Snakes of Asia & Europe

Snakes of Asia & Europe


Asian Basal Snakes
Three exclusive families of basal alethinophidians are restricted to the Oriental district, one of which spreads into the western verges of the Australasian district. A lot of these snakes are semi-fossorial or fossorial, clandestine and almost unknown, others regularly seen and well documented.

Ten species of Asian pipesnakes of the Cylindrophiidae range from Sri Lanka to eastern Indonesia, the majority of their range within the Southeast Asia district is inhabited by one very common and renowned species, the Red-tailed Pipesnake, Cylindrophis ruffus. Another species, C. maculates, the sole South Asian member of the genus, lives in Sri Lanka; and two almost unknown species inhabit the island of Borneo. The other six species are restricted to the islands of eastern Indonesia.
Pipesnakes are semi-fossorial residents of rainforests and low-lying damp habitats. While Asian pipesnakes have mental grooves, folds of skin that allow a wider mouth gape than little pipesnakes, they also feed on cylindrical, elongate prey like snakes and eels. They do not have the substantial jaw flexiblity of more advanced snakes so their prey is restricted to what will pass through a fairly small mouth.

The Anomochilidae is a little known family of one genus and two species in Malaysia and Indonesia. Little pipesnakes can be recognised from the more common and recognized Asian pipesnake of the Cylindrophiidae by the absence of a mental groove, a fold of concealed loose skin extending down the center of its throat. Its absence implies a snake with a narrow mouth gape that eats slender, elongate animals.

The Uropeltidae is an exclusively South Asian family, with 48 species in eight genera, containing three monotypic genera (Brachyophidion, Psuedotyphlops and Teretrurus), two three and four species in Platyplecturus, Melanophidium and Plecturus , the other species divided between Rhinophis (13 spp.) and Uropeltis (23 spp.). they are spread between southern India (36 spp.) and Sri Lanka (14 spp.) with endemic genera living in both countries.
Shieldtails, also called roughtails, thorntails, or earthsnakes, are fossorial snakes. Several species have small, conically pointed heads, ending in a keratinised tip or have a noticeable keel to help excavation. Their eyes are minute. While other species have more rounded heads and larger eyes. Their bodies are stout, often in disparity to the tiny head, and in most species the tail ends suddenly. This cropping is covered by a variety of caudal shields, contingent on the genus. In Psuedotyphlops this is a flat shield covered in numerous spines; in Rhinophis the shield is convex, rounded and rugose; in Uropeltis the shield is rows of highly keeled, spinous scales and ends in two points linked by a ridge. The shield gathers a cap of mud competently obstructng the tunnel made by the burrowing snake possibly as a form of rear guard defense.
These very specialised burrowers vary in size from 0.1-0.8 metres. Notwithstanding their underground traits, many shieldtails are brightly patterned. Some species are only known from their type specimens, while others are quite common. They are innocuous and rarely bite, defending themselves by defecation, tail poking or mouth gaping. All shieldtails are thought to be viviparous.

Asian Macrostomatan Snakes
The blindsnakes and pipesnakes feed on small, softbodied prey or elongate, cylindrical prey. Now, however, the snakes that can eat prey wider than their own heads, including small mammals and birds. For this they have highly adapted jaws and substantially large mouths; and so, the Asian macrostamatan or big-mouthed snakes.

The two known species of spine-jawed snakes are very poorly documented in the wild and represented in museum collections only by the specimens from which they were originally described (their holotypes). The generic name, Xenophidion, ‘strange snake’, is in reference to the strange physical structure that characterizes the two species, which includes a spinous projection reaching backwards from their upper jaw, that’s only visible by dissection, which they get their common name from.
The holotype of X. acanothognathus was found in Sabah in 1987, while the holotype of X schaeferi on Malaysia in 1988, they were not described to science until 1995. Prior studies put them in either the colubridae, with the myriad of other small, striped leaf litter snakes, or in the Latin American dwarf boa family tropidophiiae, more recent studies have led to the recognition of the separate family, Xenophidiidae and the idea that they may represent the sister clade to the Round Island Boas of the Bolyeriidae.
The Spine-jawed snakes have many similarities of the skull, and a total lack of a pelvic girdle, to the Round Island boas, and these morphological connections, together with their location south of the Asian mainland, have led researchers to believe that both groups share a common Gondwanan ancestor.

