kukri snake, Formosa kukri snake O. formosanus (Günther, 1872) Vietnam, Taiwan, South China (Chekiang, Jiangxi, Fujian, Guangdong, Nan Ao Island, Hainan, Guangxi, Hong Kong, Zhejiang, Yunnan) RDB
Hampton's kukri snake O. hamptoni Boulenger, 1918 Burma DD IUCN RDB
Hua Hin Kukri Snake O. huahin[8] Pauwels, Larsen, Suthanthangjai, David & Sumontha, 2017 Thailand (Hua Hin) DD
Inornate kukri snake, unicolored kukri snake O. inornatus (Boulenger, 1914) Cambodia, North and Southeast Thailand LC IUCN RDB
Jintakune's kukri snake O. jintakunei[9] Pauwels, Wallach, David, Chanhome, 2002 South Thailand DD IUCN RDB
Grey kukri snake, Joynson's kukri snake O. joynsoni (M.A. Smith, 1917) northern Thailand, possibly Laos, Burma, China (Yunnan) LC IUCN RDB
Walnut kukri snake O. juglandifer (Wall, 1909) India (Sikkim), West Bhutan VU IUCN RDB
O. kampucheaensis[10] Neang, Grismer & Daltry, 2012 Cambodia RDB
O. kheriensis[11] Acharji & Ray, 1936 India (Uttar Pradesh), Southwest Nepal RDB
Lacroix kukri snake O. lacroixi Angel & Bourret, 1933 China (Sichuan, Yunnan), Vietnam VU IUCN RDB
O. lungshenensis Zheng & Huang, 1978 China (Chongqing, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan) NT IUCN RDB
Angel's kukri snake O. macrurus (Angel, 1927) Vietnam DD IUCN RDB
Barred short-headed snake, spotted kukri snake O. maculatus (Taylor, 1918) Philippines (Mindanao) LC IUCN RDB
Arakan kukri snake, McDougall's kukri snake O. mcdougalli Wall, 1905 Burma LC IUCN RDB
Bluebelly kukri snake O. melaneus Wall, 1909 India RDB
Abor Hills kukri snake O. melanozonatus Wall, 1922 India, China (Tibet) RDB
Sulu short-headed snake, Meyerink's kukri snake O. meyerinkii (Steindachner, 1891) Philippine Islands (Bongao, Jolo, Papahang, Sibutu, Tawi-Tawi in Sulu Archipelago), possibly Malaysia (Sabah) EN IUCN RDB
Spotted-bellied short-headed snake, Luzon kukri snake O. modestus Günther, 1864 Philippines (Mindanao, Negros, Tablas, Panay, Cebu, possibly Luzon) VU IUCN RDB
Morice's kukri snake O. moricei[6] David, Vogel & van Rooijen, 2008 Southern Vietnam DD IUCN RDB
Cambodian kukri snake, Mouhot’s kukri snake O. mouhoti (Boulenger, 1914) Cambodia, East Thailand LC IUCN RDB
O. nagao[12] David, Q. Nguyen, T. Nguyen, Jiang, Chen, Teynié & Ziegler, 2012 Northern Vietnam, Southwest China (Guangxi), Laos RDB
Nikhil's kukri snake O. nikhili Whitaker & Dattatri, 1982 India (Tamil Nadu) DD IUCN RDB
O. notospilus Günther, 1873 Philippine Islands (Palawan, Busuanga, Balabac, Mindanao) RDB
Eyed kukri snake, ocellated kukri snake O. ocellatus (Morice, 1875) Cambodia, Lao, southern Vietnam LC IUCN RDB
Eight-lined kukri snake, eight-striped kukri snake, Grace's kukri snake O. octolineatus (Schneider, 1801) Brunei, Indonesia (Java, Borneo, Sumatra), Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak), Singapore LC IUCN RDB
Ornate kukri snake O. ornatus Van Denburgh, 1909 China (Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Zhejiang), Taiwan, LC IUCN RDB
Perkin's short-headed snake O. perkinsi (Taylor, 1925) Philippines (Palawan, Culion and Calauit Islands) NT IUCN RDB
Petronella's[13] kukri snake O. petronellae Roux, 1917 Indonesia (Sumatra) DD IUCN RDB
O. planiceps (Boulenger, 1888) Burma LC IUCN RDB
Pulau Weh kukri snake O. praefrontalis F. Werner, 1913 Indonesia (Weh Island) DD IUCN RDB
Bleeker's Kukri Snake O. propinquus Jan, 1862 Indonesia (Java) RDB
False striped kukri snake O. pseudotaeniatus[6] David, Vogel & van Rooijen, 2008 Thailand LC IUCN RDB
O. pulcherrimus F. Werner, 1909 Indonesia (Sumatra) VU IUCN RDB
Purple kukri snake, brown kukri snake O. purpurascens (Schlegel, 1837) Brunei, Indonesia (Bali, Java, Kalimantan, Sumatra), Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak), Singapore, Thailand LC IUCN RDB
Saint Giron's kukri snake O. saintgironsi[3] David, Vogel & Pauwels, 2008 Vietnam, Cambodia DD IUCN RDB
Sai Yok Kukri Snake O. saiyok[14] Sumontha, Kunya, Dangsri & Pauwels, 2017 Thailand (Kanchanaburi) DD
Half-keeled kukri snake, barred kukri snake, banded kukri snake O. signatus (Günther, 1864) Indonesia (Sumatra), Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak), Singapore LC IUCN RDB
Splendid kukri snake O. splendidus (Günther, 1875) Burma LC IUCN RDB
Duméril's kukri snake O. sublineatus A.M.C. Duméril, Bibron & A.H.A. Duméril, 1854 Sri Lanka LC IUCN RDB
Striped kukri snake O. taeniatus (Günther, 1861) Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, possibly China (Yunnan) LC IUCN RDB
