Unlike venomous members of the colubridae family, the fangs are hollow. Each fang has an enclosed passae running the length of the fang (best described as a hypodermic needle) with an opening at the tip of the fang as well as an opening at the base which allows for the entry of venom.
Members of the family elapidae are found in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world and are represented on every continent with the exception of Antartica, as well as Europe.
It is almost impossible to describe the physical and behavioural characteristics (other than dentition) of members of elapidae. Although the majority of elapids have smooth scales, there are excepions. Most Elapidae are diurnal, some species however are nocturnal. Most elapidae are oviparous(lay eggs), however, once again, there are exceptions. Some members of elapidae are ovoviviparous (eg Rinkhals Hemachatus haemachatus).
Although seasnakes have been considered as a separate family entirely, namely Hydrophidae, the fact that they are closely related to elapids has resulted in the inclusion of seasnakes into the family elapidae.
The table below lists the three subfamilies, and 61 genera found in the Elapidae family:
(It does not include subspecies)
Family Elapidae: Subfamily Elapinae
(15 genera are recognised within this subfamily)Calliophis:
Referred to as Asian or oriental coral snakes
. There are currently 11 species recognised.
* Beddome's coral snake - Calliophis beddomei
* Bibron's coral snake - Calliophis bibroni
* Blue Malaysian coral snake - Calliophis bivirgatus
* Barred coral snake - Calliophis calligaster
* Spotted coral snake - Calliophis gracilis
* Blood-bellied coral snake - Calliophis haematoetron
* Banded Malaysian coral snake - Calliophis intestinalis
* Kellog's coral snake - Calliophis kelloggi
* Speckled coral snake - Calliophis maculiceps
* Indian coral snake - Calliophis melanurus
* Black coral snake - Calliophis nigrescensMicrurus:
Referred to as Coral snakes
. There are currently 76 species recognised.
* White-banded coral snake - Micrurus albicinctus
* Allen's Coral Snake - Micrurus alleni
* Micrurus altirostris
* Regal Coral Snake - Micrurus ancoralis
* Annellated Coral Snake - Micrurus annellatus
* Black-headed Coral Snake - Micrurus averyi
* Micrurus baliocoryphus
* Micrurus bernadi
* Ecuador Coral Snake - Micrurus bocourti
* Bogert's Coral Snake - Micrurus bogerti
* Brazilian coral snake - Micrurus brasiliensis
* Brown's Coral Snake - Micrurus browni
* Micrurus camilae
* Catamayo Coral Snake - Micrurus catamayensis
* Micrurus circinalis
* Clark's Coral Snake - Micrurus clarki
* Guyana Blackback Coral Snake - Micrurus collaris
* Painted Coral Snake - Micrurus corallinus
* Brazilian Coral Snake - Micrurus decoratus
* Micrurus diana
* Variable coral snake - Micrurus diastema
* Pygmy coral snake - Micrurus dissoleucus
* West Mexican coral snake - Micrurus distans
* Dumeril's coral snake - Micrurus dumerilii
* Elegant coral snake - Micrurus elegans
* Oaxacan Coral Snake - Micrurus ephippifer
* Slender Coral Snake - Micrurus filiformis
* Southern Coral Snake - Micrurus frontalis
* Bolivian coral snake - Micrurus frontifasciatus
* Eastern coral snake - Micrurus fulvius
* Hemprich's Coral Snake - Micrurus hemprichii
* Mayan coral snake - MIcrurus hippocrepis
* Caatinga coral snake - Micrurus ibiboboca
* Venezuela coral snake - Micrurus isozonus
* Langdorff's coral snake - Micrurus langsdorffi
* Balsas coral snake - Micrurus laticollaris
* Broad-ringed coral snake - Micrurus latifasciatus
