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 is one of the worldâs rarest known snakes. Snakes of the genus Alsophis are small and rear-fanged snakes, and they are considered harmless to humans. This genus contains at least eight 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 used to occur on Antigua and Barbuda, but by 1995 only 50 individuals remained on Great Bird Island, off the coast of Antigua. Following the removal of invasive alien predators and successful reintroductions to a further three islands (Rabbit in 1999, Green Island in 2001, and York Island in 2008), the total population has increased to more than 1,000 individuals.
Snakes of the genus Alsophis are all relatively small, usually less than about 1 metre (39â inches) in body length. Females tend to be larger than males. Alsophis are rear-fanged, with enlarged teeth at the rear of their upper jaws.
Alsophis are harmless to humans and most species have a gentle temperament. They are diurnal, usually active from dawn to dusk.
- Alsophis antiguae Parker, 1933 â" Antiguan racer
- Alsophis antillensis (Schlegel, 1837) â" Antilles racer
- Alsophis danforthi Cochran, 1938
- Alsophis manselli Parker, 1933 â" Montserrat racer
- Alsophis rijgersmaei Cope, 1869 â" Anguilla racer, Leeward Islands racer
- Alsophis rufiventris (DumÃ©ril, Bibron & DumÃ©ril, 1876) â" Saba racer, orange-bellied racer, red-bellied racer
- Alsophis sanctonum Barbour, 1915
- Alsophis sibonius Cope, 1879 â" Antilles racer, Leeward racer
- Life is Short, but Snakes are Long
- Antiguan racer at Fauna & Flora International
- Offshore Islands Conservation Programme