Sometimes called iridescent earth snakes, the sunbeam snakes are named after the ‘oil-on-water’ iridescent shine, that occurs when their scales are in natural daylight, a widespread hologrammic trait of nocturnal snakes including the Rainbow Boa (Epicrates cenchria) and the Amethystine Python (Morelia amethistina).
Throughout Southeast Asia Sunbeam snakes are regarded as a single species Xenopeltis unicolor, although those from the southern Chinese coastal provinces and the offshore island of Hainan are recognized as a second species, X. hainanensis. The two species are separated by scalation differences: X. unicolor (X. hainanensis) postoculars 2 (1); supralabials, 8 (7); ventral scales, over 180 (less than 165;) pairs of subcaudals over 25 and distinct from lateral scales (less than 20 and similar to laterals). The sunbeam snakes are different enough from all other snakes to be placed in their own family, Xenopeltidae, a family thought most closely related to the Meso-American Python (Loxocemus bicolor) in the Loxocemidae.

Asian Pythons
While five species of python live in tropical Asia, they are all imposing snakes, because of either their great length or daunting girth, and they are a vital part of the herpetofauna. Sadly, the pythons of Asia are among the most persecuted of all snakes, with many thousands slaughtered for their skins, meat and gall bladderseven with international measures to protect them. All Asian pythons are popular as pets.

One of the most popular pythons kept as pets the Asian Rock Python is a widely distributed South and Southeast Asian species, yet its exact territory and the taxonomic status of some populations have been under discussion for more than 200 years. You would think that deciding the range of such a big snake would be easy, but, in light of the demand for this species as a snake charmer’s snake and as a pet, finding a specimen in a different location doesn’t necessarily mean a natural population. This has recently been brought to prominence by photographs and reports of a ‘population of Burmese Rock Pythons’ inhabiting the Florida Everglades.
Previously three subspecies were recognized: the Indian, P m. molurus, the Burmese, P m. bivitattus; and the Ceylonese or Sri Lankan Rock Python, P m. pimbura, but the confined segregation of this latter form wasn’t enough to stop it being synonymised with the Indian python. Earlier names, such as P m. sondiaca for the Indonesian population, haven’t stood the test of time, this name being synonymised with P m. bivittatus. Now, the Asian Rock Python is a single species with two subspecies, and P m. bivittatus, which have been known as the ‘light-phase Indian Python’ and ‘dark-phase Indian Python’ respectively. These common names are not now used and perhaps these taxa should be given separate specific status.
While a big species, which can reach lengths 5.0m plus, this isn’t the longest python specie,; in Asia but it might be the heaviest because it is much heavier-bodied than a Reticulated Python P reticulatus of the same length.
Food is mainly mammals, from rodents, monkeys, pigs, goats and deer, and there is a record of a leopard being killed and eaten. Birds, particularly poultry, and lizards, the size of monitor lizards, are also recorded as prey While there are reports of humans being killed there are no authenticated records of anyone being eaten by an Asian Rock Python. A recent photograph of a dead Burmese Python, that had ostensibly killed and eaten an American alligator () in the Florida Everglades, if genuine,implies that this is another species that might prey on small to medium-sized crocodilians. This is an exclusive club with few members, the African and Southern African Rock Python, the Brown Water Python and Scrub Python of New Guinea and northern Australia, and the Green and Yellow Anacondas of South America.
Female rock pythons lay large clutches of eggs, sometime, more than 100, which they will coil around during incubation. Such large egg clutches, laid inside hollow trees or beneath piles of vegetation, would be immensely vulnerable to predation or the elements if not for the protective incubating female.
Throughout a great deal of its territory the Asian Rock Python is threatened by hunting for skins, meat or gall bladders, or actively victimized out of ignorance. In Pakistan and Bangladesh it is rare and, in India, where it is legally protected, and Sri Lanka, where the Buddhist tradition does not allow unnecessary slaughter, it is still threatened. Populations in Indochina, southern china and Indonesia are also endangered. The world is quickly becoming a dangerous place for large snakes, that can’t hide as easily as their smaller relatives.

The Reticulated Python holds the record for being the longest of any living species, with archival behemoths reported at 9.0-10.0 metres, and 7metre specimens getting worldwide newspaper coverage today. These quite slim-bodied species don’t have the body circumference of the other giants, the Green Anaconda, Eunectes murinus, African Rock Python, Python sebae, and Asian Rock Python, Python molurus.

