All are entirely aquatic, lacking the broad belly-scales found in most other snakes and possessing dorsally located eyes. Their most notable feature is their skin and scales. The skin is loose and baggy, giving the
impression of being several sizes too
large for the snake, and the scales, rather than overlapping, are tiny pyramidal projections that lead to their common names.
These snakes are ambush predators, lurking at the bottom of rivers, streams and estuaries, and waiting for fish to approach, which they grip with their coils. The rough scales allow them to hold the fish despite the mucus coating. Adults grow to between 60 cm and 2.43 m in length.
Found from western India and Sri Lanka through tropical Southeast Asia to the Philippines, south through the Indonesian/Malaysian island group to
Timor, east through New Guinea to the northern coast of Australia to Mussau Island, the Bismark
Archipelago and Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands.
These animals are rapidly becoming rare as their hides are used for handbags and leather (stripped of scales, of course). Numerous attempts have been made by both zoos and private reptile collectors to keep them, but in all cases, they have been reluctant to feed and prone to skin infections.
List of snakes, overview of all snake families and genera.
0">abcde McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Tour? T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
The Acrochordidae are a monotypic family created for the genus Acrochordus. This is a group of primitive aquatic snakes found in Australia and Indonesia. Currently, 3 species are recognized. [more]
Agkistrodon is a genus of venomous pit vipers found in North America from the United States south to northern Costa Rica. The name is derived from the Greek words ????st??? 'fishhook' (with the irregular transliteration gk rather than the usual nk) and ?d??? (stem ?d??t-) 'tooth', and is likely a reference to the fangs. (The spelling Ankistrodon was formerly also used, but this is now reserved for an extinct genus of archosaurs.) Three species are currently recognized, all of them polytypic and closely related. [more]
Arizona (;/?r?'zo?n?/) (Navajo: Hoozdo Hahoodzo; O'odham: Ali ?onak) is a state of the United States, located in the southwestern region of the country. Arizona is also part of the Western United States and of the Mountain West states. Arizona is the sixth most extensive and the 16th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. The second largest city is Tucson, followed in population by eight cities of the Phoenix metropolitan area: Mesa, Glendale, Chandler, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Tempe, Peoria, and Surprise. [more]
Aspidelaps is a genus of venomous elapid snakes found in Africa. They are commonly called shield-nosed cobras or coral cobras after their cobra-hoods and enlarged rostral (nose) scales. However, the hood is not nearly as well developed in Aspidelaps as it is in Naja. [more]
Atheris is a genus of venomous vipers found only in tropical subsaharan Africa, excluding southern Africa. Confined to rain forest areas, many members have isolated and fragmented distributions. In an interesting example of convergent evolution, they show many similarities to the arboreal pit vipers of Asia and South America. Eight species are currently recognized. [more]
Atractaspis is a genus of venomous snakes found in Africa. Currently, 15 species are recognized by ITIS. Others recognize 19 species. 16 are listed here. [more]
Atropoides is a genus of venomous pitvipers found in Mexico and Central America. Three species are currently recognized. The common names suggest they are able to leap at an attacker, but this is likely exaggerated. [more]
Bitis is a genus of venomous vipers found in Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula. It includes the largest and the smallest vipers in the world. Members are known for their characteristic threat displays that involve inflating and deflating their bodies while hissing and puffing loudly. The type species for this genus is B. arietans, which is also the most widely distributed viper in Africa. Currently, 14 species are recognized. [more]
Boiga is a large genus of mildly venomous, rear-fanged, colubrid snakes typically known as the cat-eyed snakes or just cat snakes. They are primarily found throughout southeast Asia, India and Australia, but due to their extremely hardy nature and adaptability have spread to many other suitable habitats around the world. There are 33 recognized species in the genus.[more]
Bothriopsis is a genus of venomous pitvipers found in eastern Panama and most of northern South America. The name is derived from the Greek words bothros for "pit", and -opsis for "face" or "appearance"; obviously an allusion to the heat-sensitive loreal pit organs. Seven species are currently recognized. [more]
