False coral snake Anilius scytale, from Carl Franklin.

Belongs within: Anguimorpha.
Contains: Madtsoiidae, Macrostomata, Tropidophiidae, Typhlopidae.

The Serpentes are the crown group of the snakes. Within the Serpentes, there is general agreement that the blind snakes or worm snakes of the Scolecophidia represent the sister group to the remainder (the Alethinophidia). The Scolecophidia have a limited gape and feed mostly on ants and termites, while the Alethinophidia possess independent mandibles allowing a much larger gape (Vidal & Hedges 2002a). Scolecophidia are divided between three families. Members of Typhlopidae and Liotyphlops share a transverse, movable, toothed maxilla whereas in Leptotyphlops the maxilla is immobile, longitudunal and toothless. The Anilioidea within the Alethinophidia are fossorial like the Scolecophidia, and such habits have been suggested to be basal within the snakes; however, support for this premise may be affected by the positions of extinct non-fossorial groups such as the Madtsoiidae and Similiophiidae. The latter were marine snakes from the Late Cretaceous, at least some species of which retained distinct hind limbs.

Synapomorphies (from Rieppel 1988): Intracranial course of ophthalmic division of trigeminal nerve; exoccipitals meeting dorsal to foramen magnum; opening of Jacobson's organ enclosed between septomaxilla and vomer; crista circumfenestralis enclosing juxtastapedial recess and perilymphatic sinus; epiphyses absent.

    |--+--Dinilysia patagonica Woodward 1901 LBG12a, S05
    |  `--+--Madtsoiidae LBG12a
    |     `--Alethinophidia LBG12a
    |          |  i. s.: Cerberophis Longrich, Bhullar & Gauthier 2012 LBG12b
    |          |           `--*C. robustus Longrich, Bhullar & Gauthier 2012 LBG12b
    |          |--+--Macrostomata LBG12a
    |          |  `--Similiophiidae LBG12a
    |          |       |--Haasiophis terrasanctus Tchernov et al. 2000 LBG12a, S05
    |          |       `--+--Eupodophis Rage & Escuillié 2000 LBG12a, D07
    |          |          |    `--E. descouensi (Rage & Escuillié 2000) S05
    |          |          `--Pachyrhachis Haas 1979 LGB12a, D07
    |          |               `--P. problematicus Haas 1979 S05
    |          |--Tropidophiidae HB09
    |          `--Anilioidea LBG12a
    |               |--Aniliidae LBG12a
    |               |    |--Eoanilius europae B88, B89
    |               |    |--Colombophis portai B88, B89
    |               |    `--Anilius scytale LBG12a
    |               |         |--A. s. scytale DS86
    |               |         `--A. s. phelpsorum DS86
    |               `--Uropeltidae LBG12a
    |                    |  i. s.: Plectrurus LBG12a
    |                    |           |--P. aureus LBG12a
    |                    |           `--P. perroteti LBG12a
    |                    |         Pseudotyphlops philippinus CD88
    |                    |--Anomochilus [Anomochilidae] VH02a
    |                    |    `--A. leonardi LBG12a
    |                    |--+--Cylindrophis [Cylindrophiidae] VH02a
    |                    |  |    `--C. ruffus (Laurenti 1768) S05
    |                    |  `--Michauxophis Bailon 1988 B88
    |                    |       `--*M. occitanus Bailon 1988 B88
    |                    `--+--Rhinophis drummondhayi VH02a
    |                       `--Uropeltis VH02a
    |                            |--U. melanogaster LBG12a
    |                            `--U. phillipsi VH02a
    `--Scolecophidia LBG12a
         |--+--Typhlopidae VH02a
         |  `--Liotyphlops [Anomalepididae] VH02a
         |       `--L. albirostris LBG12a
         `--Leptotyphlops [Leptotyphlopidae] VH02a
              |--L. carlae HB09
              |--L. columbi VH02a
              |--L. dulcis LBG12a
              |--L. goudotii SP-H86
              |    |--L. g. goudotii SP-H86
              |    `--L. g. phenops (Cope 1876) [=Stenostoma phenops] SP-H86
              `--L. macrorhynus LBG12a

Serpentes incertae sedis:
  Macropisthodon rudis VH02b
  Oligodon VH02b
    |--O. octolineatus VH02b
    `--O. trilineatus M89
  Storeria VH02b
    |--S. dekayi BK03
    `--S. occipitomaculata VH02b
  Opisthotropis kikuzatoi (Okada & Takara 1958) I92
  Calliophis I92
    |--C. japonicus Günther 1868 I92
    `--C. macclellandii I92
         |--C. m. macclellandii I92
         `--C. m. iwasakii Maki 1935 I92
  Opheodrys I92
    |--O. aestivus F15
    |--O. herminae (Boettger 1895) I92
    `--O. vernalis W-CL06
  Cemophora lineri RM05
  Denisonia F13
    |--D. carpentariae F13
    |--D. coronata G54
    |--D. coronoides G54
    |--D. nigrescens F13
    `--D. superba D56
  Hoplocephalus K66
    |--H. ater Krefft 1866 K66
    |--H. bitorquatus F13
    |--H. collaris Macleay 1887 M87
    |--H. gouldii Krefft 1866 K66
    `--H. mastersii Krefft 1866 K66
  Homalocranium C07
    |--H. marcapatae [=Oxyrhopus marcapatae] C07
    `--H. virgatum F15
  Anoplodipsas viridis R13
  Dipsadoboa unicolor R13
  Tropidocloneum lineatum B75
    |--T. l. lineatum F68
    `--T. l. annectens F68
  Diemenia textilis H98
  Haldea valeriae R56

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B88] Bailon, S. 1988. Un aniliidé (Reptilia, Serpentes) dans le Pliocèe supérieur européen. Comptes Rendus de L’Academie des Sciences Serie II Sciences de la Terre et des Planètes 306: 1255–1258.

