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Oxyrhopus melanogenys.jpg
Oxyrhopus melanogenys in Ecuador.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Dipsadinae
Genus: Oxyrhopus
Wagler, 1830[1]

Brachyruton, Clelia, Coluber, Duberria, Erythrolamprus, Lycodon, Olisthenes, Phimophis, Pseudoboa, Rhinosimus, Scytale, Siphlophis, Sphenocephalus[2]

Oxyrhopus is a genus of colubrid snakes that belong to the subfamily Dipsadinae. The genus is found in Central America and the northern part of South America,[3] and it includes at least 13 distinct species.[1]


The following 14 species are recognized as being valid.[4]

The former Oxyrhopus venezuelanus Shreve, 1947[1] is currently considered a synonym of Oxyrhopus doliatus.[4]

Nota bene: In the above list, a binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in a genus other than Oxyrhopus.


Species in the genus Oxyrhopus share the following characters:

Head distinct from neck. Eye moderate or small. Pupil vertically elliptic. Body cylindrical or slightly laterally compressed. Tail moderate or long.

Dorsal scales smooth, with apical pits, and arranged in 19 rows at midbody.

Maxillary teeth 10-15, subequal, followed after a gap by two enlarged grooved teeth, located just behind the posterior border of the eye.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d "Oxyrhopus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 26 February 2011.
  2. ^ a b Boulenger GA (1896). Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume III., Containing the Colubridæ (Opisthoglyphæ and Proteroglyphæ) ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiv + 727 pp. + Plates I-XXV. (Genus Oxyrhopus, p. 99).
  3. ^ MacCulloch, Ross D.; Lathrop, Amy; Kok, Philippe J. R.; Ernst, Raffael; Kalamandeen, Michelle (2009). "The genus Oxyrhopus (Serpentes: Dipsadidae: Xenodontinae) in Guyana: morphology, distributions and comments on taxonomy". Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia. 49 (36): 487–495. doi:10.1590/S0031-10492009003600001. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
  4. ^ a b "Oxyrhopus ". The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.
  5. ^ Lynch JD (2009). "Snakes of the genus Oxyrhopus (Colubridae: Squamata) in Colombia: taxonomy and geographic variation". Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia (São Paulo) 49 (25): 319-337.

Further reading[edit]

  • Freiberg M (1982). Snakes of South America. Hong Kong: T.F.H. Publications. 189 pp. ISBN 0-87666-912-7. (Oxyrhopus, pp. 78–79, 104-105, 137 + photographs on pp. 135, 138, 190-191).
  • Wagler J (1830). Natürliches System der Amphibien, mit vorangehender Classification des Säugthiere und Vögel. Ein Beitrag zur vergleichenden Zoologie. Munich, Stuttgart, and Tübingen: J.G. Cotta. vi + 354 pp. + one plate. (Oxyrhopus, new genus, pp. 185–186). (in German and Latin).