Bothrophthalmus is a of colubrid snakes containing a single species, Bothrophthalmus lineatus, more commonly known as the Red-Black Striped Snake. There are two recognized subspecies: [more]
Boulengerina is a genus of elapid snakes known commonly as water cobras, so named because of their semi-aquatic nature. The genus has two recognized species, which are found in central and southern Africa. Some recent molecular studies have suggested that the genus Boulengerina should be synonymised with Naja, because the water cobras are closely related to some species of Naja[more]
Brachyophis is a monotypic genus created for the rear-fanged venomous snake species, B. revoili, found in Africa. Currently, 3 subspecies are recognized. [more]
Bungarus, commonly referred to as kraits (pronounced "crates"), is a genus of venomous elapid snakes found in South and South-East Asia. There are 13 species and 5 subspecies (excluding nominal) recognized. [more]
Calliophis is a genus of venomous elapid snakes known commonly as oriental coral snakes or Asian coral snakes. [more]
Cemophora coccinea is a nonvenomous species of colubrid snake commonly known as the scarlet snake. It is the only member of its genus. They are native to the southeastern United States. There are three subspecies of C. coccinea. [more]
The cerastes (Greek: ?e??st??, English: cerastes, English translation: "having horns") is a creature of Greek legend, a serpent that is incredibly flexible?so much so that it is said to have no spine. Cerastae can have either two large ram-like horns or four pairs of smaller horns. The cerastes hides its head in the sand with only the horns protruding out of the surface; this is meant to deceive other animals into thinking it is food. When the animal approaches the cerastes, the cerastes promptly kills it. [more]
Chironius is a genus of New World colubrid snakes, commonly called sipos (from the Portuguese word cip? for liana), savanes, or sometimes vine snakes. [more]
Chrysopelea, or more commonly known as the flying snake, is a genus that belongs to the family Colubridae. Flying snakes are mildly venomous, though they are considered harmless because their toxicity is not dangerous to humans. Their range is in Southeast Asia (the mainland, Greater and Lesser Sundas, Maluku, and the Philippines), southernmost China, India, and Sri Lanka. [more]
Coluber is a genus of thin bodied, fast moving, colubrid snakes commonly known as racers. They are widespread around the world and vary greatly in habitat and behaviour. In the past, Coluber was a catch-all genus which included almost all snake species known at the time. Even the cobra was once classified as Coluber naja. [more]
Coronella is a genus of harmless colubrids found in Europe, North Africa and West Asia. Three species are currently recognized. [more]
Daboia is a monotypic genus of venomous Old World viper. The single species, D. russelii, is found in Asia throughout the Indian subcontinent, much of Southeast Asia, southern China and Taiwan. The species was named in honor of Patrick Russell (1726?1805), a Scottish herpetologist who first described many of India's snakes; and the genus is after the Hindi name meaning "that lies hid", or "the lurker." Apart from being a member of the big four snakes in India, Daboia is also one of the species responsible for causing the most snakebite incidents and deaths among all venomous snakes on account of many factors, such as their wide distribution and frequent occurrence in highly-populated areas. Two subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here. [more]
Dasypeltis is a genus of colubrid snakes. It is one of only two taxonomic groups of snakes known to have adapted to feed exclusively on eggs. (The other being the snakes of the genus Elachistodon.) They are nonvenomous and found throughout the continent of Africa, primarily in forested habitats that are also home to numerous species of birds. [more]
Dendrelaphis is a genus of colubrid snakes, which includes various tree snakes of Australia, New Guinea and Asia. There are over twenty described species in this genus. [more]
Mambas, of the genus Dendroaspis (literally "tree snake"), are a group of highly venomous, fast-moving land-dwelling snakes of Africa. They belong to the family of Elapidae which includes cobras, coral snakes, taipans, brown snakes, tiger snakes, death adders, kraits and, debatably, sea snakes (although sea snakes are now classed as Hydrophiidae). Mambas are feared throughout their ranges in Africa, especially the Black mamba. In Africa, there are many legends and stories describing these snakes. [more]
Echis is a genus of venomous vipers found in the dry regions of Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka. They have a characteristic threat display, rubbing sections of their body together to produce a "sizzling" warning sound. The name Echis is a Greek word that means "viper." They include some of the species responsible for causing the most snakebite cases and deaths in the world. Eight species are currently recognized. [more]