* South American coral snake - Micrurus lemniscatus
* Tuxtlan coral snake - Micrurus limbatus
* Speckled coral snake - Micrurus margaritiferus
* Micrurus medemi
* Merten's coral snake - Micrurus mertensi
* Redtail coral snake - Micrurus mipartitus
* Many-banded coral snake - Micrurus multifasciatus
* Cauca coral snake - Micrurus multiscutatus
* Andean Blackback Coral Snake - Micrurus narduccii
* Cloud Forest Coral Snake - Micrurus nebularis
* Central American coral snake - Micrurus nigrocinctus
* Micrurus oligoanellatus
* Micrurus ornatissimus
* Micrurus pacaraimae
* Micrurus pachecogili
* Micrurus paraensis
* Peru coral snake - Micrurus peruvianus
* Peter's coral snake - Micrurus petersi
* Nayarit Coral Snake - Micrurus proximans
* Carib coral snake - Micrurus psyches
* Putumayo coral snake - Micrurus putumayensis
* Micrurus pyrrhocryptus
* Micrurus remotus
* Micrurus renjifoi
* Roatan coral snake - Micrurus ruatanus
* Santander Coral Snake - Micrurus sangilensis
* Micrurus scutiventris
* Micrurus serranus
* Micrurus silviae
* Amazon coral snake - Micrurus spixii
* Micrurus spurelli
* Steindachner's Coral Snake - Micrurus steindachneri
* Panamenian Coral Snake - Micrurus stewarti
* Stuart's Coral Snake - Micrurus stuarti
* Aquatic coral snake - Micrurus surinamensis
* Micrurus tamaulipensis
* Texas coral snake - Micrurus tener
* Micrurus tricolor
* Desert coral snake - Micrurus tschudiiMicruroides:
Referred to as Arizona coral snakes
. Only one species is recognised.
* Western coral snake - Micruroides euryxanthusSinomicrurus:
Referred to as Eastern coral snakes
. 5 species are currently recognised.
* Sinomicrurus hatori
* Japanese Coral Snake - Sinomicrurus japonicus
* Kellogg's Coral Snake - Sinomicrurus kelloggi
* MacClelland’s Coral Snake - Sinomicrurus macclellandi
* Sinomicrurus sauteriAspedilaps:
Referred to as shield-nosed snakes
. 2 species are currently recognised.
* Angolan shield-nose snake - Aspedilaps lubricus
* Shield-nose snake - Aspedilaps scutatusBoulengerina:
Referred to as Water cobras
. Only one species is currently recognised.
* Christy's water cobra - Boulengerina christyiBungarus:
Referred to as Kraits
. 13 species are currently recognised.
* South Andaman krait - Bungarus andamanensis
* Northeastern Hill krait - Bungarus bungaroides
* Indian krait - Bungarus caeruleus
* Blue krait - Bungarus candidus
* Ceylon krait - Bungarus ceylonicus
* Banded krait - Bungarus fasciatus
* Red-headed krait - Bungarus flaviceps
* Lesser black krait - Bungarus lividus
* Burmese krait - Bungarus magnimaculatus
* Many banded krait - Bungarus multicinctus
* Greater black krait - Bungarus niger
* Sind krait - Bungarus sindanus
* Red river krait - Bungarus slowinskiiDendroaspis:
Referred to as Mambas
. Currently 4 species are recognised.
* Green mamba - Dendroaspis angusticeps
* Jameson's mamba - Dendroaspis jamesoni
Black mamba - Dendroaspis polylepis
* West African green mamba - Dendroaspis viridis
Referred to as African garter snakes. 10 species are currently recognised.
* Boulenger's garter snake - Elapsoidea boulengeri
* Broadley's garter snake - Elapsoidea broadleyi
* Somali garter snake - Elapsoidea chelazzi
* Gunther's garter snake - Elapsoidea guentherii
* Werner's garter snake - Elapsoidea laticincta
* Black garter snake - Elapsoidea nigra
* Angolan garter snake - Elapsoidea semiannulata
* Loveridge's garter snake - Elapsoidea loveridgei
* Senegal garter snake - Elapsoidea trapei
* Sundervall's garter snake - Elapsoidea sundevallii
Referred to as Rinkhals. Only one species is currently recognised.
