Evolution and systematics

Xenopeltids appear to be a relict lineage basal to the Macrostomata, although some recent authors have included the family within Macrostomata on the assumption that these snakes possess macrostomatan properties. The two recognized species of Xenopeltis are very similar to each other but differ in a number of structural features from other snakes. Current phylogenetic analyses place the family between anili-ids and booids (pythonids, boids, and related snakes). No subfamilies are recognized.

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