Aspidomorphus, a genus of New Guinea snakes of the Family Elapidae, with notes on related genera



The Australian snakes that have been included in Aspidomorphus differ markedly from that genus, particularly in hemipenial morphology and in the absence of a muscular slip from the quadrate bone to the venom gland; the genus Aspidomorphus is therefore restricted to the New Guniea species. Aspidomorphus (as here restricted) is closely related to Demansia (in the restricted sense of Worrell, essentially D. psammophis, D. torquata, and D. olivacea), but the Australian species generally referred to Aspidomorphus seem to be related to Glyphodon. The genera Aspidomorphus, Demansia, Rhinhoplocephalus and Drepanodontis form a natural group. Aspidomorphus contains three species, each identifiable by hemipenial features as well as by details of colouration: A. muelleri (=A. mülleri mülleri and A. m. interruptus of Brongersma's revision); A. lineaticollis (=A. mülleri lineaticollis and A. m. lineatus of Brongersma); and A. schlegeli. The last species differs from the others in the form of the maxillary bone and the anterior mandibular dentition; it seems to be confined to northwestern New Guinea and adjacent islands, since specimens from the eastern end of New Guinea that had been referred to schlegeli are actually A. lineaticollis. In all three species some geographical variation can be demonstrated, at least in ventral count, but it is not considered necessary to use trinomials to indicate that geographical variation exists. Pseudonaja textilis is recorded from New Guinea for the first time. (McDowell.)

Examination reveals Demansia ornaticeps is properly referred to Demansia. (Cogger.)