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Lycodonomorphus rufulus Brown Watersnake 4.JPG
Lycodonomorphus rufulus,
brown water snake
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Lamprophiidae
Genus: Lycodonomorphus
(Lichtenstein, 1823)[1]

Nine recognized species, see text.

Lycodonomorphus is a genus of colubrid snakes commonly referred to as African water snakes. They are small, nonvenomous snakes, with all members being endemic to Africa, especially Tanzania.[2]


The following nine species are recognized as being valid.[3]

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


The specific name, whytii, is in honor of British naturalist Alexander Whyte (1834–1908), who worked in Nyasaland (now Malawi) from 1891 to 1897.[6]


  1. ^ (Retrieved Mar. 22, 2010)
  2. ^ (Retrieved Mar. 22, 2010)
  3. ^ "Lycodonomorphus ". The Reptile Database.
  4. ^ Kelly, C.M.R., et al. (2010). "Molecular systematics of the African snake family Lamprophiidae, Fitzinger, 1843 (Serpentes: Elapoidea), with particular focus on the genera Lamprophis, Fitzinger 1843 and Mehelya, Csiki 1903". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 58 (3): 415-426. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2010.11.010
  5. ^ (Retrieved Mar. 22, 2010)
  6. ^ 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. (Lycodonomorphus whytii, p. 285).

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Auerbach, R.D. (1987). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • Boulenger, G.A. (1893). Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp.
  • Boycott, R.C. (1992). An Annotated Checklist of the Amphibians and Reptiles of Swaziland. The Conservation Trust of Swaziland, 1992; online at
  • Broadley, D.G. (1967). A review of the genus Lycodonomorphus Fitzinger (Serpentes: Colubridae) in southeastern Africa, with a key to the genus. Arnoldia 3 (16): 1-9
  • Broadley, Donald G. and F. P. D. Cotterill. 2004. The reptiles of southeast Katanga, an overlooked 'hot spot'. African Journal of Herpetology 53 (1): 35-61.
  • Fitzinger, L. 1843. Systema Reptilium, fasciculus primus, Amblyglossae. Braumüller et Seidel, Wien: 106 pp.
  • Fitzinger, L. 1826. Neue Classification der Reptilien nach ihren natürlichen Verwandtschaften nebst einer Verwandschafts-Tafel und einem Verzeichnisse der Reptilien-Sammlung des K. K. Zoologischen Museums zu Wien. J. G. Heubner, Wien, 66 pp.
  • Haagner, G.V. 1992. Life History Notes - Lycodonomorphus rufulus Jour. Herp. Ass. Afr. (41): 42-42
  • Lichtenstein, M. HINRICH C. 1823. Verzeichniss der Doubletten des zoologischen Museums der Königl. Universität zu Berlin nebst Beschreibung vieler bisher unbekannter Arten von Säugethieren, Vögeln, Amphibien und Fischen. Königl. Preuss. Akad. Wiss./ T. Trautwein, Berlin. x, 118 pages
  • Marais, J. 2004. A Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa, 2nd ed. Struik Publishers, 312 pp.
  • Raw, L. R. G. 1973. A review of the dusky-bellied water snake, Lycodonomorphus laevissimus (Günther), with descriptions of two new subspecies. Ann. Natal Mus. 21 (3): 713-718. Lycodonomorphus laevissimus fitzsimonsi nov. subsp., Lycodonomorphus laevissimus laevissimus nov. subsp., Lycodonomorphus laevissimus natalensis nov. subsp. $2.00