This website has been revised,
please click here for the new website pages.


Index
Research
Red Data Books
Swaziland's Biodiversity
Swaziland's Flora
Swaziland's Fauna

An Annotated Checklist of the Amphibians and Reptiles of Swaziland

by Richard C. Boycott

Published by: The Conservation Trust of Swaziland, 1992

Introduction

Towards the end of 1990 the Conservation Trust of Swaziland investigated the possibility of producing a series of Swaziland Red Data Books. Several enthusiastic professionals and amateurs in their respective fields came together to discuss the implementation of such a project. One aspect that immediately became apparent was that up to date checklists for Swaziland did not exist. Without any reliable checklists the preparation of red data books would be a futile exercise and the compilation of such lists was identified as a priority. Some of the contributors were already engaged in research into the various groups and it was a matter of directing their efforts towards a common goal.

The present checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Swaziland must be understood to be strictly a preliminary one. Hopefully it will stimulate considerable interest in the herpetofauna and will also generate further more intensive research. The reptiles of Swaziland are being treated more comprehensively elsewhere and a more detailed account is to be published at a later date (Culverwell et al., in prep.). Nonetheless, much of the information contained therein has been drawn upon for the present checklist.

While compiling the checklist the following definitive publications have been consulted in respect of the various herpetofaunal groups and their southern African distributions: amphibians (Poynton 1964, Passmore and Carruthers 1979); chelonians (Boycott and Bourquin 1988); lizards (FitzSimons 1943); snakes (Broadley 1983). In addition several relevant papers are also cited. Scientific names mostly follow Branch et al. (1988).

The Swaziland herpetofauna as currently conceived, consists of 153 forms of amphibians and reptiles. The 44 amphibians are representative of 21 genera in 8 families and the 109 reptiles, representative of 57 genera (including 31 snake, 21 lizard, 4 chelonian and one crocodilian genera), in 16 families.

Amongst the amphibian fauna four forms are endemic to Swaziland and South Africa, four forms are endemic to Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa and two forms are endemic to Swaziland, South Africa and southern Mozambique. Of the reptilian fauna one endemic form occurs in Swaziland, another form is endemic to Swaziland and southern Mozambique, four forms are endemic to Swaziland, South Africa and southern Mozambique, five forms are endemic to Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa, and twenty-five forms are endemic to Swaziland and South Africa.

Systematic List Of The Amphibians And Reptiles Of Swaziland

CLASS: AMPHIBIA

ORDER: ANURA

Family: Pipidae (tongueless frogs)

Xenopus laevis laevis (Daudin, 1802)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions although less common in the latter two. Previously two localities were listed (Poynton 1964), currently eleven localities recorded.

Xenopus muelleri (Peters, 1844)

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. Previously unrecorded except for photograph in Passmore and Carruthers (1979). Currently eight localities recorded.

Family: Heleophrynidae (ghost frogs)

Heleophryne natalensis Hewitt, 1913

Restricted to the highveld region. Previously recorded from Horo Forest (Poynton 1964) but the exact locality is unknown and could be in Swaziland or the Transvaal. Currently four localities recorded. The species is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Family: Bufonidae (toads)

Bufo gariepensis gariepensis Smith, 1848

Restricted to the highveld region. One locality recorded by Poynton (1964), confirmed more recently by two specimens collected in 1977 (Culverwell pers. comm.) and by a photograph in Passmore and Carruthers (1979). No further collections made during current survey. The subspecies is endemic to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. The Swaziland record (Mbabane) represents the northernmost locality of this subspecies. Additional material is required to investigate the status of this form.

Bufo gutturalis Power, 1929

syn. Bufo regularis (not of Reuss) Poynton

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously one locality (as B. regularis) was listed (Poynton 1964), currently twenty localities recorded.

Bufo garmani Meek, 1897

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. Previously two localities listed (Poynton 1964), currently twelve localities recorded. Also photographs in Passmore and Carruthers (1979).

Bufo maculatus Hallowell, 1854

syn. Bufo pusillus Mertens

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. Previously unrecorded except for photograph in Passmore and Carruthers (1979). Currently six localities recorded.

Bufo rangeri Hewitt, 1935

Restricted to the highveld region. Previously one locality was listed (Poynton 1964), currently two localities recorded. The species is endemic to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Bufo fenoulheti fenoulheti Hewitt and Methuen, 1913

syn. Bufo vertebralis fenoulheti Hewitt and Methuen

Occurs in the lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the middleveld and highveld. Previously unrecorded except for photographs (as Bufo vertebralis fenoulheti) in Passmore and Carruthers (1979) and more recently confirmed by a number of sight records (J. Culverwell pers. comm.).

Schismaderma carens (Smith, 1848)

syn. Bufo carens Smith

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, but infrequently seen on the highveld above 1000 m altitude. Previously one locality was listed (Poynton 1964), currently seventeen localities recorded. Also photograph in Passmore and Carruthers (1979).

