In praise of subgenera: taxonomic status of cobras of the genus Naja Laurenti (Serpentes: Elapidae).
ZOOTAXA 2236 (1): 26-36. 21 Sep. 2009.
The genus Naja Laurenti, 1768, is partitioned into four subgenera. The typical form is restricted to 11 Asian species. The name Uraeus Wagler, 1830, is revived for a group of four non-spitting cobras inhabiting savannas and open formations of Africa and Arabia, while Boulengerina Dollo, 1886, is applied to four non-spitting African species of forest cobras, including terrestrial, aquatic and semi-fossorial forms. A new subgenus is erected for seven species of African spitting cobras. We recommend the subgenus rank as a way of maximising the phylogenetic information content of classifications while retaining nomenclatural stability.