Eirenis is a genus of snakes in the Colubridae family. It contains the following eighteen described species: [more]
Elaphe is one of the main genera of the rat snakes, which are found in many regions of the northern hemisphere. Elaphe are medium to large constrictors by nature. Most species are nonvenomous. However, some species, such as Elaphe radiata, are considered venomous. Although most of the species in Elaphe are nonvenomous, bites from rat snakes are still irritably painful and can potentially cause bacterial infections due to the saliva. [more]
Elapsoidea is a genus of venomous elapid snake commonly known as venomous garter snakes or African garter snakes. Despite the name, they are unrelated to the harmless North American garter snake species. [more]
Ficimia is a genus of colubrid snakes commonly known as hooknose snakes or hook-nosed snakes. There are seven species within the genus. [more]
Gloydius is a genus of venomous pitvipers found in Asia. Named after Howard Gloyd, this group is very similar to the North American genus Agkistrodon. Nine species are currently recognized. [more]
Lamprophis is a of colubrid snakes commonly referred to as African house snakes. They are small, non-venomous snakes, usually brown in color but display a range of variation from red, orange, green to black. They also exhibit a wide variety of pattern variation even within single species, they may be spotted, striped, or solid colored. House snakes are sexually dimorphic, the females grow significantly larger, to approximately 120 cm, some specimens have been recorded over 150cm, the males which only grow to approximately 75 cm. Several color variants of L.capensis are known in captivity including T+ & T-Albino, Annerythristic, Hypo, Ilumo (Green) & Piebald. Albino variants of L. aurora have been found. An albino L. fuliginosus has been found in Tanzania & is now owned by Donald Schultz of www.mfezi.com [more]
Macroprotodon is a genus of in the Colubridae family. It contains the following species: [more]
Madgascarophis is a genus of small, mildly venomous colubrid snakes native to the island of Madagascar. They are commonly referred to as Malagasy Cat-eyed Snakes. There are four species in the genus. [more]
The coral snakes are a large group of elapid snakes that can be subdivided into two distinct groups, Old World coral snakes and New World coral snakes. There are 11 species of Old World coral snake in one genus (Calliophis), and over 65 recognized species of New World coral snakes in three genera (Leptomicrurus, Micruroides, and Micrurus). [more]
Naja is a genus of venomous elapid snakes. Although there are several other genera that share the common name, Naja are the most recognized and most widespread group of snakes commonly known as cobras. The genus Naja consists of 20 to 22 species, but has undergone several taxonomic revisions in recent years, so sources vary greatly. They range throughout Africa, Southwest Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia. [more]
Natrix is a genus of snakes. There are between 65 and 80 species in the genus. They are collectively called grass snakes and water snakes, but some snake species known as "grass snakes" and "water snakes" are not of genus Natrix. [more]
Nerodia is a genus of nonvenomous colubrid snakes commonly referred to as water snakes. [more]
Oligodon, common name kukri snakes, is a genus of snakes native to East and South Asia. Oligodon species are egg eaters and are usually under 90 centimeters (35 inches) in length; different species display widely variable patterns and colorations. They subsist mostly by scavenging the eggs of birds and reptiles. Besides eggs, species of this genus also feeds on lizards, frogs and small rodents. Oligodon is a rear-fanged snake genus. They have a set of enlarged teeth placed in the back of their mouths as well as functional venom glands. They are not dangerous to humans though. Species of Oligodon are mostly nocturnal, and live on the floor of mature forests. [more]
Opheodrys is a genus of small to medium-sized colubrid snakes commonly referred to as green snakes. In North America the genus consists of two distinct species with five recognized subspecies. As their common names imply, the Rough Green Snake has keeled dorsal scales, whereas the Smooth Green Snake has smooth dorsal scales. [more]
Paranaja multifasciata is a species of venomous elapid snake commonly known as the Many-banded Snake or Burrowing Cobra, the only species within the genus Paranaja. The species is found in the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon in Africa. Despite the common name, the species is not actually banded, but overall iridescent black, with cream colored blotching on each scale. The snakes grow to approximately 600 mm in length. Not much is known about their venom, but it is likely a neurotoxin, like many other elapid snakes. The genus Paranaja was synonymised with Naja in a recent molecular phylogenetic study, as this species is closely related to the forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca) [more]