Family: Microhylidae (rain frogs and red-banded frogs)

Breviceps mossambicus Peters, 1854

Only known from the Lubombo region. Previously unrecorded except for photographs in Passmore and Carruthers (1979). Locality incorrectly given as Namaacha, should be Lomahasha. One further collection made.

Breviceps adspersus adspersus Peters, 1882

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. Previously two localities were listed (Poynton 1964), currently five localities recorded.

Breviceps adspersus pentheri Werner, 1899

Occurs in the highveld and middleveld regions, absent from the lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously unrecorded, currently four localities recorded. The subspecies is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland. The taxonomic status of this form is being reviewed (L. Minter pers. comm.)

Breviceps mossambicus x adspersus

One specimen from Big Bend in the southern lowveld is the only record for Swaziland. Two more specimens collected during the current survey from the same locality appear to be typical B. adspersus.

Phrynomerus bifasciatus (Smith, 1847)

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. Previously unrecorded, except for photographs in Passmore and Carruthers (1979). Currently eight localities recorded.

Family: Hemisotidae (burrowing frogs)

Hemisus marmoratum marmoratum (Peters, 1854)

Occurs in the middleveld and lowveld regions, absent from the highveld and Lubombo regions. Previously unrecorded, except for photographs in Passmore and Carruthers (1979). Currently three localities recorded.

Family: Ranidae (typical frogs)

Rana angolensis Bocage, 1866

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously one locality listed (Poynton 1964), currently sixteen localities recorded.

Strongylopus grayii grayii (Smith, 1849)

syn. Rana grayii grayii Smith

Confined to the highveld region. Previously unrecorded, currently one locality recorded. This form is restricted to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland with an isolated population in southern central Namibia (Channing and van Dijk 1976).

Strongylopus fasciatus fasciatus (Smith, 1849)

syn. Rana fasciata fasciata Smith

Confined to the highveld region. Previously one locality listed (Poynton 1964), currently two localities recorded.

Ptychadena anchietae (Bocage, 1867)

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. Previously two localities listed (Poynton 1964), currently seventeen localities recorded. Also photographs in Passmore and Carruthers (1979).

Ptychadena oxyrhynchus (Smith, 1849)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously unrecorded, currently twelve localities recorded. Sympatric with P. anchietae over much of the latter's range and sympatric with P. porosissima in parts of the highveld.

Ptychadena mossambica (Peters, 1854)

syn. Ptychadena vernayi FitzSimons

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. Previously unrecorded, except for photographs in Passmore and Carruthers (1979). Currently nine localities recorded. Unmarked individuals occur sporadically throughout the range.

Ptychadena porosissima (Steindachner, 1867)

Restricted to the highveld region. Previously unrecorded, currently three localities recorded.

Pyxicephalus adspersus adspersus Tschudi, 1838

Apparently occurring in the highveld region. Previously unrecorded. Only one recent sight record in 1987 from Hawane Dam (V. Parker pers. comm.).

Pyxicephalus adspersus edulis Peters, 1854

Occurs in the middleveld and lowveld regions. Previously unrecorded except for photographs in Passmore and Carruthers (1979) as P. adspersus. The photograph of the "sub-adult" in this book is in fact an adult P. a. edulis. Currently four localities recorded.

Tomopterna cryptotis (Boulenger, 1907)

syn. Pyxicephalus delalandii cryptotis (Boulenger)

Occurs throughout the country but, with a single highveld record, apparently more common in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously unrecorded except for photograph in Passmore and Carruthers (1979). Currently seven localities recorded.

Tomopterna krugerensis Passmore and Carruthers, 1975

Occurs in the lowveld region. Previously unrecorded, currently one locality recorded. This serves to fill a major gap between Transvaal and Natal localities.

Tomopterna natalensis (Smith, 1849)

syn. Pyxicephalus natalensis Smith

Occurs throughout the country but more common in the highveld and middleveld regions. Previously unrecorded except for photograph in Passmore and Carruthers (1979). Currently eighteen localities recorded. This species is endemic to South Africa, Swaziland and southern Mozambique.

Hildebrandtia ornata ornata (Peters, 1878)

Restricted to the lowveld region. Previously unrecorded, currently one locality record from the northern lowveld. This record represents the southernmost locality and a considerable range extension for the species (Boycott and La Croix, 1992).

Phrynobatrachus natalensis (Smith, 1849)

Occurs throughout the country but more common in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously three localities listed (Poynton 1964), currently thirteen localities recorded. Also photograph in Passmore and Carruthers (1979).

Phrynobatrachus mababiensis FitzSimons, 1932

syn. Phrynobatrachus ukingensis mababiensis FitzSimons

Occurs in the middleveld and lowveld regions. Previously unrecorded, currently four localities recorded.

Cacosternum boettgeri (Boulenger, 1882)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously unrecorded, currently seven localities recorded.

