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Lycophidion variegatum2.jpg
Lycophidion variegatum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Lamprophiidae
Subfamily: Lamprophiinae
Genus: Lycophidion
Fitzinger, 1843

20 species, see text.

Lycophidion is a genus of nonvenomous lamprophiid snakes commonly referred to as the wolf snakes.

Lycophidion capense, cape wolf snake, Waterberg, Limpopo.

As of 2015 there are 20 recognized species in the genus.[1]

Description and behavior[edit]

Wolf snakes are small snakes which forage at night for sleeping lizards.[2] They have flat heads and large recurved teeth that are assumed to aid them in their extraction of lizards from their lairs.[3]


All species in the genus Lycophidion are oviparous and lay between 3 and 10 eggs.[3]


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

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


  1. ^ a b Uetz, Peter. "Search results - Lycophidion". The Reptile Database. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Marais, Johan (2004). A complete guide to the snakes of southern Africa (New ed.). Cape Town: Struik. ISBN 978-1868729326. 
  3. ^ a b Marais, Graham Alexander & Johan (2007). Field guide to reptiles of Southern Africa (3. impression. ed.). Cape Town: Struik. p. 94. ISBN 9781770073869. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Branch, Bill. 2004. Field Guide to Snakes and other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Third Revised edition, Second impression. Sanibel Island, Florida: Ralph Curtis Books. 399 pp. ISBN 0-88359-042-5. (Genus Lycophidion, p. 76).
  • Fitzinger L. 1843. Systema Reptilium, Fasciculus Primus, Amblyglossae. Vienna: Braumüller & Seidel. 106 pp. + indices. (Lycophidion, new genus, p. 27). (in Latin).