* Rinkhals - Hemachatus haemachatus
Referred to as oriental coral snake. Only one species is currently recognised.
* Barred coral snake - Hemibungarus calligster
Referred to as Cobras. Currently 25 species are recognised.
* Anchieta's cobra - Naja anchietae
* Ringed water cobra - Naja annulata
* Snouted cobra - Naja annulifera
* Ashe's spitting cobra - Naja ashei
* Chinese cobra - Naja atra
* Egyptian cobra - Naja haje
* Monocled cobra - Naja kaouthia
* Katian spitting cobra - Naja katiensis
* Mandalay spitting cobra - Naja mandalayensis
* Forest cobra - Naja melanoleuca
* Mozambique spitting cobra - Naja mossambica
* Many banded snake - Naja multifasciata
* Indian cobra - Naja naja
* Western barred spitting cobra - Naja nigricincta
* Black-necked spitting cobra - Naja nigricollis
* Cape cobra - Naja nivea
* Nubian spitting cobra - Naja nubiae
* Central Asian cobra - Naja oxiana
* Red spitting cobra - Naja pallida
* Phillipine cobra - Naja philippinensis
* Andaman cobra - Naja sagittifera
* Peter's cobra - Naja samarensis
* Chinese spitting cobra - Naja siamensis
* Indonesian cobra - Naja sputatrix
* Equatorial spitting cobra - Naja sumatrana
Referred to as King cobra. Only one species is currently recognised.
King cobra - Ophiophagus hannah
Referred to as Tree cobras. 2 species are currently recognised.
* Gold's forest cobra - Pseudohaje goldii
* Hoodless cobra - Pseudohaje nigra
Referred to as Desert cobras. 2 species are currently recognised.
* Morgan's desert cobra - Walterinnesia morgani
* Desert cobra - Walterinnesia aegyptia
2. Family Elapidae: Subfamily Hydrophiinae. (44 genera are recognised within this subfamily.)
Referred to as Perron's sea snakes. Only one species is currntly recognised.
* Spiny-headd sea snake - Acalyptophis peronii
Referred to as Death adders. Currently 9 species are recognised.
* Common death adder - Acanthophis antarcticus
* Barnett's death adder - Acanthophis barnetti
* Acanthophis crotalusei
* Acanthophis hawkei
* Acanthophis laevis
* Northern death adder - Acanthophis praelongus
* Desert death adder - Acanthophis pyrrhus
* Acanthophis rugosus
* Acanthophis wellsi
Referred to as Indo-pacific Sea snakes. 7 species are currently recognised.
* Short-nosed Seasnake - Aipysurus apraefrontalis
* Reef shallows seasnake - Aipysurus duboisii
* Spine-tailed seasnake - Aipysurus eydouxii
* Leaf-scaled Seasnake - Aipysurus foliosquama
* Dusky Seasnake - Aipysurus fuscus
* Olive-brown seasnake - Aipysurus laevis
* Arafura Sea Snake - Aipysurus tenuis
Referred to as Crown snakes. Currently 3 species are recognised.
* Striped crown snake - Aspidomorphus lineaticollis
* Müller’s crown snake - Aspidomorphus muelleri
* Schlegel’s crown snake - Aspidomorphus schlegeli
Referred to as Stoke's sea snake. Only one species is recognised.
* Stoke's sea snake - Astrotia stokesii
Referred to as Australian copperheads. 3 species are currently recognised.
* Pygmy Copperhead - Austrelaps labialis
* Highlands Copperhead - Austrelaps ramsayi
* Copperhead Snake - Austrelaps superbus
Referred to as Dwarf crowned snakes. 4 species are currnetly recognised.
