Revision of the Species of Oligodon from Sumatra and Adjacent Islands, with Comments on the Taxonomic Status of Oligodon subcarinatus (Günther, 1872) and Oligodon annulifer (Boulenger, 1893) from Borneo (Reptilia, Squamata, Colubridae

Frank Tillack, Rainer Günther


The taxonomic revisions proposed in this paper are based on studies of morphology, including body measurements, coloration, lepidosis, dentition, distribution, natural history, and synonymy, of all Oligodon taxa from Sumatra and adjacent islands. Major results are:

1. Oligodon annulifer bipartita Despax, 1912 is a subjective junior synonym of Oligodon pulcherrimus Werner, 1909.

2. Oligodon durheimi Baumann, 1913 is a subjective junior synonym of Oligodon pulcherrimus Werner, 1909.

3. Oligodon annulifer annulata (Van Lidth de Jeude, 1922) is a subjective junior synonym of Oligodon signatus (Günther, 1864).

4. Oligodon annulifer confluens Werner, 1924 is a subjective junior synonym of Oligodon petronellae Roux in De Rooij, 1917.

5. Neotypes are designated for Oligodon octolineatus (Schneider, 1801) and O. pulcherrimus Werner, 1909, and the holotype of O. petronellae Roux in De Rooij, 1917 is redescribed.

6. Oligodon praefrontalis Werner, 1913, known from Pulo Weh, is regarded as a taxon incertae sedis.

7. O. subcarinatus and O. annulifer, known only from Borneo, were also studied: Oligodon subcarinatus (Günther, 1872) is a subjective junior synonym of Oligodon signatus (Günther, 1864), while Oligodon annulifer (Boulenger, 1893) is a valid monotypic species, endemic to Borneo, and is closely related to Oligodon pulcherrimus Werner, 1909.

8. These results, in addition to Oligodon rhombifer having been synonymized with Oligodon ancorus in an earlier paper by Tillack (2008), reduce the number of taxa of Oligodon native to the island of Sumatra from 10 to 6, viz. O. pulcherrimus, O. petronellae, O. signatus, O. octolineatus, O. p. purpurascens, and O. trilineatus; the occurrence there of O. bitorquatus seems questionable.

9. Two tables and an identification key allow the determination of all Oligodon taxa that occur on Sumatra and adjacent islands.


Reptilia; Squamata; Colubridae; Oligodon; Oligodon annulifer; Oligodon bitorquatus; Oligodon octolineatus; Oligodon petronellae; Oligodon pulcherrimus; Oligodon praefrontalis; Oligodon p. purpurascens; Oligodon signatus; Oligodon subcarinatus; Oligodon tr

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