Evolution and systematics

Loxocemus represents a lineage that probably arose independently and early in snake evolution. The genus was variously placed in the families Pythonidae (pythons), Boidae (boas and sand boas), or Xenopeltidae (Asian sunbeam snakes), but now systematists agree that it comprises a distinct family, Loxocemidae. Previously, some herpetologists recognized the form sumichrasti as either a distinct species or a subspecies of L. bicolor, but detailed studies of morphological and geographic variation demonstrated that no distinction between bicolor and sumichrasti is possible, and therefore a single, monotypic species is currently recognized, L. bicolor.

The taxonomy for this species is Loxocemus bicolor Cope, 1861, La Unión, San Salvador [El Salvador].

English common names for this species include Neotropical sunbeam snake, Mexican burrowing python, Mesoamerican python, New World python, ground python, and burrowing boa; Spanish common names include chatilla, pitón excavador, and boa excavadora.

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