Lycodryas citrinus (Domergue, 1995)


Lycodyas citrinus is found in dry forests in western Madagascar, most notably Beroboka, Kirindy, Namoroka, and Tsingy de Bemaraha.

Morphology & Colouration:

Lycodryas citrinus is a long, thin tree snake, reaching a maximum total length of around 70 cm. The body is characterised by 17 dorsal scale rows at midbody, 239-254 ventrals, 111-126 undivided or partly divided subcaudals, 8 supralabial scales, one loreal, and a divided anal scale. 

This species is undoubtedly Madagascar’s most bright and distinctive snake species, unable to be confused with any other species. The body is a vibrant yellow, with 50-58 dark crossbands.


Like all members of the genus LycodryasL. citrinus is arboreal and nocturnal, and feeds mostly on small vertebrates, potentially including frogs, lizards, and possibly young birds.

One female in captivity gave birth to two 18-20 cm long young in the Malagasy rainy season (December) (Vences et al. 1998).

Conservation Status:

Lycodryas citrinus is currently listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. It has a limited distribution (<7000 square kilometres), is suffering from habitat reduction, and is being collected for the pet trade.

Systematics and Taxonomy:

Lycodryas citrinus was transferred to the genus Lycodryas from Stenophis by Nagy, Glaw & Vences, 2010 on the basis of its genetic affinities. It is most closely related to an undescribed Lycodryas species from northeastern Madagascar (Marojejy).


Animalia-Chordata-Reptilia-Serpentes-Lamprophiidae-Lycodryas-L. citrinus

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Nagy, Z.T., F. Glaw & M. Vences (2010) Systematics of the snake genera Stenophis and Lycodryas from Madagascar and the Comoros. Zoologica Scripta 39(5):426-435

Vences, M., F. Glaw & W.B. Love (1998) Live bearing in the snake Stenophis citrinus from Madagascar. British Herpetological Society Bulletin 64:13-14

A New Project!

Hello friends and followers!

It’s time to tell you about a new project I’m starting here on tumblr!

TaxonFiles! <— that’s a hyperlink. Clicky.

TaxonFiles is a new part of my tumblr. I have written up lists, divided by Family, of all of the described reptile and amphibian species from Madagascar.

The lists will, once fully updated (they are still being modified and extended, and I’ve only just started the amphibian section), show the full diversity of herp species known from Madagascar - possibly the only place on the internet where such a thing exists.

I am going to produce Taxon Files for different species (see Guibemantis pulcher and Matoatoa brevipes for examples) from Madagascar. Each Taxon File (tagged: #taxonfiles) will then be linked from its respective page. They will therefore still be searchable en masse through the tag, but also taxonomically sorted to facilitate easy navigation.

This project is still in the early phases of implementation, but I hope that you will take advantage of it and find it interesting and useful.

To access it, simply click where it says ’TaxonFiles!’ on the navigation panel of my blog!

I hope you will enjoy it. I would love to hear your thoughts. :)