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Western burrowing snakes
Neelaps - Günther, 1863

Pronunciation: NEE-laps
 Etymology: 'new Elaps', after another genus of snake.1

Taxonomic notes:

The two members of this genus were previously placed in Simoselaps.
Molecular evidence suggests that the two members of this genus are only distantly related.2 The black-naped snake (Neelaps bimaculatus) appears to be related to the Simoselaps/Brachyurophis group, while the black-striped burrowing snake (Neelaps calonotus) appears to be related to Vermicella.2 This genus will probably be split soon.

Statistics: Reproductive modes:
Oviparous - 2 out of 2 Australian species

Size range:
Smallest Australian species: black-striped burrowing snake (Neelaps calonotus) at 30 cm
 Longest Australian species: black-naped snake (Neelaps bimaculatus) at up to 40 cm
Number of Australian species: 2

black-naped snake (Neelaps bimaculatus)
Perth, Western Australia
Photo © Jordan Vos
black-naped snake (Neelaps bimaculatus) distribution range map Neelaps bimaculatus
Black-naped snake
Year described
(Bibron & Duméril 1854)

black-striped burrowing snake (Neelaps calonotus)
Perth, Western Australia
Photo © Jordan Vos
black-striped burrowing snake (Neelaps calonotus) distribution range map Neelaps calonotus
Black-striped burrowing snake
Year described
(Duméril, Bibron & Duméril 1854)

  1. Ehmann, Harald (1992). Encyclopedia of Australian animals: Reptiles. Angus and Robertson. 495 pp - search web for this book
  2. Sanders, K. L.; Lee, M. S. Y.; Leys, R.; Foster, R.; & Keogh, J. S. (2008). Molecular phylogeny and divergence dates for Australasian elapids and sea snakes (hydrophiinae): evidence from seven genes for rapid evolutionary radiations. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 21(3):682-695. - search web for this article
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