Cacosternum nanum nanum Boulenger, 1887

Occurs in the highveld region. Previously unrecorded, currently one locality recorded at 1100 m altitude.

Cacosternum nanum parvum Poynton, 1963

Restricted to the highveld region. Previously unrecorded, currently five localities recorded. This form is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Family: Rhacophoridae (foam nest tree frogs)

Chiromantis xerampelina Peters, 1854

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. Previously one locality listed (Poynton 1964), currently fourteen localities recorded.

Family: Hyperoliidae (reed frogs and their relatives)

Leptopelis mossambicus Poynton, 1985

syn. Leptopelis concolor (not of Ahl) Poynton

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. Previously unrecorded, except for photograph in Passmore and Carruthers (1979). Currently twelve localities recorded.

Kassina maculata (Dumeril, 1853)

syn. Hylambates maculatus Dumeril

Occurs in the eastern middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld and western middleveld. Previously unrecorded except for photograph in Passmore and Carruthers (1979). Currently two localities recorded.

Kassina senegalensis (Dumeril and Bibron, 1841)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously unrecorded, except for photograph in Passmore and Carruthers (1979). Currently sixteen localities recorded.

Semnodactylus wealii (Boulenger, 1882)

syn. Kassina wealii Boulenger

Restricted to the highveld region. Previously unrecorded, currently three localities recorded. Sympatric with Kassina senegalensis at some highveld localities. This species is endemic to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Afrixalus aureus Pickersgill, 1984

syn. Afrixalus brachycnemis brachycnemis (not of Boulenger) Poynton

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. Previously one locality recorded (Pickersgill 1984), currently eight localities recorded. Also photographs in Passmore and Carruthers (1979). This species is restricted to South Africa, Swaziland and southern Mozambique.

Hyperolius marmoratus taeniatus Peters, 1854

Occurs throughout the country in highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously one locality recorded (Poynton 1964), currently eighteen localities recorded. Also photographs in Passmore and Carruthers (1979).

Hyperolius pusillus (Cope, 1862)

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. Previously unrecorded, except for photograph in Passmore and Carruthers (1979). Currently five localities recorded. Found sympatrically with H. tuberilinguis over much of its range. An interesting record is that of Piggs Peak in the transition zone between middleveld and highveld at 990 m a.s.l.

Hyperolius semidiscus Hewitt, 1927

Apparently occurring in the highveld region. Previously unrecorded except for photograph in Passmore and Carruthers (1979). No further collections made during current survey. The Swaziland record (Mbabane) represents the northernmost locality of this species. The species is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Hyperolius tuberilinguis Smith, 1849

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. Previously unrecorded except for photograph in Passmore and Carruthers (1979). Currently eight localities recorded. A population of these frogs occurs in Piggs Peak (at 990 m a.s.l.) in sympatry with H. pusillus and H. marmoratus. As this represents an unusual locality for H. pusillus and H. tuberilinguis introduction of these populations should not be discounted.

CLASS: REPTILIA

ORDER: CROCODYLIA

Family: Crocodylidae (alligators and crocodiles)

Crocodylus niloticus Laurenti, 1768

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, being rare in the middleveld. In the Lubombo region the species occurs commonly in the major river gorges penetrating the Lubombo mountains.

CLASS: REPTILIA

ORDER: CHELONII

Family: Pelomedusidae (terrapins)

Pelomedusa subrufa (Lacepede, 1788)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld and lowveld regions, quite rare in the highveld. Previously unrecorded, currently two localities recorded. Also several sight records.

Pelusios sinuatus (Smith, 1838)

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously one sight record was listed (Broadley 1981a). No collections made during current survey, only several sight records.

Family: Testudinidae (terrestrial tortoises)

Geochelone pardalis (Bell, 1828)

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. Previously unrecorded, currently known from several sight records, mostly in the lowveld and Lubombo regions.

Kinixys belliana spekii Gray, 1863

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. Previously three localities listed (Broadley, 1981b), currently five localities recorded. Also a few sight records. The taxonomic status of this form is being reviewed (D. Broadley pers. comm.).

Kinixys natalensis Hewitt, 1935

Restricted to the Lubombo region this species has a limited distribution in Swaziland. Previously two sight records listed (Broadley 1981b). An additional sight record added during the current survey. No voucher specimens collected to date. This species occurs sympatrically with K. belliana spekii in parts of the Lubombo mountains (Boycott and Jacobsen 1988). K. natalensis is endemic to South Africa, Swaziland and southern Mozambique.

CLASS: REPTILIA

ORDER: SQUAMATA

SUBORDER: SAURIA

Family: Gekkonidae (geckos)

Afroedura pondolia marleyi (FitzSimons, 1930)

Restricted to the lowveld and Lubombo region, this species has a limited distribution in Swaziland. Previously one locality listed (Onderstall 1984), currently four localities recorded. This form is endemic to Swaziland and Zululand.

