Psammophis jallae PERACCA, 1896


Common Names Jalla's Sand Snake 
Synonym Psammophis jallae PERACCA 1896: 2
Psammophis rohani ANGEL 1921
Psammophis longirostris FITZSIMONS 1932
Psammophis jallae — AUERBACH 1987: 167
Psammophis jallae — BROADLEY 1998
Psammophis jallae — BROADLEY et al. 2003: 163 
Distribution NE Namibia, Botswana, NE Republic of South Africa, Zimbabwe, SE Angola, W Zambia, S Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire)  
Types Types: MSNTO R1633, R1871 
Description (108 specimens examined) Nostril pierced between 3 (rarely 2) nasals, upper posterior with a posterior prolongation; preocular 1, in broad contact with frontal; postoculars 2; temporals 1/2+3, 2+2 or 2+3; supralabials 7 (rarely 6 or 8), third & fourth (rarely fourth & fifth) entering orbit; infralabials 9 (rarely 8 or 10), the first 4 (very rarely 3 or 5) in contact with anterior sublinguals; dorsal scales in 15-15-13 rows; ventrals 154-175; cloacal shield divided; subcaudals 84-112. Brandstätter (1995, Fig. 44) has published a SEM micrograph of a dorsal scale from NMZB 7531 from Zimbabwe.
Dark brown to light grey-brown above, uniform, or with the snout and supraoculars paler brown and a pair of pale dorsolateral stripes on scale rows 4 and 5, bordered with black above, there may be a vertebral series of pale spots at the base of each scale; lateral scales usually with pale red-brown to chestnut centres. Supralabials, outer scale row and ventrum white or yellow; anterior infralabials, sublinguals and gulars usually suffused with bluegrey mesially, forming a symmetrical pattern, this dark suffusion may extend onto the throat, which is often suffused with brick red mesially [from BROADLEY 2002].

Synonymy: Van Wallach (pers. comm.). 
  • Auerbach,R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • Broadley, D.G. 1959. The herpetology of Southern Rhodesia. Part I--the snakes Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 120 (1): 1-100 [reprint 1972] - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1977. A review of the genus Psammophis in southern Africa (Serpentes: Colubridae). Arnoldia 8 (12): 1-29
  • Broadley, D.G. 1998. The reptilian fauna of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa). In: Schmidt, K.P. and Noble, G.K., Contributions to the Herpetology of the Belgian Congo... [reprint of the 1919 and 1923 papers]. SSAR Facsimile reprints in Herpetology, 780 pp.
  • Broadley, D.G. 2002. A review of the species of Psammophis Boie found south of Latitude 12° S (Serpentes: Psammophiinae). African Journal of Herpetology 51 (2): 83-119
  • Broadley, D.G.; Doria, C.T. & Wigge, J. 2003. Snakes of Zambia. An Atlas and Field Guide. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 280 pp. [review in Sauria 26 (3): 21]
  • Broadley,D.G. 1962. On some reptile collections from the North-Western and North-Eastern Districts of Southern Rhodesia 1958-1961, with descriptions of four new lizards. Occ. Pap. Nat. Mus. South. Rhodesia 26 (B): 787-843
  • Chifundera, K. 1990. Snakes of Zaire and their bites. Afr. Stud. Monogr. (Kyoto) 10(3): 137-157.
  • FitzSimons, V.F.M. 1974. A field guide to the snakes of Southern Africa. 2nd edition. COLLINS, 221 pp. [first ed. 1970]
  • Peracca, M. G. 1896. Retili et Anfibi raccolti a Kazungula e sulla strada da Kazungula a Buluwaio dal Rev. Luigi Jalla, Missionario Valdese nell’ alto Zambese. Boll. Mus. Zool. Comp. Anat. Univ. Torino 11 (255): 1-4
  • Shine, Richard; William R. Branch, Jonathan K. Webb, Peter S. Harlow, and Terri Shine 2006. Sexual Dimorphism, Reproductive Biology, and Dietary Habits of Psammophiine Snakes (Colubridae) from Southern Africa. Copeia 2006 (4): 650-664


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