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Citation: Midtgaard, Rune. RepFocus - A Survey of the Reptiles of the World. (www.repfocus.dk).
Latest update: December 31st, 2022.

Taxonomy of the family Lamprophiidae
Bibliography of the genus Polemon
Biodiversity of the family Lamprophiidae


African Snake Eaters

Afrikanischer Schlangenfresser

Afrikanske Slangeædere

1858 Microsoma Jan (type species: Microsoma neuwiedi Jan 1858)
1858 Polemon Jan (type species: Polemon barthii Jan 1858)
1859 Miodon Dumeril (type species: Elapomorphus gabonensis Dumeril 1856; syn. Williams & Wallach 1989)
1860 Urobelus Reinhardt (type species: Urobelus acanthias Reinhardt 1860; syn. Williams & Wallach 1989)
1902 Cynodontophis Werner (type species: Cynodontophis aemulans Werner 1902; syn. Williams & Wallach 1989)
1911 Elapocalamus Boulenger (type species: Elapocalamus gracilis Boulenger 1911; syn. Resetar & Marx 1981)
1941 Melanocalamus Witte (type species: Melanocalamus leopoldi Witte 1941; syn. Williams & Wallach 1989)
Contents: 14 species, none of which are endemic.
Endemism: 0% 100%
Remarks: Miodon was considered a valid genus of uncertain affinities by Zaher, Grazziotin, Cadle, Murphy, Moura-Leite & Bonatto (2009).
Distribution: Equatorial Africa.
Reported from: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea (Bioko, Rio Muni), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia.

Polemon acanthias

Five-striped Snake Eater, (Reinhardt's Snake Eater)

Fünfstreifige Schlangenfresser

Femstribet Slangeæder

1860 Urobelus acanthias Reinhardt
Elapomorphus acanthias Jan 1863
Miodon acanthias Boulenger 1896
Polemon acanthias Welch 1982

Distribution: Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo.

Polemon ater

Black Snake Eater

Schwarze Schlangenfresser

Sort Slangeæder

2019 Polemon ater Portillo, Branch, Tilbury, Nagy, Hughes, Kusamba, Muninga, Aristote, Behangana & Greenbaum

Remarks: Known with certainty only from Congo-Kinshasa, but specimens previously identified as christyi from Malawi, Zambia, and West-Central Tanzania are provisionally assigned to ater. Also some specimens from Burundi and Rwanda may refer to ater but need further studies (Portillo, Branch, Tilbury, Nagy, Hughes, Kusamba, Muninga, Aristote, Behangana & Greenbaum 2019).
Distribution: Congo-Kinshasa, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia.

Polemon barthii

Guinea Snake Eater



1858 Polemon barthii Jan

Remarks: Chirio & Trape (2013) reported the species from Sierra Leone, but no localities in the country were shown in their map. Chippaux & Jackson (2019) did not include Sierra Leone in the distribution. Records from Gabon (e.g., Chippaux & Jackson 2019) are erroneous (Pauwels & Vande weghe 2008). Records from Cameroon (e.g., Lawson 1993; Chippaux & Jackson 2019) need confirmation. The species was not included for the country by Chirio & LeBreton (2007), nor by Chirio & Trape (2013).
Distribution: Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia.

Polemon bocourti

Lambaréné Snake Eater, (Bocourt's Snake Eater)



1897 Polemon bocourti Mocquard

Remarks: Presence in Guinea (e.g., Angel, Guibé & Lamotte 1954; Villiers 1975; Chippaux & Jackson 2019) needs confirmation. It was not listed for the country by neither Ineich (2003), nor LeBreton, Kusamba, Gonwouo & Zassi-Boulou (2021).
Distribution: Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Gabon.

Polemon christyi

Eastern Snake Eater, (Christy's Snake Eater)

Östliche Schlangenfresser

Østlig Slangeæder

1903 Miodon Christyi Boulenger
Miodon collaris christyi Loveridge 1957
Miodon gabonensis christyi Vesey-Fitzgerald 1961
Polemon christyi Welch 1982
1923 Miodon unicolor Schmidt (Loveridge 1957)
1941 Melanocalamus leopoldi Witte (Wallach, Williams & Boundy 2014)
Polemon leopoldi Welch 1982

Remarks: Previously included the populations now assigned to ater. Records from Malawi, Zambia, West-Central Tanzania, and southeastern Congo-Kinshasa are provisionally referred to ater, but need further studies (Portillo, Branch, Tilbury, Nagy, Hughes, Kusamba, Muninga, Aristote, Behangana & Greenbaum 2019). Some authors (e.g., Welch 1982; Wagner, Safari & Chenga 2014) have recognized leopoldi as a separate species, but without discussion. The taxon is known from only a single specimen from Rwanda. It is treated as a synonym of christyi herein, following Wallach, Williams & Boundy (2014).
Distribution: Burundi, Congo-Kinshasa, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda.