[B89] Bailon, S. 1989. Les amphibiens et les reptiles du Pliocene superieur de Balaruc II (Herault, France). Palaeovertebrata 19 (1): 7–28.

[BK03] Bittner, T. D., & R. B. King. 2003. Gene flow and melanism in garter snakes revisited: a comparison of molecular markers and island vs. coalescent models. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 79: 389–399.

[B75] Bowles, J. B. 1975. Distribution and biogeography of mammals of Iowa. Special Publications, The Museum, Texas Tech University 9: 1–184.

[C07] Cadle, J. E. 2007. The snake genus Sibynomorphus (Colubridae: Dipsadinae: Dipsadini) in Peru and Ecuador, with comments on the systematics of Dipsadini. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 158 (5): 183–284.

[CD88] Crusz, H., & D. M. A. K. Daundasekera. 1988. Parasites of the relict fauna of Ceylon. IX. Helminths from burrowing scincine lizards. Annales de Parasitologie Humaine et Comparee 63: 439–447.

[D56] Dawes, B. 1956. The Trematoda with special reference to British and other European forms. University Press: Cambridge.

[D07] Dixon, D. 2007. The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures. Hermes House: London.

[DS86] Dixon, J. R., & P. Soini. 1986. The Reptiles of the Upper Amazon Basin, Iquitos Region, Peru. Milwaukee Public Museum: Milwaukee.

[F68] Fisher, D. R. 1968. A study of faunal resemblance using numerical taxonomy and factor analysis. Systematic Zoology 18 (4): 48–63.

[F15] Fowler, H. W. 1915. Cold-blooded vertebrates from Florida, the West Indies, Costa Rica, and eastern Brazil. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 67 (2): 243–269.

[F13] Fry, D. B. 1913. On a Varanus and a frog from Burnett River, Queensland, and a revision of the variations in Limnodynastes dorsalis, Gray. Records of the Australian Museum 10 (2): 17–34, pls 1–3.

[G54] Glauert, L. 1954. Reptiles and frogs. In: Willis, J. H. (ed.) The Archipelago of the Recherche pp. 29–35. Australian Geographical Society: Melbourne.

[H98] Halliday, R. B. 1998. Mites of Australia: A checklist and bibliography. CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood.

[HB09] Head, J. J., J. I. Bloch, A. K. Hastings, J. R. Bourque, E. A. Cadena, F. A. Herrera, P. D. Polly & C. A. Jaramillo. 2009. Giant boid snake from the Palaeocene neotropics reveals hotter past equatorial temperatures. Nature 457: 715–717.

[I92] Iwahashi, J. (ed.) 1992. Reddo Deeta Animaruzu: a pictorial of Japanese fauna facing extinction. JICC: Tokyo.

[K66] Krefft, G. 1866. Descriptions of three species of snakes of the genus Hoplocephalus. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 370–371.

[LBG12a] Longrich, N. R., B.-A. S. Bhullar & J. A. Gauthier. 2012a. A transitional snake from the Late Cretaceous period of North America. Nature 488: 205–208.

[LBG12b] Longrich, N. R., B.-A. S. Bhullar & J. A. Gauthier. 2012b. Mass extinction of lizards and snakes at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 109 (52): 21396–21401.

[M87] Macleay, W. 1887. Description of a new species of Hoplocephalus. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 1 (4): 1111–1112.

[M89] Modigliani, E. 1889. Materiali per la fauna erpetologica dell’isola Nias. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, Serie 2a, 7: 113–124.

[R56] Reed, C. F. 1956. The herpetofauna of Harford County, Maryland. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 46 (2): 58–60.

[RM05] Reilly, S. M., R. W. Manning, C. C. Nice & M. R. J. Forstner. 2005. Systematics of isolated populations of short-tailed shrews (Soricidae: Blarina) in Texas. Journal of Mammalogy 86 (5): 887–894.

[R13] Roux, J. 1913. Les reptiles de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et des îles Loyalty. In: Sarasin, F., & J. Roux (eds) Nova Caledonia: Forschungen in Neu-Caledonian und auf den Loyalty-Inseln. A. Zoologie vol. 1 pt 2 pp. 79-160. C. W. Kreidels Verlag: Wiesbaden.

[S05] Scanlon, J. D. 2005. Cranial morphology of the Plio-Pleistocene giant madtsoiid snake Wonambi naracoortensis. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 50: 139–180.

[SP-H86] Smith, H. M., & G. Pérez-Higareda. 1986. Nomenclatural name-forms. Systematic Zoology 35 (3): 421–422.

[VH02a] Vidal, N., & S. B. Hedges. 2002a. Higher-level relationships of snakes inferred from four nuclear and mitochondrial genes. Comptes Rendus Biologies 325: 977–985.

[VH02b] Vidal, N., & S. B. Hedges. 2002b. Higher-level relationships of caenophidian snakes inferred from four nuclear and mitochondrial genes. Comptes Rendus Biologies 325: 987–995.

[W-CL06] Watkins-Colwell, G. J., T. A. Leenders, B. T. Roach, D. J. Drew, G. Dancho & J. Yuckienuz. 2006. New distribution records for amphibians and reptiles in Connecticut, with notes on the status of an introduced species. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History 47 (1–2): 47–62.
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