Abstract

Published data on Australian elapid snake taxonomy are reviewed. Both classical morphological studies and relevant ecological, chromosomal and biochemical data are summarized.

Attention is focused on two major areas:

(1) the phylogenetic relationships between Australian terrestrial elapids and other proteroglyphs; and

(2) the interrelationships among the Australian terrestrial elapids.

From this review four key questions are identified:

(1) Are the continentally endemic groups of terrestrial elapids confamilial?

(2) Do the Australian elapids represent a distinct familial group?

(3) Are the Australian elapids monophyletic or have the extant forms been derived from distinct lineages which may represent more than one invasion of the continent?

(4) What is the precise relationship between laticaudine and hydrophiine sea snakes and the Australian elapids?

There is considerable disagreement concerning generic allocations and suprageneric relationships within the Australian proteroglyphs. Ecological, cytological and biochemical studies currently under way may be useful adjuncts to morphological information in resolving these questions.

 
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Bibliographic Data

Short Form
Mengden, 1983, Rec. Aust. Mus. 35(5): 195–222
Author
Gregory A. Mengden
Year
1983
Title
The taxonomy of Australian elapid snakes: a review
Serial Title
Records of the Australian Museum
Volume
35
Issue
5
Start Page
195
End Page
222
DOI
10.3853/j.0067-1975.35.1983.318
Language
English
Date Published
30 December 1983
Cover Date
30 December 1983
ISSN
0067-1975
CODEN
RAUMAJ
Publisher
The Australian Museum
Place Published
Sydney, Australia
Subjects
REPTILIA
Digitized
30 January 2009
Available Online
09 March 2009
Reference Number
318
EndNote
/Uploads/Journals/17609/318.enw
Title Page
/Uploads/Journals/17609/318.pdf
File size: 83kB
Complete Work
/Uploads/Journals/17609/318_complete.pdf
File size: 3872kB