Afroedura pondolia major Onderstall, 1984

Endemic to Swaziland, where it is restricted to the highveld region. Previously two localities listed (Onderstall 1984), one of which has been confirmed by recent collections.

Lygodactylus capensis capensis (Smith, 1849)

Widely distributed throughout Swaziland but less common in the highveld above 1000 m altitude. Previously one locality listed (FitzSimons 1943), currently two localities recorded as well as several sight records.

Lygodactylus ocellatus Roux, 1907

This species has a limited distribution in western Swaziland where it is restricted to the highveld region. Previously three localities listed (FitzSimons 1943), currently four localities recorded. This form is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Hemidactylus mabouia mabouia (Moreau de Jonnes, 1818)

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. Previously unrecorded, currently seven localities recorded.

Homopholis wahlbergii (Smith, 1849)

Occurs mostly in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions but also known from two localities in the highveld. Previously unrecorded, currently two localities recorded as well as several sight records.

Pachydactylus maculatus maculatus Gray, 1845

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, but infrequently seen on the highveld. Previously one locality listed (FitzSimons 1943), currently seven localities recorded. This form is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Pachydactylus capensis vansoni FitzSimons, 1933

This form appears to have a limited distribution in eastern Swaziland where it is restricted to the lowveld region. Previously unrecorded, currently four localities recorded, one being a sight record. It is possible that this form has a wider distribution as it has been recorded from the eastern highveld of the Transvaal near the Swaziland border. This form is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Pachydactylus bibronii Smith, 1846

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. Previously unrecorded, currently three localities recorded as well as some additional sight records.

Family: Agamidae (agamas)

Agama atricollis Smith, 1849

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. In the highveld, the species is restricted to the lower regions in the larger, warmer valleys. Previously unrecorded, currently five localities recorded. Some workers follow Moody (1980) in using the genus Stellio but this has yet to gain general acceptance.

Agama atra atra Daudin, 1802

Only known from the highveld region. Previously unrecorded, currently one locality recorded.

Agama aculeata distanti Boulenger, 1902

syn. Agama hispida distanti Boulenger

Occurs in the highveld, middleveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the lowveld. Previously unrecorded, currently three localities recorded as well as an additional sight record. This form is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Agama aculeata armata Peters, 1854

syn. Agama hispida armata Peters

Only known from the middleveld region. However, this form is likely to have a wider distribution in Swaziland. Previously unrecorded, currently one locality recorded. The Ingwavuma record listed by McLachlan (1981) was misplotted as Big Bend. This form is sympatric with distanti in the middleveld region and the taxonomic status of both forms requires reviewing.

Family: Chamaeleonidae (chameleons)

Chamaeleo dilepis dilepis Leach, 1819

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously one locality listed (FitzSimons 1943), currently six localities recorded.

Bradypodion transvaalense (FitzSimons, 1930)

syn. Microsauria pumila transvaalensis FitzSimons

Occurs in the highveld region only. Previously unrecorded, currently two localities recorded. This species is endemic to the Transvaal and Swaziland. The species has been found in alien forest habitats.

Family: Scincidae (skinks)

Scelotes mira (Roux, 1907)

Occurs throughout the highveld region, absent from the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously two localities listed (FitzSimons 1943), currently four localities recorded. This species is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Scelotes brevipes Hewitt, 1925

Occurs in the lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld and middleveld. Previously unrecorded, currently three localities recorded. This species is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Mabuya quinquetaeniata margaritifer (Peters, 1854)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. In the highveld this form is restricted to the lower regions in the larger, warmer valleys. Previously unrecorded, currently one locality recorded as well as several sight records.

Mabuya capensis (Gray, 1830)

This species has a limited distribution in western Swaziland where it is restricted to the highveld region. Previously unrecorded, currently one locality recorded.

Mabuya varia (Peters, 1867)

Occurs throughout the country in highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously unrecorded, currently seven localities recorded.

Mabuya striata striata (Peters, 1844)

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. FitzSimons (1943) listed Mabuya striata from one locality in the southern middleveld. This material is referable to M. striata punctatissima. Currently four localities of the typical form are recorded.

Mabuya striata punctatissima (Smith, 1849)

Occurs in the highveld region, absent from the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously unrecorded, currently three localities recorded.

Lygosoma sundevallii (Smith, 1849)

syn. Riopa sundevallii (Smith)

Occurs in the lowveld region. Previously unrecorded, currently one locality recorded.

Panaspis wahlbergii (Smith, 1849)

syn. Ablepharus wahlbergii (Smith)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously unrecorded, currently five localities recorded.

Acontias plumbeus Bianconi, 1849

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously two localities listed (FitzSimons 1943), currently six localities recorded.