Polemon collaris

Fawn-headed Snake Eater, (Pale-collared Snake Eater, Collared Snake Eater)

Hellköpfige Schlangenfresser

Lyshovedet Slangeæder

1881 Microsoma collare Peters
Miodon collaris Boulenger 1896
Polemon collaris Welch 1982
1888 Elapomorphus caeutiens Günther (Loveridge 1957)
1910 Cynodontophis werneri Müller (Loveridge 1957)
1947 Miodon collaris brevior Witte & Laurent
Polemon collaris brevior Welch 1982
1947 Miodon collaris longior Witte & Laurent
Polemon collaris longior Welch 1982

Remarks: Previously included graueri. Presence in Burundi and Rwanda needs confirmation (Spawls, Howell, Hinkel & Menegon 2018).
Distribution: Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea (Bioko, Rio Muni), Gabon, Nigeria, Uganda.

Polemon fulvicollis

Yellow-necked Snake Eater, Franceville Snake Eater, (Collared Snake Eater)


Gulhalset Slangeæder

1887 Microsoma fulvicollis Mocquard
Miodon fulvicollis Witte & Laurent 1947
Polemon fulvicollis Resetar & Marx 1981
1943 Miodon gracilis Witte & Laurent [not Elapocalamus gracilis Boulenger 1911]
Miodon fulvicollis gracilis Witte & Laurent 1947
Polemon fulvicollis gracilis Welch 1982
1981 Polemon fulvicollis laurenti Resetar & Marx [substitute name for Miodon gracilis Witte & Laurent 1943]

Remarks: Previously included graueri.
Distribution: Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Gabon, Uganda.

Polemon gabonensis

Gabon Snake Eater, Three-striped Snake Eater



1856 Elapomorphus gabonensis Dumeril
Miodon gabonensis Boulenger 1896
Polemon gabonensis Hughes & Barry 1969
1947 Miodon gabonensis schmidti Witte & Laurent
Polemon gabonensis schmidti Welch 1982
1960 Miodon gabonensis brachyurus Laurent
Polemon gabonensis brachyurus Portillo, Branch, Tilbury, Nagy, Hughes, Kusamba, Muninga, Aristote, Behangana & Greenbaum 2019

Remarks: In spite of its scientific name, records of the species from Gabon (e.g., Chippaux & Jackson 2019) are erroneous (Pauwels & Vande weghe 2008). Records from Ghana (Doucet 1963; Villiers 1975) are also regarded as erroneous.
Distribution: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Nigeria, Uganda.

Polemon gracilis

Slender Snake Eater



1911 Elapocalamus gracilis Boulenger
Polemon gracilis Resetar & Marx 1981

Remarks: Records from Congo-Brazzaville (Chirio & LeBreton 2007) needs confirmation. Presence in Gabon was confirmed by Pauwels, Oger & Meirte (2018).
Distribution: Cameroon, Gabon, Nigeria.

Polemon graueri

Central Lakes Snake Eater, Central Lake Region Snake Eater, (Pale-collared Snake Eater)



1908 Miodon graueri Sternfeld
Miodon fulvicollis graueri Witte & Laurent 1947
Miodon collaris graueri Loveridge 1957
Polemon fulvicollis graueri Welch 1982
Polemon graueri Spawls, Howell, Drewes & Ashe 2002

Distribution: Burundi, Congo-Kinshasa, Rwanda, Uganda.

Polemon griseiceps

Grey-headed Snake Eater, (Cameroon Snake Eater)

Grauköpfige Schlangenfresser

Gråhovedet Slangeæder

1947 Miodon griseiceps Laurent
Polemon griseiceps Welch 1982

Distribution: Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville.

Polemon neuwiedi

West African Snake Eater, (Neuwied's Snake Eater)

Westafrikanische Schlangenfresser

Vestafrikansk Slangeæder

1858 Microsoma neuwiedi Jan
Elapomorphus neuwiedi Jan 1866
Miodon neuwiedi Boulenger 1896
Polemon neuwiedi Welch 1982

Remarks: Chippaux & Jackson (2019) included Nigeria in the distribution, however, these authors did not show any Nigerian localities in their distribution map. No other references have been found to support the presence of the species in the country.
Distribution: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Togo.

Polemon notatus

African Spotted Snake Eater, (Cameroon Snake Eater, Peters' Snake Eater)

Afrikanische Gefleckte Schlangenfresser

Afrikansk Plettet Slangeæder

1882 Microsoma notatum Peters
Cynodontophis notatus Witte & Laurent 1947
Polemon notatus Welch 1982
1902 Cynodontophis aemulans Werner
Cynodontophis notatus aemulans Witte & Laurent 1947
Polemon notatus aemulans Welch 1982

Distribution: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea (Rio Muni), Gabon.

Polemon robustus

Robust Snake Eater, Zaire Snake Eater

Kongolesische Schlangenfresser

Congolesisk Slangeæder

1943 Miodon robustus Witte & Laurent
Polemon robustus Welch 1982

Distribution: Central African Republic, Congo-Kinshasa.