n African Journal of Herpetology - Phylogenetic relationships among the Stiletto Snakes (genus ) based on external morphology : original article

Volume 60, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2156-4574
  • E-ISSN: 2153-3660
This article is unavailable for purchase outside of Africa



Stiletto Snakes (genus ) are the most poorly studied of the three clades of snakes with front-fanged venom-delivery systems. Fossorial and endemic to Africa and the Middle East, possess uniquely derived mobile fangs that allow them to perform a 'side-stabbing' method of envenomation, rather than the frontal strike of most other venomous snakes. While many studies have examined the functional anatomy of these unique fangs, the evolutionary history of has been comparatively neglected by researchers. While several evolutionary hypotheses exist for relationships within the Atractaspididae, no study has focused on the phylogenetic relationships within the genus itself. This study presents the first attempt to reconstruct the phylogenetic history of 14 species within this genus, using external morphological data. Using and as alternate outgroups, We compare the results of two phylogenies and provide a starting point for an investigation of the evolutionary history of this remarkable yet relatively little-known genus.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error