Family: Lacertidae (old world lizards)

Nucras lalandii (Milne-Edwards, 1829)

syn. Nucras delalandii (not of Milne-Edwards) FitzSimons

Restricted to the highveld region, this species has a limited distribution in western Swaziland. Previously unrecorded, currently one locality recorded. This species is endemic to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Nucras taeniolata holubi (Steindachner, 1882)

syn. Nucras intertexta holubi (not of Steindachner) FitzSimons

Occurs in the middleveld and lowveld regions, absent from the highveld and Lubombo regions. Previously unrecorded, currently two localities recorded. Also four sight records.

Nucras ornata (Gray, 1864)

syn. Nucras intertexta holubi (not of Steindachner) FitzSimons

Occurs in the lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld and middleveld. Previously unrecorded, currently four localities recorded. Also an additional sight record.

Family: Varanidae (monitor lizards)

Varanus exanthematicus albigularis (Daudin, 1802)

syn. Varanus albigularis albigularis (Daudin)

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. Previously unrecorded, currently known from five sight records only. No voucher specimens collected.

Varanus niloticus niloticus (Linnaeus, 1762)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously unrecorded, currently one locality recorded. Also several sight records.

Family: Cordylidae (plated and girdled lizards)

Gerrhosaurus validus validus Smith, 1849

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. In the highveld confined to the larger, warmer valleys. Previously unrecorded, currently two localities recorded. Also several sight records.

Gerrhosaurus flavigularis flavigularis Wiegmann, 1828

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously unrecorded, currently five localities recorded.

Gerrhosaurus major major Dumeril, 1851

syn. Gerrhosaurus major grandis Boulenger

Occurs in the middleveld and lowveld regions. Previously unrecorded, currently known from three sight records only. No voucher specimens collected to date.

Tetradactylus africanus africanus (Gray, 1838)

Only known from the middleveld region. Previously unrecorded, currently one locality recorded. This form is endemic to South Africa, Swaziland and southern Mozambique.

Chamaesaura aenea (Wiegmann) Fitzinger, 1843

Only known from the highveld region. Previously unrecorded, currently one locality recorded. This species occurs sympatrically with C. anguina in parts of the highveld. The species is endemic to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Chamaesaura anguina anguina (Linnaeus, 1758)

Occurs in the highveld and middleveld regions (rare in the latter), absent from the lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously one locality listed (FitzSimons 1943), currently three localities recorded. This form is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Chamaesaura macrolepis macrolepis (Cope, 1862)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Rare in the highveld. Previously one locality listed (FitzSimons 1943), currently three localities recorded. This form is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland with a relict population in eastern Zimbabwe.

Cordylus warreni warreni (Boulenger, 1908)

Restricted to the Lubombo region, this form has a limited distribution in Swaziland. Previously unrecorded, currently two localities recorded. Also two sight records. This form is endemic to the Lubombo Mountains of South Africa and Swaziland.

Cordylus warreni barbertonensis (van Dam, 1921)

Occurs in the middleveld, absent from the highveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously one locality listed (FitzSimons 1943), currently two localities recorded. This form is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Cordylus tropidosternum jonesii (Boulenger, 1891)

Restricted to the lowveld region, this form has a limited distribution in Swaziland. Previously unrecorded, currently one locality recorded. Also an additional sight record.

Cordylus vittifer vittifer (Reichenow, 1887)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, less common in the middleveld and lowveld. Previously one locality listed (FitzSimons 1943), currently eight localities recorded.

Pseudocordylus melanotus transvaalensis FitzSimons, 1943

syn. Pseudocordylus subviridis transvaalensis FitzSimons

Restricted to the highveld region, this species has a limited distribution in western Swaziland. Previously one locality listed (FitzSimons 1943), currently two localities recorded. This form is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Platysaurus intermedius natalensis FitzSimons, 1948

Restricted to the middleveld region, this species has a limited distribution in Swaziland. Previously one locality (as P. wilhelmi) listed (FitzSimons 1943), currently three localities recorded. This form is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Platysaurus intermedius subsp.

syn. Platysaurus intermedius wilhelmi Hewitt

Restricted to the Lubombo region, this species has a limited distribution in Swaziland. Previously unrecorded, currently five localities recorded. This form, which was formerly confused with P. i. wilhelmi, is endemic to the Lubombo Mountains of South Africa and Swaziland.

CLASS: REPTILIA

ORDER: SQUAMATA

SUBORDER: SERPENTES

Family: Typhlopidae (blind snakes)

Typhlops bibronii (Smith, 1846)

Occurs in the highveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, uncommon in the lowveld. Previously one locality listed (Broadley 1983), currently five localities recorded.

Typhlops schlegelii schlegelii Bianconi, 1850

Occurs in the middleveld and lowveld regions, absent from the highveld and Lubombo regions. Previously eight localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently nine localities recorded.

Family: Leptotyphlopidae (worm snakes)

Leptotyphlops longicaudus (Peters, 1854)

Only known from the highveld region. Previously one locality listed (Broadley 1983). No further collections made.

