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Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Atractaspididae
Subfamily: Aparallactinae
Genus: Micrelaps
Boettger, 1880
Common names: two-headed snakes.

Micrelaps is a genus of venomous rear-fanged atractaspidid snakes found in Africa and the Middle East. Currently, five species are recognized.[2]


Genus Micrelaps - five species
Species[2] Taxon author[2] Subsp.*[2] Common name[3] Geographic range[3]
M. bicoloratus Sternfeld, 1908 moyeri Kenya two-headed snake Kenya
M. boettgeri Boulenger, 1896 ———— Boettger's two-headed snake Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda
M. muelleriT Boettger, 1880 ———— Israel, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon
M. tchernovi Y.L. Werner, Babocsay, Carmely & Thuna, 2006 ———— Israel, Jordan
M. vaillanti (Mocquard, 1888) ———— Somali two-headed snake Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, eastern Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda

*) Not including the nominate subspecies T) Type species


One new species, M. tchernovi, was described in 2006 by Y.L. Werner, Babocsay, Carmely, and Thuna. The authors separate this species from M. muelleri, which, according to them, lives (in the southern Levant) in the mesic Mediterranean zone, whereas M. tchernovi inhabits the semiarid Irano-Turanian zone in the Jordan Valley of Israel and Jordan. The type locality is the central Jordan Valley.[3][4]


  1. ^ Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History), Volume III. London. p. 248.
  2. ^ a b c d "Micrelaps". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 17 August 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c Genus Micrelaps at The Reptile Database. Accessed 17 August 2007.
  4. ^ Werner, Y. L., Babocsay, G., Carmely, H. & M. Thuna (2006): Micrelaps in the southern Levant: variation, sexual dimorphism, and a new species (Serpentes: Atractaspididae). - Zoology in the Middle East 38: p. 29-48. Abstract:
  • Böttger, O. 1880. Die Reptilien und Amphibien von Syrien, Palaestina und Cypern. Ber. senckenb. naturf. Ges. 1880:136.