Sinomicrurus macclellandi

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Sinomicrurus macclellandi
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Elapidae
Genus: Sinomicrurus
Species: S. macclellandi
Binomial name
Sinomicrurus macclellandi
(J.T. Reinhardt, 1844)
  • Elaps macclellandi
    J.T. Reinhardt, 1844
  • Calliophis macclellandii [sic] Stejneger, 1907
  • Callophis maclellandii [sic]
    Wall, 1908
  • Hemibungarus macclellandi
    — Golay et al., 1993
  • Micrurus macclellandi
    — Welch, 1994
  • Sinomicrurus macclellandi
    Slowinski et al., 2001[1]

Sinomicrurus macclellandi, commonly known as MacClelland's coral snake, is a species of venomous elapid snake endemic to southern and eastern Asia.


The specific name, macclellandi, is in honor of Dr. John MacClelland (1805-1875), a physician and naturalist, who worked for the East India Company.[2]


S. macclellandi is a small snake, about 40–80 centimetres (16–31 in) in total length (including tail), and has a thin body. Dorsally, it is reddish-brown, with thin, black cross bars, and its belly is creamy white. The head is small, round and black in color, with a broad, creamy white transverse band, and black outlines at the middle of the head. The dorsal scales on the body are smooth, and they are arranged, at midbody, in 13 parallel longitudinal rows.


It is found in Northern India (Assam, Sikkim, Darjeeling, Mizoram); Arunachal Pradesh (Deban – Changlang district, Chessa, Chimpu – Papum Pare district), Nepal, N Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Vietnam, Central and Southern China (including Hong Kong, Hainan, north to Gansu and Shaanxi), Japan (Ryukyu Islands), Taiwan.


Four subspecies are recognized, including the nominate subspecies.

S. m. iwasakii is found on Ishigaki Island and other Ryukyu Islands in Japan.
S. m. swinhoei is found in Taiwan.
S. m. univirgatus is found in Nepal, and Sikkim.

Behavior and habitat[edit]

It is mainly nocturnal and terrestrial. It occurs in forest litter, hillside, and lowland. It is often found hiding under leaves. Although this is a venomous species, it is quite docile and not likely to strike actively.


It preys on small reptiles, such as lizards and snakes.


Like other elapidae, it possesses a potent neurotoxic venom, which is capable of killing a person. Bite symptoms include numbness of lips and difficulty of speech and breathing, followed by blurred vision. Severe bite victims may die of respiratory failure, although there have been only a few human deaths recorded in Thailand.


Sinomicrurus macclellandi is an oviparous species. Mature females lay clutches of 6-14 eggs.[4]


  1. ^ a b Sinomicrurus macclellandi at the Reptile Database. Accessed 28 October 2012.
  2. ^ 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. (Sinomicrurus macclellandi, p. 164).
  3. ^ "Sinomicrurus macclellandi swinhoei". Snakes of Taiwan.  External link in |work= (help)
  4. ^ Das, Indraneil. 2002. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of India. Sanibel Island, Florida: Ralph Curtis Books. 144 pp. ISBN 0-88359-056-5 (Sinomicrurus macclellandi, p. 52).

Further reading[edit]

  • 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. ("Callophis [sic] macclellandii [sic]", pp. 398–399).
  • Reinhardt JT (1844). "Description of a new species of venomous snake, Elaps macclellandi ". Calcutta J. Nat. Hist. 4: 532-534.
  • Reinhardt JT (1861). "Herpetologiske Middelelser. II. Beskrivelser af nogle nye til Calamariernes Familie henhörende Slänger ". Vidensk. Meddel. Naturhist. Foren. Kjöbenhavn 2 [1860]: 229-250. (in Danish).
  • Slowinski, Joseph B.; Boundy, Jeff; Lawson, R. (2001). "The phylogenetic relationships of Asian coral snakes (Elapidae: Calliophis and Maticora) based on morphological and molecular characters". Herpetologica 57 (2): 233-245.
  • 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. ("Callophis [sic] macclellandi ", pp. 423–425, Figure 135).
  • Eye on Nature Series (2006). "Tracking the snake shadow: terrestrial viper illustrations". Country Parks Cosmos Books Ltd. (in Chinese, a field guide to the venomous land snakes in Hong Kong) ISBN 978-988-211-326-8.

External links[edit]

  • [1] Calliophis macclellandi at Living Hazards Database.