Vertebrate Zoology 70(3): 291-304, doi: 10.26049/VZ70-3-2020-03
Constrictores Oppel, 1811 –  the available name for the taxonomic group uniting boas and pythons
expand article infoGeorgios Georgalis, Krister T. Smith
‡ University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Open Access
Recent advances in the phylogenetic relationships of snakes using both molecular and morphological data have generally demonstrated a close relationship between boas and pythons but also induced nomenclatural changes that rob the least inclusive clade to which both belong of a name. This name would be tremendously useful, because it is the least inclusive group to which a large number of fossil boa-like or python-like taxa can be assigned. Accordingly, an update of higher-level nomenclature is desirable. We herein provide an overview of all the names that have historically been applied to boas and pythons. We show that the earliest name for the supra-familial group encompassing boas and pythons is Constrictores Oppel, 1811. We herein revalidate it as an order-group name below Alethinophidia Nopcsa, 1923 and provide a phylogenetic definition of it to encompass the modern concepts of Booidea and Pythonoidea. We provide emended diagnoses for Constrictores, Booidea, and Pythonoidea based on recent morphological data-sets.
Booidea, nomenclature, Pythonoidea, Serpentes