Australasian Journal of Herpetology


A reclassification of the True Cobras; species formerly referred to the Genera Naja, Boulengerina and Paranaja.


Raymond Hoser
488 Park Road, Park Orchards, Victoria, 3114, Australia.

Phone: +61 3 9812 3322 Fax: 9812 3355 E-mail:

Submitted 28 February 2009, Accepted 19 March 2009, Published 23 March 2009.

Originally published in hard copy in Australasian Journal of Herpetology Issue 7



Recent studies of so-called “True Cobras” by different authors have been consistent in ascertaining the relationships between taxa.  This includes the identifying of four major well-defined clades, the relationships of which had for a long time been confusing due to apparent convergence in recent evolution.

Genus names are available for two of the four.  The remaining two genera are formally diagnosed and named herein.

Included within these newly identified and named genera are the majority of African species.

Keywords: new taxa, snake, Cobra, taxonomy, Spracklandus gen. nov., Wellsus gen. nov.


See media release about the paper here:


See list of True Cobra species under the new classification here:


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