Leptotyphlops conjunctus conjunctus (Jan, 1861)

Occurs in the highveld region, absent from the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously two localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently three localities recorded. This form is endemic to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Leptotyphlops conjunctus incognitus Broadley and Watson, 1976

Occurs in the middleveld and lowveld regions, absent from the highveld and Lubombo regions. Previously three localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently four localities recorded.

Leptotyphlops scutifrons scutifrons (Peters, 1854)

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld region. Previously three localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently four localities recorded.

Leptotyphlops telloi Broadley and Watson, 1976

Restricted to the Lubombo region, this species has a limited distribution in Swaziland. Previously two localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently three localities recorded. This species is endemic to the Lubombo mountains of Swaziland and southern Mozambique.

Family: Boidae (pythons and boas)

Python sebae natalensis Smith, 1840

syn. Python sebae (not of Gmelin) FitzSimons

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld region. A few unsubstantiated sightings in the highveld have been reported but these have been restricted to the deeper, warmer, larger river valleys. Previously five localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently seven localities recorded.

Family: Colubridae (typical snakes)

Lycodonomorphus laevissimus fitzsimonsi Raw, 1973

Restricted to the highveld region this form has a limited distribution in Swaziland. Previously unrecorded, currently only known from two sight records. This form is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Lycodonomorphus rufulus (Lichtenstein, 1823)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, more common in the highveld. Previously two localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently five localities recorded.

Lycodonomorphus whytii obscuriventris FitzSimons, 1964

Only known from the northern lowveld region. Previously one locality listed (Broadley 1983), no new localities recorded. The southernmost recorded localities for this form are in Swaziland and Zululand.

Lamprophis inornatus Dumeril and Bibron, 1854

Restricted to the highveld region, this species has a limited distribution in Swaziland. Previously unrecorded, currently three localities recorded. This species is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Lamprophis guttatus (Smith, 1843)

syn. Boaedon guttatus (Smith)

Occurs in the highveld, middleveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the lowveld. Previously three localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently four localities recorded. This species is endemic to South Africa, Swaziland and southern Mozambique. Outlying populations are found in southern Namibia.

Lamprophis fuliginosus (Boie, 1827)

syn. Boaedon fuliginosus (Boie)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, less common in the highveld. Previously six localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently eleven localities recorded.

Lamprophis swazicus Schaefer, 1970

Restricted to the highveld region this species has a limited distribution in Swaziland. Previously three localities listed (Broadley 1983), no new localities recorded. This species is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland. The type locality of the species, which is Forbes Reef (Schaefer 1970), is located in Malolotja Nature Reserve.

Lycophidion capense capense (Smith, 1831)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously two localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently six localities recorded.

Lycophidion variegatum Broadley, 1969

Only known from the northern Lubombo region. Previously unrecorded, currently one locality recorded.

Mehelya capensis capensis (Smith, 1847)

Occurs in the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld. Previously three localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently six localities recorded.

Mehelya nyassae (Gunther, 1888)

Only known from the lowveld region. Previously one locality listed (Broadley 1983), currently two localities recorded as well as two additional sight records.

Duberria lutrix lutrix (Linnaeus, 1758)

Occurs in the highveld and western middleveld regions (rare in the latter), absent from the lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously four localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently six localities recorded. This form is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Pseudaspis cana (Linnaeus, 1754)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously four localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently eleven localities recorded.

Psammophylax rhombeatus rhombeatus (Linnaeus, 1754)

Occurs in the highveld and middleveld regions, absent from the lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously three localities listed (Broadley 1983), two of which have been substantiated by additional material. No new localities recorded.

Psammophis subtaeniatus subtaeniatus Peters, 1854

Occurs in the lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld and middleveld regions. Previously unrecorded, currently two localities recorded, as well as two additional sight records.

Psammophis sibilans brevirostris Peters, 1881

syn. Psammophis sibilans sibilans (not of Linnaeus) FitzSimons

Occurs in the highveld, middleveld and Lubombo regions, not yet recorded from the lowveld region. Previously one locality listed (Broadley 1983), currently five localities recorded.

Psammophis phillipsii (Hallowell, 1844)

syn. Psammophis sibilans sibilans (not of Linnaeus) FitzSimons

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously three localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently eight localities recorded.

Psammophis crucifer (Daudin, 1803)

Restricted to the highveld region this species has a limited distribution in Swaziland. Previously unrecorded, currently three localities recorded. This species is endemic to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. A relict population of this species is found in eastern Zimbabwe.

Aparallactus lunulatus lunulatus (Peters, 1854)

Only known from the northern lowveld. Previously unrecorded, currently known from a single sight record. This record represents the southernmost locality for this form.

Aparallactus capensis (Smith, 1849)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously two localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently five localities recorded.