* Churchill's dwarf crowned snake - Cacophis churchilli
* White-crowned Snake - Cacophis harriettae
* Dwarf Crowned Snake - Cacophis krefftii
* Golden Crowned Snake - Cacophis squamulosus
Referred to as Australian whip snakes. 13 species are currently recognised.
* Demansia angusticeps
* Black-necked Whipsnake - Demansia calodera
* Demansia flagellatio
* Olive Whipsnake - Demansia olivacea
* Papuan whip snake - Demansia papuensis
* Yellow-faced Whipsnake - Demansia psammophis
* Demansia quaesitor
* Demansia rimicola
* Rufous Whipsnake - Demansia rufescens
* Demansia shinei
* Grey Whipsnake - Demansia simplex
* Collared Whipsnake - Demansia torquata
* Black whip snake - Demansia vestigiata
Also referred to as Australian copperheads. 2 species are currently recognised.
* De Vis's Banded Snake - Denisonia devisi
* Ornamental Snake - Denisonia maculata
Referred to as Sea snakes. 4 species are currently recognised.
* King’s seasnake - Disteira kingii
* Olive-headed sea snake - Disteira major
* Disteira nigrocincta
* Wall's Sea Snake - Disteira walli
Referred to as Crowned snakes. Currently 3 species are recognised.
* White-lipped Snake - Drysdalia coronoides
* Masters' Snake - Drysdalia mastersii
* Mustard-bellied Snake - Drysdalia rhodogaster
Referred to as Bardick snakes. 2 species are currently recognised.
* Lake Cronin Snake - Echiopsis atriceps
* Bardick - Echiopsis curta
Refrred to as Austalian grass snakes. only 2 species are currently recognised.
* Crowned Snake - Elapognathus coronata
* Little Brown Snake - Elapognathus minor
Referred to as sea snakes. 2 species are currently recognised.
* Egg-eating Sea Snake - Emydocephalus annulatus
* Turtlehead Sea Snake - Emydocephalus ijimae
Referred to as Beaked sea snakes. 2 species are currently recognised.
* Common or beaked seasnake - Enhydrina schistosa
* Zweifel’s beaked seasnake - Enhydrina zweifeli
Referred to as North western mangrove sea snake. Only one species is currently recognised.
* North-western Mangrove Seasnake - Ephalophis greyae
Referred to as Australian naped snakes. 5 species are currently recognised.
* Yellow-naped Snake - Furina barnardi
* Red-naped Snake - Furina diadema
* Dunmall's Snake - Furina dunmalli
* Orange-naped Snake - Furina ornata
* grey-naped snake - Furina tristis
Referred to as Australian swamp snakes. 2 species are currently recognised.
* Grey Snake - Hemiaspis damelii
* Black-bellied Swamp Snake - Hemiaspis signata
Referred to as Borad-headed tree snakes. 3 species are currently recognised.
* Pale-headed Snake - Hoplocephalus bitorquatus
* Broad-headed Snake - Hoplocephalus bungaroides
* Stephens's Banded Snake - Hoplocephalus stephensii
Referred to as sea snakes. Only one species is currently recognised.
* Port Darwin seasnake - Hydrelaps darwiniensis
Referred to as sea snakes. currently 29 species are recognised.