Three species of python called blood or short-tailed pythons were regarded as subspecies of one Southeast Asian species, Python curtus. Quite inactive in nature and a lot smaller than the other two Asian pythons, these short-tailed, heavy bodied snakes are notorious for aggressiveness, most of the wild specimens available in the 1980s living up to the name ‘blood python’ by drawing copious amounts of it from their keepers.In 2001, the morphological distinctions between the three geographical subspecies were augmented by molecular variations and the recognition of three full species is now accepted. Molecular studies showed that the Sumatran and Bornean Short-tailed Pythons were closely related, with the divergent Malaysian Short-tailed, or Blood, Python as their sister-clade, a point reflected by the diverse morphological differences between the three taxa, particularly the presence or lack of subocular scales. This is a distinction more important in Asian python taxonomy than the size of these scales might hint.
All three short-tailed pythons live in lowland rainforests, but they are found in man-made habitats such as oil-palm plantations as well. They seem to be centred in the damp tropical rainforest districts of Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo. Notably, they aren’t found on the drier island of Java, which was an isolated island at the time the short-tailed pythons were spreading, and their range on the Malay Peninsular seems to end in southern Thailand.
Effectively lying concealed in the vegetation by their body patterning, short-tailed pythons are ambush predators of small mammals and ground-living birds. There is substantial inter-specific and intra-specific, variety in coloration and patterning in the short-tailed python complex. The species can usually be told by their patterning alone, but there are variations between individuals in a single population and juveniles of some populations might havea change in patterning as they mature. The variation in coloration and patternswithin a population is called ‘polychromatism’, and it is not uncommon in snakes that are ambush predators.
CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) recorded that between 70,000 and 200,000 short-tailed pythons were ‘harvested’ annually for their skins, meat and gall bladders, in a 1991 report. These three species are under threat of at least local extinction in the near future.

Eurasian Sand Boas
The Old World boas are not the muscular constrictors of South America but the smaller, more covert sand and ground boas of the family Ericinae. These short, stocky snakes have granular scales, short tails and small heads with small eyes. Spread throughout North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, one species spreading into southeastern Europe, they are fossorial dwellers of sand and earth in arid semi-desert and coastal scrub habitats. They feed on small mammals and birds, that are ambushed when they pass the boa-buried in the sand- and are killed by constriction. Sand boas are nocturnal, but they may also be active during the day.

The genus Eryx is often used for all living species, but some put the three most primitive species in the genus Gongylophis, and eight species in genus Eryx. The most diversity of sand boas is in the Middle East.

European and Asian Blindsnakes
Of the two families of blindsnakes in Asia the Typhlopidae far outnumber the Leptotyphlopidae, with one species even entering southeastern Europe.

The Typhlopid blindsnake species in asia outnumber the leptotyphlopids and one species even spreads to southeastern Europe. Five genera are represented; the monotypic Cyclotyphlops deharvengi and Gryptotyphlops acutus, endemic to Sumatra and India respectively; two species from the African genus Rhinotyphlops living in Turkey and the Holy Land; eight species from the Australasian-Asian genus Ramphoyuphlops; and nearly 60 from the large genus Typhlops, totaling over 70 blindsnake species.

Less than 10 leptotyphlopid blindsnake species live in western Asia from Turkey to India. The most common species, the Hook-snouted Slender Blindsnake (Leptotyphlops macrorhynchus), lives across North Africa as well. Many other species have been synonymised in this single taxon.


Eurasian True Vipers
The true vipers are the prevalent venomous snakes of western Eurasia. Many European species are small but larger species live in Turkey and the Middle East. Most have the familiar viperine zig-zag pattern.

The terms adder and viper mean the same thing. True vipers are mainly a Euro-African group the biggest European/Middle Eastern genus is Vipera with about 30 species after six species were replaced into the related genera Daboia and Macrovipera).

Mainly an African anomaly he burrowing Asps or stiletto snakes has one species living in the Arabian Peninsular.

Asian Cobras
Cobras are identified with Asia and Africa Most so-called, and all “true”, species of cobras belong to the family Elapidae. The genus Naja has over twenty species of cobras and is the most wide-ranging and recognized genus of cobras, often called the “true” cobras. Members of the genus inhabit a range from Africa through the Middle East, and Southeast Asia to Indonesia.

