Xenocalamus bicolor

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Xenocalamus bicolor
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Atractaspididae
Genus: Xenocalamus
Species: X. bicolor
Binomial name
Xenocalamus bicolor
Günther, 1868

Xenocalamus bicolor, or the slender quill-snouted snake, is a species of venomous rear-fanged snake in the family Atractaspididae.[1] It is endemic to Africa.[2]

Geographic range[edit]

It is found in Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Namibia, Republic of South Africa, and Zimbabwe.[3]


Black dorsally. White ventrally including the upper lip and the first two rows of dorsal scales on each side.

Total length 43 cm (16 78 in); tail 3 cm (1 18 in).

Dorsal scales smooth, without apical pits, arranged in 17 rows. Ventrals 218; anal plate divided; subcaudals 24, also divided.

Portion of rostral visible from above nearly half as long as the frontal. Frontal extremely large, more than half as long as the shielded part of the head. Internasals large, forming a short median suture. Supraocular very narrow. One large elongate preocular, contacting the posterior nasal, the internasal, the frontal, and the third upper labial. One minute postocular. One temporal. Six upper labials, the first very small, third and fourth entering the eye, the fifth very large and contacting the parietal. One pair of narrow chin shields. Three lower labials in contact with the chin shield. Third lower labial extremely large.[4]

[Nota bene: the description above is a description of the species X. bicolor. The subspecies listed below vary somewhat from this description.]


Seven subspecies are recognized including the nominate race.


  1. ^ "Xenocalamus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  2. ^ Xenocalamus at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database. Accessed 12 May 2009.
  3. ^ a b The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.
  4. ^ Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History), Volume III. Trustees of the British Museum. London. p. 248.
  • Günther, A. 1868. Sixth Account of new Species of Snakes in the Collection of the British Museum. Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) 1: 413-429, plate xix, figure A.