Pituophis is a genus of nonvenomous colubrid snakes commonly referred to as gopher snakes, pine snakes, and bull snakes. Species within the genus are found throughout the United States and Mexico. [more]
The Red Whip Snake (Platyceps collaris) is a species of in the Colubridae family. It is monotypic within the genus Platyceps. It is found in Bulgaria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinian Territory, Occupied, Syria, and Turkey. Its natural habitats are Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, rocky areas, arable land, pastureland, plantations , and rural gardens. [more]
Trimeresurus is a genus of venomous pitvipers found in Asia from Pakistan, through India, China, throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Currently 35 species are recognized. Common names include Asian pit vipers, Asian lanceheads and Asian lance-headed vipers. [more]
Rhamnophis is a genus of arboreal snakes, commonly known as dagger-tooth tree snakes or large-eyed tree snakes, in the familyColubridae found in equatorial sub-Saharan Africa. The status of this genus has long been subject to debate, and has been treated as a synonym of Thrasops by some authors. Both genera belong to the tribe , and are closely related to the genera Dispholidus, Thelotornis, and Xyelodontophis. [more]
The long-nosed snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei) is a species of nonvenomous colubrid snake. It is the only species in the genus Rhinocheilus, but has four recognized subspecies, though more modern research has cast some doubt on that classification. Its specific name commemorates John Eatton Le Conte (1818-1891). [more]
Sistrurus is a genus of venomous pit vipers found in Canada, the United States and Mexico. The name is a Latinized form of the Greek word for "tail rattler" (Se?st??????, Seistrouros) and shares its root with the ancient Egyptian musical instrument, the sistrum, a type of rattle. Three species are currently recognized. [more]
Spalerosophis is a genus of in the Colubridae family. It contains the following species: [more]
Storeria is a genus of colubrid snakes. The genus consists of four species, three of which are known as brown snakes, and the other is known as the redbelly snake. They are found primarily in the United States and Mexico but range as far north as southern Canada, and as far south as Central America. The genus is named in honor of American physician and zoologist (1804?1891). [more]
Tantilla is a large genus of harmless colubrid snakes which includes 64 species commonly known as centipede snakes, blackhead snakes, and flathead snakes. [more]
Telescopus, the Old World catsnakes, is a genus of 12 species of opisthoglyphous snakes in the Colubridae family. [more]
Trimorphodon is a genus of mildly venomous, rear-fanged, colubrid snakes. They are commonly known as lyre snakes, named after the distinctive V shaped pattern on their head that is said to resemble the shape of a lyre. In Mexico, they are commonly called "v?bora de u?a," or "nail viper." The word Trimorphodon is a combination of three Greek words, 'tri' - three, 'morph' - shape, and 'odon' - teeth, which refers to the three distinct kinds of teeth that lyre snakes have: recurved anterior teeth; shorter middle teeth, and large grooved fangs at the rear of the jaw. There are two distinct species in the genus Trimorphodon, with seven subspecies. [more]
Tropidoclonion is a genus of small colubrid snakes known as lined snakes. There is a single species Tropidoclonion lineatum in the genus, with four subspecies. [more]
Tropidolaemus is a genus of venomous pitvipers found in southern India and Southeast Asia. Currently, two species are recognized and no subspecies. [more]
Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a U.S. state located in the South Atlantic region of the United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city and Fairfax County the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's population is over eight million. [more]
Xenocalamus is a genus of rear-fanged venomous snakes endemic to Africa. Five species are recognized. [more]
Xenochrophis is a of colubrid snakes found in Asia. They are commonly referred to as Painted Keelbacks. [more]
At least 25 species and subspecies belong to the Genus Xenochrophis.
More info about the Genus Xenochrophis may be found here.
^ abcde McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Tour? T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and
Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).