* Black-headed sea snake - Hydrophis atriceps
* Faint-banded Sea snake - Hydrophis belcheri
* Peters' Sea Snake - Hydrophis bituberculatus
* Brook's sea snake - Hydrophis brooki
* Slender-necked Sea snake - Hydrophis coggeri
* Annulated Sea Snake - Hydrophis cyanocinctus
* Fine-spined Sea snake - Hydrophis czeblukovi
* Elegant sea snake - Hydrophis elegans
* Striped Sea Snake - Hydrophis fasciatus
* Plain Sea snake - Hydrophis inornatus
* Kloss' Sea snake - Hydrophis klossi
* Hydrophis laboutei
* Lambert's Sea snake - Hydrophis lamberti
* Persian Gulf Sea snake - Hydrophis lapemoides
* Small-headed sea snake - Hydrophis macdowelli
* Bombay sea snake - Hydrophis mamillaris
* Slender-necked black-headed sea snake - Hydrophis melanocephalus
* Black-banded sea snake - Hydrophis melanosoma
* Russel's Sea Snake - Hydrophis obscurus* Ornate Reef sea snake - Hydrophis ornatus
* Hydrophis pachycercos
* Pacific sea snake - Hydrophis pacificus
* Hydrophis parviceps
* Lake Taal Snake - Hydrophis semperi
* Kalimantan Sea Snake - Hydrophis sibauensis
* Yellow Sea Snake - Hydrophis spiralis
* Collared Sea Snake - Hydrophis stricticollis
* West Coast Black-headed Sea Snake - Hydrophis torquatus
* Estuarine sea snake - Hydrophis vorisi
Referred to as Sea snake. 1 species is currently recognised.
* Jerdon's sea snake - Kerilia jerdonii
Referred to as Sea snake. Only one species is currently recognised.
* Bighead Sea Snake - Kolpophis annandalei
Referred to as sea snakes. 2 species are currently recognised.
* Shaw's sea snake - Lapemis curtus
* Hardwicke’s spine-bellied sea snake - Lapemis hardwickii
Referred to as small eyed snakes. Only one species is currently recognised.
* Solomon’s small-eyed snake - Loveridgelaps elapoides
Referred to as small eyed snakes. Only one species is currently recognised.
* New Guinea small-eyed snake - Micropechis ikaheka
Referred to as Autralian Tiger snakes. One species is currently recognised.
* Mainland Tiger snake - Notechis scutatus
Referred to as Fiji cobras. Currently one species is recognised.
* Fiji cobra - Ogmodon vitianus
Referred to as Taipans. 3 species are currently recognised.
* Inland taipan - Oxyuranus microlepidotus
* Coastal taipan - Oxyuranus scutellatus
* Central ranges taipan - Oxyuranus temporalis
Referred to as sea snakes. Currently one species is recognised.
* Arafura smooth sea snake - Parahydrophis mertoni
Referred to as hediger's coral snake. Only one species is currently recognised.
* Hediger’s coral snake - Parapistocalamus hedigeri
Referred to as sea snakes. Only one species is currently recignised.
* Pelagic Sea Snake - Pelamis platura
Referrd to as dwarf sea snakes. 1 species is currently recognised.
* Dwarf sea snake - Polyodontognathus caerulescens
Referred to as sea snakes. One species is currently recognised.
* Viperine sea snake - Praescutata viperina
Referred to as Black snakes. Currently 7 species are recognised.
* King brown - Pseudechis australis* Spotted Mulga Snake - Pseudechis butleri
* Collett's Snake - Pseudechis colletti
* Spotted Black Snake - Pseudechis guttatus
* Pseudechis pailsei
* Papuan blacksnake - Pseudechis papuanus
* Red-bellied Black Snake - Pseudechis porphyriacus
Referred to as Brown snakes. Currently 8 species are recognised.
* Dugite - Pseudonaja affinis
* Pseudonaja elliotti
* Speckled Brown Snake - Pseudonaja guttata
* Peninsula Brown Snake - Pseudonaja inframacula
* Ingram's Brown Snake - Pseudonaja ingrami
* Ringed Brown Snake - Pseudonaja modesta
* Western Brown Snake - Pseudonaja nuchalis
* Eastern brown snake - Pseudonaja textilis
Referred to as Venomous Australian whipsnakes. ^ species are currently recognised.
