Alsophis is a genus of snakes in the Colubroid Dipsadidae family. They are among those snakes called "racers" and occur throughout the Caribbean. One species in the genus Alsophis may be the world’s rarest snake, and is currently critically endangered. Snakes of the genus Alsophis are small and rear-fanged snakes, and they are considered harmless to man. This genus contains at least nine described species. Several species once included in this genus have been placed in the genera Borikenophis and Pseudalsophis.
Alsophis antiguae is probably the rarest snake in the genus Alsophis. This snake can only be found on Great Bird Island, off the coast of Antigua, and there are currently only eighty remaining.(Daltry 119)
Snakes of the genus Alsophis are all relatively small only growing to about 1 metre (39⅜ inches) in total length, and experience sexual dimorphism, meaning that females grow much bigger than males (Savit 420). Alsophis also are rear-fanged, meaning they have enlarged teeth at the rear of their upper jaws, and may be mildly venomous (Antiguan 1).
Alsophis are harmless to humans and have gentle temperament (Daltry 121). They are diurnal, which means they are active from dawn to dusk except for a rest around mid-day (S Files 1). Some species of Alsophis have a poor resistance to common diseases not found where the snake is actually from. This couldn’t be more true for Alsophis antiguae, which has ended some attempts at captive breeding (S-Files 1).
- Alsophis antiguae Parker, 1933 – Antiguan racer
- Alsophis antillensis (Schlegel, 1837) – Antilles racer
- Alsophis danforthi Cochran, 1938
- Alsophis manselli Parker, 1933 – Montserrat racer
- Alsophis rijgersmaei Cope, 1869 – Anguilla Racer, Leeward Islands racer
- Alsophis rufiventris (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1876) – Saba Racer, Orange-bellied race, red-bellied racer
- Alsophis sajdaki Henderson, 1990
- Alsophis sanctonum Barbour, 1915
- Alsophis sibonius Cope, 1879 – Antilles Racer, Leeward Racer
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