An attempt to prepare a survey of the poisonous snakes of Surinam led to the discovery of a specimen of the very rare coral snake Leptomicrurus collaris (Schlegel) in the Zoological Museum, Amsterdam, and to tracing another specimen in the Staatliche Museum für Naturkunde, Ludwigsburg (Stuttgart Museum). For long years the species was known under the name of Hemibungarus collaris (Schlegel), and as such it was supposed to occur in the Philippine Islands. The history of Elaps collaris Schlegel, 1837, was briefly discussed by Schmidt (1937), who transferred the species (together with Elaps narduccii Jan, 1863) to a separate genus Leptomicrurus Schmidt, 1937. At the time, Schmidt believed the specimen of Leptomicrurus collaris, which he described from (British) Guiana to be the first which definitely proved in which part of the world the species is to be found. In this, and in other details, his historical account is incomplete and incorrect. In the present paper it is attempted to give a more complete and more correct survey of the history of Elaps collaris. The first herpetologist to recognize Elaps collaris as a yet undescribed species was H. Boie, who intended to describe it in his "Erpétologie de Java", a work which was never published, and which, as we now know from his notes, was to contain several species that do not belong to the Javan fauna. Two people had access to Boie's manuscript and to his notes: Schlegel, and H. Boie's brother F. Boie. To safeguard H. Boie's rights to priority, endangered by other zoologists who had copied names of new species from the Leiden Museum's labels, Schlegel (1826α, 1826b) felt it to be his duty to announce to the zoological profession what H. Boie's "Erpétologie de Java" was to contain. F. Boie (1827) also made use of H. Boie's notes to