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Pet Snakes provides easy to understand, practical information and facts to help the new snake owner take care of their animals. At Pet Snakes we want to provide information that will help you enjoy your reptile more than ever.

Colubrid

Photo Credit: wwarby
The boomslang is one of three species of venomous colubrids

Colubrid is a taxonomical term for a wide ranging group of snakes. You can find colubrid species on every continent where snakes are found, except Antarctica where there are no snakes. The colubrid family contains approximately two-thirds of all known species of snakes.

Notable members
While the vast majority of colubrid's are harmless a few are known to be capable of producing venom that can result in human death. These are:

  • Boomslang (Dispholidus typus):
    A small tree snake of Sub-Sahran Africa. It's name literally means "tree snake" (Boom: meaning a wooden beam), (Slang: meaning snake). It has hemotoxic venom.
  • Twig snakes (Thelotornis):
    A small, slender snake of southern Africa is it also called a bird snake. It gets its name from the way it can make itself appear like a twig on a branch, swaying with the breeze. These snakes rarely bite, but because there is no antivenom developed they can often be fatal.
  • Asian Tiger snake (Rhabdophis Tigrinus Formosanus):
    This snake has the distinction of being the only snake that is both venomous and poisonous. It isn't actually poisonous naturally, but when it eats poison toads it collects the toxins from their skin and store it in their nuchal glands. Then when threatened they release the stored poison from it's glands.

The colubridae is not a natural grouping of snakes, but rather one of convenience. The members of the group are not generally closely related. As science sorts out more information about the various members it is able to more accurately group them.

The image shows a Boomslang, one of the three venomous species of Colubrid snake.

More common terms

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