* Square-nosed Snake - Rhinoplocephalus bicolor
* Carpentaria whip snake - Rhinoplocephalus boschmai
* Rhinoplocephalus incredibilis
* Short-tailed Snake - Rhinoplocephalus nigrescens
* Black-striped snake - Rhinoplocephalus nigrostriatus
* Western Carpentaria Snake - Rhinoplocephalus pallidiceps
Referred to as Solomon's coral snake. Only 1 species is currently recognised.
* Solomon's coral snake - Salomonelaps par
Referred to as Australian coral snakes. 14 species are curently recognised.
* Northern Desert Banded Snake - Simoselaps anomalus
* North-western Shovel-nosed Snake - Simoselaps approximans
* Eastern Shovel-nosed Snake - Eastern Shovel-nosed Snake
* Southern Desert Banded Snake - Simoselaps bertholdi
* Black-naped Burrowing Snake - Simoselaps bimaculatus
* Black-striped Burrowing Snake - Simoselaps calonotus
* Narrow-banded Shovel-nosed Snake - Simoselaps fasciolatus
* Unbanded Shovel-nosed Snake - Simoselaps incinctus
* West-Coast Banded Snake - Simoselaps littoralis
* Dampierland Burrowing Snake - Simoselaps minimus
* Simoselaps morrisi
* Northern Shovel-nosed Snake - Simoselaps roperi
* Southern Shovel-nosed Snake - Simoselaps semifasciatus
* North-eastern Plain-nosed - Simoselaps warro
Referred to as Little snakes. Currently 10 species are recognised.
* Variable Black-naped Snake - Suta dwyeri
* Rosen's Snake - Suta fasciata
* Whip Hooded Snake - Suta flagellum
* Gould's Hooded Snake - Suta gouldii
* Monk Snake - Suta monachus
* Mallee Black-backed Snake - Suta nigriceps
* Ord Curl Snake - Suta ordensis
* Spotted Snake - Suta punctata
* Spectacled Hooded Snake - Suta spectabilis
* Curl Snake - Suta suta
Referred to as sea snakes. Currently one one species is recognised.
* Anomalous sea snake - Thalassophis anomalus
Referred to as Venomous island snakes. 9 species are recognised.
* Buerger’s forest snake - Toxicocalamus buergersi
* Setekwa River forest snake - Toxicocalamus grandis
* Mt Rossel forest snake - Toxicocalamus holopelturus
* Fergusson Island forest snake - Toxicocalamus longissimus
* Loria forest snake - Toxicocalamus loriae
* Misima Island forest snake - Toxicocalamus misimae
* Preuss’s forest snake - Toxicocalamus preussi
* Spotted forest snake - Toxicocalamus spilolepidotus
* Owen Stanley Range forest snake - Toxicocalamus stanleyanus
Referred to as Australian rough-scaled snakes. Currently 2 species are recognised.
* Clarence River Snake - Tropidechis carinatus
* Tropidechis sadlieri
Referred to as Bandy-bandy's. Currently 5 species are recognised.
* Eastern Bandy-bandy - Vermicella annulata
* Vermicella intermedia
* Northern Bandy Bandy - Vermicella multifasciata
* Vermicella snelli
* Vermicella vermiformis
3. Family Elapidae: Subfamily Laticaudinae (2 genera are recignised within this subfamily)
Referred to as Sea kraits. 6 species are recognised.
* Yellow-lipped sea krait - Laticauda colubrina
* Crocker's Sea Snake - Laticauda crockeri
* Laticauda guineai
* Common or blue-lipped sea krait - Laticauda laticaudata
* Laticauda saintgironsi
* Black-banded sea krait - Laticauda semifasciata
Referred to as Sea snakes. @ species are currently recognised.
* Flat-tail Sea Snake - Pseudolaticauda schistorhynchus
* Chinese Sea Snake - Pseudolaticauda semifasciata
It is important to note that taxonomic revision happens from time to time, and the above information regarding the Family Elapidae should not be regarded as 100% correct. I believe it to be correct at the time of writing.This page however is not to be regarded as such, but rather as an overview of the family Elapidae.
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