Amblyodipsas concolor (Smith, 1849)

syn. Choristocalamus concolor (Smith)

Only known from the northern Lubombo region. Previously unrecorded, currently one locality recorded. This species is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Amblyodipsas polylepis polylepis (Bocage, 1873)

syn. Calamelaps unicolor miolepis (not of Gunther) FitzSimons

Occurs in the lowveld region, absent from the highveld, middleveld and Lubombo regions. Previously three localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently five localities recorded as well as an additional sight record.

Homoroselaps lacteus (Linnaeus, 1754)

syn. Elaps lacteus (Linnaeus)

Occurs in the highveld region, absent from the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously unrecorded, currently only known from two sight records. This species is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Homoroselaps dorsalis (Smith, 1849)

syn. Elaps dorsalis Smith

Occurs in the highveld region, absent from the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously one locality listed (Broadley 1983), no new localities recorded. This species is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Atractaspis bibronii Smith, 1849

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously three localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently five localities recorded.

Prosymna sundevallii lineata (Peters, 1871)

syn. Prosymna lineata (Peters)

Only known from the northern lowveld region. Previously unrecorded, currently one locality recorded. The southernmost recorded localities for this form are in Swaziland and Zululand.

Prosymna ambigua stuhlmannii (Pfeffer, 1893)

Occurs in the lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld and middleveld regions. Previously one locality listed (Broadley 1983), currently three localities recorded as well as three additional sight records.

Meizodon semiornatus (Peters, 1854)

Only known from the lowveld region. Previously one locality listed (Broadley 1983). Currently two localities recorded, one of which is a sight record. The southernmost recorded localities for this species are in Swaziland and Zululand.

Philothamnus hoplogaster (Gunther, 1863)

Occurs in the highveld, middleveld and lowveld regions, not yet recorded from the Lubombo region. Previously two localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently seven localities recorded.

Philothamnus natalensis natalensis (Smith, 1848)

Occurs in the lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld and middleveld regions. Previously one locality listed (Broadley 1983), currently three localities recorded.

Philothamnus natalensis occidentalis Broadley, 1966

Occurs in the highveld region, absent from the middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously unrecorded, currently one locality recorded as well as an additional sight record. One specimen from the lowveld region is considered an intergrade between natalensis and occidentalis by Broadley (1983).

Philothamnus semivariegatus semivariegatus (Smith, 1840)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously two localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently nine localities recorded.

Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia (Laurenti, 1768)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously five localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently seven localities recorded.

Dipsadoboa aulica aulica (Gunther, 1864)

Only known from the lowveld region, absent from the highveld, middleveld and Lubombo regions. Previously three localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently four localities recorded as well as five additional sight records.

Telescopus semiannulatus semiannulatus Smith, 1849

Occurs in the middleveld and lowveld regions, absent from the highveld and Lubombo regions. Previously four localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently eight localities recorded.

Dispholidus typus typus (Smith, 1829)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously four localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently eight localities recorded as well as several additional sight records.

Thelotornis capensis capensis Smith, 1849

syn. Thelotornis kirtlandii capensis Smith

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, less common in the highveld. Previously three localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently four localities recorded as well as several additional sight records.

Dasypeltis inornata Smith, 1849

Only known from the highveld and western middleveld regions. Previously one locality listed (Broadley 1983), currently two localities recorded. This species is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Dasypeltis scabra (Linnaeus, 1758)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously three localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently ten localities recorded.

Family: Elapidae (cobras, mambas and garter snakes)

Elapsoidea sundevallii sundevallii (Smith, 1848)

An old Transvaal Museum specimen from "Swaziland" is listed by Broadley (1983). No further collections have been made. Two other Transvaal Museum specimens come from localities near the Swaziland border and it is likely that the Swaziland specimen originated from the south-western part of the country, possibly Nhlangano (= Goedgegun). This form is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Elapsoidea sundevallii decosteri Boulenger, 1888

Only known from the lowveld region. Previously one locality listed (Broadley 1983), currently two localities recorded one of which is a sight record. This form is endemic to Zululand, Swaziland and southern Mozambique.

Elapsoidea semiannulata boulengeri Boettger, 1895

syn. Elapsoidea sundevallii decosteri (not of Boulenger) FitzSimons

Only known from the lowveld region. Previously one locality listed (Broadley 1983), currently two localities recorded one of which is a sight record.

Hemachatus haemachatus (Lacepede, 1788)

Restricted to the highveld region this species has a limited distribution in Swaziland. One record from the western middleveld exists which represents the only previous record (Broadley 1983). Currently two localities recorded as well as two additional sight records. This species is endemic to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. A relict population of this species is found in eastern Zimbabwe.

Aspidelaps scutatus intermedius Broadley, 1968

Only known from the lowveld region, absent from the highveld, middleveld and Lubombo regions. Previously unrecorded, currently two localities recorded. This form is endemic to South Africa and Swaziland.