Streaked sukri knake, Loos snake O. taeniolatus (Jerdon, 1853) Afghanistan, India, Iran, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan LC IUCN RDB
Mandalay kukri snake, Theobald's kukri snake O. theobaldi (Günther, 1868) Bangladesh, Burma LC IUCN RDB
O. torquatus (Boulenger, 1888) Burma DD IUCN RDB
Travancore kukri snake O. travancoricus Beddome, 1877 India (Kerala, Tamil Nadu) DD IUCN RDB
Three-lined kukri snake O. trilineatus (A.M.C. Duméril, Bibron & A.H.A. Duméril, 1854) Indonesia (Nias, Siberut, Sumatra) LC IUCN RDB
O. unicolor (Kopstein, 1926) Indonesia (Selaru, Yamdena) LC IUCN RDB
Jerdon's kukri snake O. venustus (Jerdon, 1853) India (Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu) LC IUCN RDB
Dark-spined kukri snake, vertebral kukri snake O. vertebralis (Günther, 1865) Indonesia (Kalimantan), Malaysia (Sabah) DD IUCN RDB
Bleeker's kukri snake O. waandersi (Bleeker, 1860) Indonesia (Java, Sulawesi, Buton, Sula Islands) RDB
Wagner’s kukri snake O. wagneri David & Vogel, 2012 Indonesia (Nias) RDB
O. woodmasoni (Sclater, 1891) India (Nicobar Islands, possibly Andaman Islands) RDB


  1. ^ a b Fitzinger LJ. (1826). Neue Classification der Reptilien nach ihren natürlichen Verwandtschaften. Nebst einer Verwandtschafts-tafel und einem Verzeichnisse der Reptilien-Sammlung des K. K. zoologischen Museums zu Wien. Vienna: J.G. Heubner. 5 unnumbered + 67 pp. + one plate. (Oligodon, new genus, p. 56). (in German and Latin).
  2. ^ a b "Search results Genus: Oligodon - Exact match". Reptile Database. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b David P, Vogel G, Pauwels OS (2008). "A new species of the genus Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826 (Squamata: Colubridae) from northern Vietnam, southern China and central Laos" (PDF). Zootaxa. 1939: 19–37.
  4. ^ Wüster W, Cox MJ (1992). "Defensive hemipenis display in the kukri snake Oligodon cyclurus ". Journal of Herpetology. 26 (2): 238–241. doi:10.2307/1564874. JSTOR 1564874.
  5. ^ Leong TM, Grismer LL (2004). "A new species of kukri snake, Oligodon (Colubridae), from Pulau Tioman, West Malaysia" (PDF). Asiatic Herpetological Research. 10: 12–16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-05-06.
  6. ^ a b c David, P.; Vogel, G.; van Rooijen, J. (2008). "A revision of the Oligodon taeniatus (Günther, 1861) group (Squamata: Colubridae), with the description of three new species from the Indochinese Region". Zootaxa. 1965: 1–49.
  7. ^ 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. (Oligodon everetti, p. 86).
  8. ^ https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318393445_A_new_kukri_snake_Colubridae_Oligodon_from_Hua_Hin_District_and_the_first_record_of_O_deuvei_from_Thailand
  9. ^ Pauwels OSG, Wallach V, David P, Chanhome L (2002). "A new species of Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826 (Serpentes, Colubridae) from southern peninsular Thailand". Natural History Journal of Chulalongkorn University. 2 (2): 7–18.
  10. ^ Neang T, Grismer L, Daltry JC. (2012). "A new species of kukri snake (Colubridae: Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826) from the Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary, Cardamom Mountains, southwest Cambodia". Zootaxa 3388: 41–55.
  11. ^ Acharji MN, Ray HC. (1936). "A new species of Oligodon from the United Provinces (India)". Records of the Indian Museum, Calcutta 38: 519–520.
  12. ^ David P, Nguyen TQ, Nguyen TT, Jiang K, Chen T, Teynié A, Ziegler T (2012). "A new species of the genus Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826 (Squamata: Colubridae) from northern Vietnam, southern China and central Laos". Zootaxa. 3498: 45–62.
  13. ^ Beolens et al. 2011, p. 205.
  14. ^ https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318529308_Oligodon_saiyok_a_new_limestone-dwelling_kukri_snake_Serpentes_Colubridae_from_Kanchanaburi_Province_western_Thailand

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Green, Marc D.; Orlov, Nikolai L.; Murphy, Robert W. (2010). "Toward a Phylogeny of the Kukri Snakes, Genus Oligodon ". Asian Herpetological Research 2 (1): 1-21.
  • Smith MA (1943). The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-region. Reptilia and Amphibia. Vol. III.—Serpentes. London: Secretary of State for India. (Taylor and Francis, printers). xii + 583 pp. (Genus Oligodon, pp. 195–201).