Lycodon capucinus (Boie, 1827)

Kaiser, Hinrich, Carvalho, Venancio Lopes, Ceballos, Jester, Freed, Paul, Heacox, Scott, Lester, Barbara, Richards, Stephen J., Trainor, Colin R., Sanchez, Caitlin & O'Shea, Mark, 2011, The herpetofauna of Timor-Leste: a first report, ZooKeys 109, pp. 19-86 : 45-46

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scientific name

Lycodon capucinus (Boie, 1827)


Lycodon capucinus (Boie, 1827) Fig. 23 View Figure 23

Common names.

(E) Common Wolfsnake. (T) Samea lobo (samea = snake, lobo = wolf).


Common wolfsnakes have a dorsally brown body with a series of weak pale yellow to white bands ( Fig. 23 View Figure 23 ). The dorsal part of the head is uniformly brown, offset from the rest of the body by a pale yellow nuchal band. The labial scales and venter are cream colored.

Collection and natural history.

Our single specimen of Lycodon capucinus was collected by local people in the town of Same (Manufahi District) while crossing the town’s main road after a heavy rain. It was brought to us undamaged in a 500-ml clear plastic water bottle.

Taxonomic comment.

In the Lycodon literature the names Lycodon aulicus and Lycodon capucinus are seemingly used interchangeably, sometimes with capucinus relegated to subspecific status within aulicus. During the time when capucinus had subspecific status, some authors did not differentiate it from aulicus sensu stricto. When capucinus was controversially re-elevated to specific status, this compounded an already confusing situation. As a consequence, the Lycodon forms from Southeast Asia and Wallacea under consideration here have been known by three possible species and subspecies names. We here follow Taylor (1965) and David and Vogel (1996) in using the name Lycodon capucinus for the Lesser Sunda form.