Naja haje annulifera Peters, 1854

syn. Naja haje haje (not of Linnaeus) FitzSimons

Occurs in the middleveld and lowveld regions, absent from the highveld and Lubombo regions. Previously four localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently five localities recorded as well as three additional sight records.

Naja mossambica Peters, 1854

syn. Naja nigricollis nigricollis (not of Reinhardt) FitzSimons

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, less common in the highveld. Previously four localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently eleven localities recorded.

Dendroaspis polylepis Gunther, 1864

Occurs in the eastern middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld and western middleveld regions. Previously two localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently five localities recorded as well as several additional sight records.

Family: Viperidae (adders)

Causus rhombeatus (Lichtenstein, 1823)

Occurs in the highveld and middleveld regions, absent from the lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously three localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently five localities recorded.

Causus defilippii (Jan, 1862)

Occurs in the lowveld and Lubombo regions, absent from the highveld and middleveld. Previously one locality listed (Broadley 1983), currently three localities recorded.

Bitis atropos (Linnaeus, 1754)

Restricted to the highveld region this species has a limited distribution in Swaziland. Previously three localities listed (Haagner and Hurter 1988), currently five localities recorded.

Bitis arietans arietans (Merrem, 1820)

Occurs throughout the country in the highveld, middleveld, lowveld and Lubombo regions. Previously seven localities listed (Broadley 1983), currently nine localities recorded as well as several additional sight records.

REFERENCES

Boycott, R.C. and Bourquin, O. 1988: The South African Tortoise Book. A Guide to South African Tortoises, Terrapins and Turtles. Southern Books. Johannesburg.

Boycott, R.C. and Jacobsen, N.H.G. 1988: On the Distribution, habitat and identification of Kinixys natalensis Hewitt, 1935 (Cryptodira: Testudinidae) in Southern Africa. Durban Mus. Novit. 14(5):93-101.

Boycott, R.C. and La Croix, N. in prep. Geographical Distribution - Hildebrandtia ornata (Peters, 1878). J. Herp. Assoc. Afr.

Branch, W.R., Baard, E.H.W., Haacke, W.D., Jacobsen, N., Poynton, J.C. and Broadley, D.G. 1988: A provisional and annotated checklist of the herpetofauna of Southern Africa. J. Herp. Assoc. Afr. 34:1-19.

Broadley, D.G. 1981a: A review of the genus Pelusios Wagler in southern Africa (Pleurodira: Pelomedusidae). Occas. pap. Natl. Mus. Rhod. Nat. Sci. 6(9):633-686.

Broadley, D.G. 1981b: A review of the populations of Kinixys (Testudinidae) occurring in south-eastern Africa. Ann. Cape Prov. Mus. (nat. Hist.) 13(14):195-216.

Broadley, D.G. 1983: FitzSimons' Snakes of Southern Africa. Delta Books. Johannesburg.

Channing, A. and van Dijk, D.E. 1976: A Guide To the Frogs of South West Africa. Monograph Series No.2. University of Durban - Westville.

Culverwell, J., Boycott, R.C., Washington, B.L., Wessels, L. and Haacke, W.D. in prep. A preliminary checklist of the reptiles of Swaziland.

FitzSimons, V.F.M. 1943: The Lizards of South Africa. Mem. Transvaal Mus. 1:1-528.

Haagner, G.V. and Hurter, J. 1988: Additional Distribution Records of the Berg Adder Bitis atropos in the South-eastern Transvaal and Swaziland. Koedoe 31:71-76.

McLachlan, G.R. 1981: Taxonomy of Agama hispida (Sauria: Agamidae) in southern Africa. Cimbebasia Ser. A. 5(6):219-227

Moody, S.M. 1980: Phylogenetic and historical biogeographical relationships of the genera in the Family Agamidae (Reptilia: Lacertilia). Ph.D. thesis. University of Michigan.

Onderstall, D. 1984: Descriptions of two new subspecies of Afroedura pondolia (Hewitt) and a discussion of species groups within the genus (Reptilia: Gekkonidae). Ann. Transvaal Mus. 33(30):497-509.

Passmore, N.I. and Carruthers, V.C. 1979: South African Frogs. Witwatersrand University Press. Johannesburg.

Pickersgill, M 1984: Three new Afrixalus (Anura: Hyperoliidae) from south-eastern Africa. Durban Mus. Novit. 13(17):203-220.

Poynton, J.C. 1964: The Amphibia of Southern Africa: a faunal study. Ann. Natal Mus. 17:1-334.

Schaefer, N. 1970: A new species of House Snake from Swaziland, with notes on the status of the two Genera Lamprophis and Boaedon. Ann. Cape Prov. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) 8(14):205-208.


Red Data Books  Swaziland's Biodiversity  Swaziland's Flora  Swaziland's Fauna

Index  Introduction  Cultural Resources  Nature Reserves  Tourism
Biodiversity  Objectives/Legislation  Programmes  Miscellaneous