Australian Museum Journal The taxonomy of Australian elapid snakes: a review

Shortform:
Mengden, 1983, Rec. Aust. Mus. 35(5): 195–222
Author(s):
Mengden, Gregory A.
Year published:
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 package:
EndNote file
Title page:
Title page (83kb PDF)
Complete work:
Complete work (3872kb PDF)

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.