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Colubridae
Fossil range: Oligocene to Recent
Caspian whipsnake, Coluber caspius
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Oppel, 1811

A colubrid (from Latin coluber, snake) is a snake that is a member of the family Colubridae. It is a broad classification of snakes that includes about two thirds of all snake species on earth. Colubrid species are found on every continent, except Antarctica.[1]

Contents

Description

While most colubrids are non-venomous (or have venom that isn't known to be harmful to humans) and are normally harmless, a few groups, such as genus Boiga, can produce medically significant bites, while the boomslang and the twig snakes have caused human fatalities.[1]

Some colubrids are described as opisthoglyphous, meaning that they have elongated, grooved teeth, located in the back of the upper jaw. These are unlike those of vipers and elapids that are located in the front.[1]

Classification

The Colubridae are not a natural group, as many are more closely related to other groups, such as elapids, than to each other. This family has classically been a garbage bin taxon for snakes that don't fit anywhere else. It is hoped that ongoing research will sort out the relations within this group.

Subfamily Boodontinae

Subfamily Calamariinae

  • Calamaria
  • Calamorhabdium
  • Collorhabdium
  • Etheridgeum
  • Macrocalamus
  • Pseudorabdion
  • Rabdion

Subfamily Colubrinae - nearly 100 genera

Subfamily Dipsadinae

  • Adelphicos
  • Amastridium
  • Atractus
  • Calamodontophis (tentatively placed here)
  • Carphophis (tentatively placed here)
  • Chersodromus
  • Coniophanes
  • Contia (tentatively placed here)
  • Crisantophis (tentatively placed here)
  • Cryophis
  • Diadophis (tentatively placed here)
  • Diaphorolepsis (tentatively placed here)
  • Dipsas
  • Echinanthera (tentatively placed here)
  • Emmochliophis (tentatively placed here)
  • Enuliophis (tentatively placed here)
  • Enulius (tentatively placed here)
  • Eridiphas
  • Geophis
  • Gomesophis (tentatively placed here)
  • Hydromorphus (tentatively placed here)
  • Hypsiglena
  • Imantodes
  • Leptodeira
  • Ninia
  • Nothopsis (tentatively placed here)
  • Pliocercus
  • Pseudoleptodeira
  • Pseudotomodon (tentatively placed here)
  • Ptychophis (tentatively placed here)
  • Rhadinaea
  • Rhadinophanes (tentatively placed here)
  • Sibon
  • Sibynomorphus
  • Synophis (tentatively placed here)
  • Tachymenis (tentatively placed here)
  • Taeniophallus (tentatively placed here)
  • Tantalophis (tentatively placed here)
  • Thamnodynastes (tentatively placed here)
  • Tomodon (tentatively placed here)
  • Tretanorhinus
  • Trimetopon
  • Tropidodipsas
  • Urotheca
  • Xenopholis (tentatively placed here)

Subfamily Homalopsinae - about 10 genera

Subfamily Natricinae - about 30 genera

Subfamily Pareatinae - 3 genera

Subfamily Psammophiinae

  • Hemirhagerrhis
  • Malpolon
  • Mimophis
  • Psammophis
  • Psammophylax
  • Rhamphiophis

Subfamily Pseudoxenodontinae

  • Plagiopholis
  • Pseudoxenodon

Subfamily Pseudoxyrhophiinae - about 20 genera

Subfamily Xenodermatinae

Subfamily Xenodontinae - some 55-60 genera

incertae sedis

References

  1. ^ a b c Bauer, Aaron M. (1998). Cogger, H.G. & Zweifel, R.G.. ed. Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 188–195. ISBN 0-12-178560-2.  

External links


Simple English

Colubrids
File:Coluber
Caspian Whipsnake
Coluber (Dolichophis) caspius
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Sauropsida
Subclass: Diapsida
Infraclass: Lepidosauromorpha
Superorder: Lepidosauria
Order: Squamata
Infraorder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae

A colubrid (from Latin coluber, snake) is a snake that is a member of the Colubridae family. It is a broad classification of snakes that includes well over half of all snake species on earth. A colubrid's body is almost completely covered in scales. While most colubrids are non-venomous (or have venom that is not known to be harmful to humans) and are normally harmless, a few groups, such as genus Boiga, can produce medically significant bites. In addition, the Boomslang and African Twig Snake have both caused human fatalities.The venom-injecting fangs associated with venomous colubrids are almost always in the back of the mouth, compared to vipers and elapids. The Colubrids are certainly not a natural group, as many are more closely related to other groups, such as elapids, than to each other. This family has classically been a dumping ground for snakes that do not fit anywhere else. There is on-going mitochondrial DNA research which will sort out the familial relations within this group.

Selected species

  • Queen snake
  • Common Keelback
  • King Snake
  • Milk Snake
  • Corn Snake
  • Bull Snake
  • Fox Snake
  • Rat Snake
  • Garter Snake
  • Hognose Snake
  • Indigo snake
  • Smooth Snake
  • Water Snake
  • Mussurana
  • House snake
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Look up Colubridae in Wikispecies, a directory of species
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