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Dendrophis prasimus.jpg
Dendrelaphis punctulatus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Ahaetuliinae
Genus: Dendrelaphis
Boulenger, 1890

>40 recognized species, see article.



Dendrelaphis is a genus of colubrid snakes, distributed from Pakistan, India and southern China to Indonesia, Timor-Leste, the Philippines, Australia, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. There are over forty described species. Asian species are known as bronzebacks, while the Australo-Papuan species are simply called treesnakes. All are non-venomous and entirely harmless to humans.

Species in the genus Dendrelaphis

This list is based on the latest checklist of the snakes of the world and recent revisions and descriptions published in the scientific literature.

A more recent revision of the Australo-Papuan species of Dendrelaphis resulted in the synonymy of D. solomonis within D. calligaster, the elevation of D. keiensis to species status, the resurrection of D. lineolatus from within D. calligaster, and the resurrection of D. macrops and elevation of D. striolatus from within D. punctulatus. The same paper confined D. punctulatus to Australia and D. papuensis to the Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea.

  • Dendrelaphis andamanensis (Anderson, 1871)Andaman bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis ashoki Vogel & Van Rooijen, 2011 – Ashok's bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis bifrenalis (Boulenger, 1890), Boulenger's bronzeback – southern India and Sri Lanka
  • Dendrelaphis biloreatus (Wall, 1908) – Gore's bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis calligaster (Günther, 1867) – northern treesnake, green treesnake, coconut treesnake
  • Dendrelaphis caudolineatus (Gray, 1834) – striped bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis caudolineolatus (Günther, 1869)
  • Dendrelaphis chairecacos (Boie, 1827)Karnataka bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis cyanochloris (Wall, 1921) – blue bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis flavescens Gaulke, 1994 – Sulu bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis formosus (Boie, 1827) – elegant bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis fuliginosus (Griffin, 1909) – Negros bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis gastrostictus (Boulenger, 1894) – spot-bellied treesnake, montane treesnake
  • Dendrelaphis girii Vogel & Van Rooijen, 2011 – Giri's bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis grandoculis (Boulenger, 1890) – southern bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis grismeri Vogel & Van Rooijen, 2008 – bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis haasi Van Rooijen & Vogel, 2008Haas's bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis hollinrakei Lazell, 2002 – Shek Kwu Chau island tree snake
  • Dendrelaphis humayuni Tiwari & Biswas, 1973Nicobar bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis keiensis (Mertens, 1926) – Kei Islands bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis kopsteini Vogel & Van Rooijen, 2012 – Kopstein's bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis inornatus (Boulenger, 1897)Lesser Sunda bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis levitoni Van Rooijen & Vogel, 2008Palawan bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis lineolatus (Jacquinot & Guichenot, 1853)
  • Dendrelaphis lorentzii (van Lidth de Jeude, 1911) – Lorentz River treesnake
  • Dendrelaphis luzonensis Leviton, 1961Luzon bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis macrops (Günther, 1877) – big-eyed treesnake
  • Dendrelaphis marenae Vogel & Van Rooijen, 2008 – Maren Gaulke's bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis modestus (Boulenger, 1894)Moluccan bronzeback, grey bronzeback, striped bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis ngansonensis (Bourret, 1835) – Ngan Son bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis nigroserratus Vogel, Van Rooijen & Hauser, 2012 – sawtooth-necked bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis oliveri (Taylor, 1950) – Oliver's bronzeb
  • Dendrelaphis papuensis (Boulenger, 1895) – Trobriand Islands treesnake
  • Dendrelaphis philippiensis (Günther, 1879)Philippine bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis pictus (Gmelin, 1789) – painted bronzeback, common bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis punctulatus (Gray, 1827) – common treesnake, Australian treesnake
  • Dendrelaphis schokari (Kuhl, 1820) – Schokar's bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis sinharajensis Wickramasinghe, 2016 – Sinharaja tree snake
  • Dendrelaphis striatus (Cohn, 1905) – striped bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis striolatus (Peters, 1867)Palau treesnake
  • Dendrelaphis subocularis (Boulenger, 1888) – mountain bronzeback, Burmese bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis terrificus (Peters, 1872)Sulawesi bronzeback, terrific bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis tristis (Daudin, 1803) – common bronzeback, Daudin's bronzebackack
  • Dendrelaphis underwoodi Van Rooijen & Vogel, 2008 – bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis vogeli Jiang, Guo, Ren, & Li, 2020 – Vogel’s bronzeback
  • Dendrelaphis walli Vogel & Van Rooijen, 2011 – Wall's bronzeback native to Myanmar
  • Dendrelaphis wickrorum Danushka et al, 2020 – Wickramasinghes’ bronzeback


Bronzebacks range in total length (body + tail) from 2 feet (0.61 m) to up to 6 feet (1.8 m). All species have slender bodies with a long tail. Males are shorter in length and brighter in coloration; they also tend to be more active. Females are stouter with duller or darker colorations and are less active. Typical coloration includes red, brown or orange on the head with bronze, brown or olive-green running down the length of the back. The underside of the body is usually bright to pale green or yellow. They have big eyes and bright red tongues. The tail is fully prehensile.


Primary prey consists of lizards and frogs but the larger species are capable of taking birds, bats and small rodents. These snakes are entirely nonvenomous.

  • Boulenger GA (1894). Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume II., Containing the Conclusion of the Colubridæ Aglyphæ. London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xi + 382 pp. + Plates I-XX. (Genus Dendrelaphis, p. 87, Figure 7).
  • Wall F (1921). Ophidia Taprobanica or the Snakes of Ceylon. Colombo, Ceylon [Sri Lanka]: Colombo Museum. (H.R. Cottle, Government Printer). xxii + 581 pp. (Genus Dendrelaphis, pp. 220–221).
  • Genus Dendrelaphis at The Reptile Database
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