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16 Types of Snakes In The World

Snakes are one of the fascinating and beautiful animals across the world. The species has a very important role in the ecosystem by preying on pests especially rats and mice that we regard as pests. Even the venom of the snakes has been used in creating medicines which are helpful in curing certain type of diseases and in making antivenin for snakebites. There is a false perception that snakes attack humans because they are poisonous but the fact is that snakes fear humans.

Across the world, there is one type of snakes that exist on every island except Antarctica. Snakes belong to the suborder Serpentes and there are approximately 3,400 species of reptiles distinguished by their limbless condition and greatly elongated body and tail. One thing that is common with all types of snakes that they all belong to the suborder Serpentes. Also, they all have scales and lack eyelids and ear openings. Also, they have limbless bodies and forked tongues, howvever, there are many prospects even where they are different.

Snakes are also different in the venomous part, There are many species that has neurotoxin type of venom which will directly attack the central nervous system of their prey, however, some of the species has hemotoxic venom which destroys the red blood cells of the animal. There are few which are highly venomous and are dangerous to humans. Rest of them have a weaker type of venom which is only threat to small animals.

The snakes that lay eggs are known as oviparous and others give birth to live youngs known as (viviparous). There are some species of snakes which are smaller than pencils and there is also a green anaconda which is longer than a school bus. Some snakes thrive in tropical habitats where there is plenty of moisture, howvever, some of them evolved in the harshest desert environments. Most of the snakes eat rodents, howvever, others eat a wide variety of prey animals that includes even other snakes.

Major Families of Snakes

As discussed earlier, there are around 3,400 individual snake species. which is grouped into more than 20 families. Apart from below listed five families, the other ones are very small that contain only one or two species.

  • Colubridae

Colubridae which is also known as colubrids is a family of snakes with total 249 genera making it the largest family of snakes. Colubridae found in all continents of the world except Antarctica. Most of the snakes in this family are not venomous and are mostly harmless. It contains more than 2000 species of snakes. There are medically important colubrids such as rear fangs, which are not as developed as elapid or viper fangs.

  • Boidae

Boidae family is also is known as boas or bonds is a family of nonvenomous snakes mostly seen in the Americas and parts of Africa, Europe, Asia, and some Pacific Islands. This family also includes some of the world largest snakes such as the green anaconda of South America which is the heaviest and second-longest snakes in the world. It has 5 subfamilies that comprise 12 genera and 49 species.

Also Read: Top 10 Most Beautiful Snakes In The World

  • Elapidae

Elapidae also is known as elapids is a family of venomous snakes that are uniquely characterized by short fangs and are permanently erect. These species love to thrive in the tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Most of the species has neurotoxins in their venom, however, some of them can contain other toxic substance as well in other proportions. The family includes 55 genera with some 360 species and some 170 subspecies.

  • Pythonidae

Pythonidae generally known as pythons are the family of nonvenomous snakes mostly seen in the regions of Africa, Asia, and Australia. The family includes some of the largest snakes in the world and have a total of 9 genera and 40 species as of now.

  • Viperidae

Viperidae is a family of venomous snakes seen in most part of the world except found in most parts of the world, with the exception of Antarctica, Australia, Hawaii, Madagascar and some of the isolated islands in the world. There are four subfamilies in total that are together known as viperids.

Here is the list of types of snakes in the world that belongs to the various families listed above,

Types of Snakes

1.Black Mamba

 

Black Mamba is one of the deadliest snakes in the world mostly seen in the Eastern and Southern parts of Africa. It loves to survive and thrive in savannas, swamps, forests, woods and rocky areas. They are one of the longest snakes in the world that can reach 14 feet in length and 3.5 pounds in weight. The avarage lifespan of the species is 11 years in the wild and up to 12 years in captivity.

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Black Mamba

2.King Cobra

King Cobra has mostly seen in the regions of Southeast Asia and rainforests of India and southern China, Malaysia, and the Philippines. It can reach upto 18 feet (5.5 meters) in length and weighs approximately 15 to 20 pounds but there are some species that can reach even 44 pounds.

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King Cobra

3.Anaconda

Anaconda is known as the heaviest and largest snakes in the world. It can grow upto 30 feet long and weight approximately 550 pounds which is equivalent to 11 kids. They are mostly seen in the tropical rainforests, lakes and swamps of South America. The avarage lifespan of anacondas is 10-12 years in the wild and up to 30 years in captivity.

Anaconda

4.Python

Pythons are also one of the largest snakes in the world that can grow upto 3 and 6 feet in length. They are mostly seen in the tropical areas of Africa and Asia and thrives in the rainforests, savannas and deserts. The species are constrictors that kill their prey by squeezing till they stop breathing. Once the species is killed, it swallowed it at one piece. The avarage lifespan in the world is unknown, however, they lived in captivity for 40 years.

Python

5.Rat Snake

Rat Snakes are species of non-venomous snake that belongs to the colubrid family. It can grow upto 3 to 6 feet in length, howvever, there are rare cases where they can grow upto 8 feet as well. They are mostly seen in the southeastern and central parts of the USA and Canada. The avarage lifespan of the species is 15 to 20 years in the wild.

Rat Snake

Image Source: Wikimedia

6.Sea Snake

Sea Snakes belong to the same category to the family of cobras and they are mostly seen in the Indian and Pacific Ocean. As of now, there are 60 species of sea snakes are known that can differ in size, colour, type of diet and habitat. It can grow upto 3.9 to 4.9 feet long and the largest one can be 9.8 feet in length. The avarage lifespan of species is 10 years in the wild. It is one of the non-venomous types of snakes in the world.

