A n australian paleontologist would not be expected to be familiar with the genera of recent snakes in the Western Hemisphere. Thus, when A. A. Öpik erected the genus Lampropeltis to receive certain Middle Cambrian trilobites from the Mindyallan of Queensland (Öpik 1967, p. 182), he was appropriately unaware that the name had already been coined for a genus of smooth-scaled colubrids, the kingsnakes (Cope, 1860; Blanchard, 1921).

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The Greek lampros means bright or shining, and peltis is a classical Greek military term for a small shield. Peltastes was the soldier who carried same (...

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