How can you identify a poisonous snake?

Biology Doubts

Identification of poisonous snakes

Of the 330 India species only 69 are poisonous, comprising 29 species of sea snakes and 40 species of land snakes.

The following key will serve to identify poisonous snakes from non-poisonous snakes.

Biology Doubts page consist of more questions and answer related to this topic. 

 

Structures

Characters

Nature

Snakes

1. Tail

Laterally compressed, oar like.

Poisonous

Sea snakes (Enhydrina, Hydrophis)

Cylindrical, tapering

Poisonous or Non-

poisonous [Needs further examination]

Land snakes

2. Belly scales or Ventrals

Belly scales small, continuous with dorsal scales.

Non-poisonous

 

Ventrals are not fully broad to cover belly

Non-poisonous

Pythons

Ventrals broad, fully covering belly

Needs further examination

 

3. Head scales, Loreal pit, sub caudals

Head scales small, head triangular

No loreal pit

Poisonous

Pitless Viper (Ancistrodon himalayanus)

Head scales small, a loreal pit between nostril and eye 

Poisonous

Pit vipers (Lachesis, Ancistrodon

Subcaudals double 

Poisonous

Vipera russeli

Subcaudals single 

Poisonous

Echis carinata

Head with large shields and no loreal pit

Needs further examination

 

4. Vertebrals, 4th infra labial, 3rd supra labial

Vertebrals enlarged, hexagonal, 4th infra labial largest

Poisonous

Krait, Bungarus

Vertebrals not enlarged, but 3rd supra- labial touches eye and nostril

Neck with a hood and spectacle mark

Poisonous

Cobra, Naja

Hood absent, coral spots on belly

Poisonous

Coral snakes, Calliophis

 

How can you identify a poisonous snake? pdf 

 

How can you identify a poisonous snake?

How can you identify a poisonous snake?

How can you identify a poisonous snake?

How can you identify a poisonous snake?

How can you identify a poisonous snake?

How can you identify a poisonous snake?

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