Sea Snake

Image Source: Wikimedia

7.Rhinoceros viper

Rhinoceros viper also is known as river jack is a venomous snake that belongs to the family Viperidae saw in the inhabits rainforests and swamps of West and Central Africa. It can grow upto 70–90 cm in length, and it is nocturnal and mainly terrestrial, but it can be seen on the trees at times. The species likes to eat rodents, but it also preys upon frogs and fish.

Rhinoceros viper

Image Source: Wikimedia

8.Tiger Snake

Tiger Snake is a venomous snake that belongs to the family of elapid snakes. It is mostly seen in the subtropical and temperate parts of southwestern and southeastern Australia. It can grow upto 3 to 7 feet in length where males are larger than females. The snake species is a carnivore and loves to prey on mammals, birds, frogs, fish and lizards. It is one of the most venomous types of snakes in the world.

Tiger Snake

Image Source: Wikimedia

9.Grass Snake

Grass Snake is a non-venomous snake and as of now, a total of nine species are known. It is mostly seen in the regions of Europe, the Middle East and northwestern parts of Africa. It is can reach upto 2 to 3.7 inches in length and weighs are approximately 8 ounces where females are 20 inches longer than males. The avarage lifespan of Grass snake is 15 years in the wild.

Also Read: Top 10 Biggest Snakes In The World

Grass Snake

Image Source: Wikimedia

10.Indian Cobra

Indian Cobra is a highly venomous snake and it is offenly related to the Indian mythology and culture and is often seen with snake charmers. It is native to the Indian subcontinent and can be seen in the regions of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and southern Nepal. The species is carnivores and feed on rodents, frogs, and lizards.

Indian Cobra

Image Source: Wikimedia

11.Cape Cobra

Cape Cobra is a snake species mostly seen on the ground but at the same time, it can climb into trees and shrubs in search of food. It belongs to genus Naja and when threatened it sued to lift its head off the ground and spread its neck known as ‘hood’. It is mostly seen in southern Africa where the adult snake can grow upto 1.2 m in length. It is distributed in the Western and Northern Cape provinces, and into the Free State, North West Province, western parts of Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Botswana and southern Namibia.It used to hunt during the day and used to feed on rodents and birds but it has also seen eating frogs, lizards and other snakes.

Cape Cobra

12.Green Mamba

Green Mamba is the smallest of all 4 species of mambas and it can grow upto 6 to 7 feet in length, however, it has been seen that it can attain a length of 8 to 8½ feet. It is mostly seen southward from Tanzania to eastern Zimbabwe and coastal Natal in southern Africa. Talking about the appearance, It is bright green colour and keep itself slender, graceful, alert and serpent. The snake species loves to thrive in woodlands and coastal bushland. The varage lifespan of the species is 12 to 20 Years in the wild.

Green Mamba

Image Source: Wikimedia

13.Egyptian Cobra

Egyptian Cobra is a venomous snake that belongs to the family Elapidae and classified in the subgenera Uraeus.It can grow upto 1.4 metres (4.6 ft), however, the longest recorded specimen is 2.59 metres (8.5 ft). The snake species was first described by Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus in 1758. talking about the appearance, it is a large snake species with depressed and slightly distinct from the neck. The body of the snake species is cylindrical and stout with a long tail. The colour of the species is highly variable but the most seen shade is a shade of brown and along with lighter or darker mottling. It is mostly seen in the regions of North Africa north of the Sahara, across the savannas of West Africa to the south of the Sahara, south to the Congo basin and east to Kenya and Tanzania. It is one of the beautiful types of snakes in the world.

Egyptian Cobra

Image Source: Wikimedia

14.Red Spitting Cobra

Red Spitting Cobra is a medium-sized snake species that can attain a length of 0.7 and 1.2 meters but it was also seen growing at the length of 1.5 meters. Talking about the appearance, it comes with bright salmon-red contrasted with a broad black throat band and subocular teardrop markings. Also, variation in colors can be seen depending on the region of Africa. It mostly thrives in the regions of East Africa, including Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia, southern Egypt, northern and eastern Ethiopia, and northern Tanzania and northern Sudan. It loves to feed on toads and frogs, however, it also preys on rodents, birds[1] and probably other snakes.

Red Spitting Cobra

Image Source: Wikimedia

15.Mozambique Spitting Cobra

Mozambique Spitting Cobra is a highly venomous snake native to the African region. This is seen thriving in the regions of Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The snake species was first described by German naturalist Wilhelm Peters described this species in 1854. Talking about the appearance, it is can see with colors with blue, olive or tawny black above and even with some scales black-edging. It can grow upto 90 cm to 105 cm in length and but the largest specimen actually measured was a male 154 cm. It used to prey on amphibians, other snakes, birds, eggs, small mammals, and occasionally even insects.It is one of the amazing types of snakes in the world.

Mozambique Spitting Cobra

Image Source: Wikimedia

16.Water Moccasin

One of the types of snakes, Water Moccasin is a venomous snake that belongs to the group of pit vipers. As of now, three species of Water Moccasin is known mostly seen in the southeastern parts of the USA. It is mostly seen near the drainage ditches and areas near the ponds, lakes and slow-flowing rivers. The snake species can reach upto 2 to 4 feet in length where males are larger than females. Talking about the appearance, it is olive-green, brown or black coloured that depends on the region and Juveniles has light coloured body covered with stripes. The avarage lifespan of the species is 24 years in captivity.

Water Moccasin

Image Source: Wikimedia

These are some of the major types of snakes that are seen across the globe. Kindly share and post your comments.

Written by Utsav Srinet

Utsav Singh is a Nature Lover and Blogger. He writes about facts and information related to Nature, Travel and World

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