Previously all Asian cobras, except the King Cobra, were considered subspecies of single species, Naja Naja, now they are recognized as eleven different species. The common cobra group has spitting cobras and non-spitting cobras, but the line between the two is not as straightforward as African cobras. If a Cobra can spit venom in defense is a property of its biology and morphology. Their fangs and venoms are dissimilar. Non-spitting cobras have mainly neurotoxic venom whilst spitter venom is inclined to be more cytotoxic venom, to cause the maximum effect, pain and blindness when it contacts the cornea of the eye. The separation between spitters and non-spitters might be geographical. Middle Eastern and South Asian Cobras are non-spitters while cobras from the Indo/Malay-Philippine archipelago, that has only one prevalent cobra per island, are spitters, except the non-spitting Andaman cobras and males of the northern Philippine cobra. The position on the Southeast Asian mainland is more muddled with spitters and non spitters living in the same neighborhoods. Some communities of spitters are hesitant to spit and it is easy to be caught unexpectedly by a Southeast Asian cobra that has never spat before.
Because they prey on rodents, snakes and amphibians they are often found around human environments and in agricultural areas, attracted by the existence of prey and variety of habitats. Regardless of the high numbers levels of snakebite morbidity and mortality they cause throughout Asia, cobras are highly respected in both Buddhist and Hindu cultures.
In parts of Asia, particularly China and places with large populations of ethnic Chinese, cobras are hunted as food and for formulating traditional treatments for extended human virility or longevity. This huge reaping of cobras and other snakes does colossal damage to the balance of nature by eliminating the natural predators of the rice stealing, disease carrying rats.

Regarded as the most intelligent of all snakes, the King Cobra is the most esteemed species, not just for its implied danger and size, but also for its apparent intelligence.

The blunt-nosed vipers, genus Macrovipera, were once members of the genus Vipera, consisting of two North African species, one wide-ranging species, the other limited to the Cyclades Islands southeast of Greece.

Eurasia has few rear-fanged colubrid snakes considered dangerous. Europe has only the Montpellier snake that is any sort of threat. In temperate Asia the principal threat from rear-fanged colubrids is the keelbacks of genus Rhabdophis (about 20 species). One species, the yamakagashi, has caused fatalities, another species, the Southeast Asian red-necked Keelback (Rabdophis subminiatus) has caused serious snakebites.

Southern European vipers have upturned snouts that vary from the slight upturn of the asp viper (V. aspis) to a distinct ‘horn’ in the sand viper (V. ammodytes). They tend to live in arid, sandy habitats and their nose horn is thought to be an adaptation for these habitats.

The Arabian horned, carpet and sand vipers are a group of highly venomous, short and thick-bodied, sit and wait ambushers with keeled scales inhabit the deserts of Arabia and the Middle East. Closely related to species in North Africa but MacMahon’s viper could be related to the Asian sidewinder.

Many species of vipers make their home in Turkey and the Middle East, often with narrow ranges and often vulnerable due to habitat destruction, killing, collecting and conflict.

There is a tendency to put it in the same genus as the Asian Russell’s viper (Daboia russeli)but some leave the Palestine viper in the Euro-Middle Eastern genus Vipera.

The Other Asian Elapids
While cobras are the prime elapid snakes of Asia, there are a further 28 species of non-cobra elapids in the region. The oriental coralsnakes are not an appreciable snakebite threat, this can’t be said of the kraits, which could be responsible for as many fatalities as the cobras.

Asian Pitvipers
It’s no surprise that there’s a great variety of pitvipers in tropical Asia, they have evolved to inhabit nearly all terrestrial habitats except deserts. Pitvipers evolved in Asia then expanded across the Bering Strait into the Americas. The area has over 50 pitvipers, both slender, arboreal species and heavy-bodied, intricately patterned terrestrial species, and oviparous as well as viviparous species.

The terrestrial pitvipers encompass those with the primitive colubrid nine enlarged plate array, like the Malayan, Hundred-Pace, Hump-nosed and Himalayan pitvipers, as well as the more advanced, uneven granular scale arrangement of the Mountain pitvipers

Previously at least 36 species of arboreal and semi-arboreal Asian pitvipers were contained in the widespread genus Trimeresurus now they are divided between Trimeresurus and six new gerera (Cryptelytrops, Himalayophis, Parias, Peltopelor, Popeia and Viridovipera). In several ways they reflect the bushvipers of Africa and the palm-pitvipers and the forest-pitvipers of tropical America. While many are arboreal, slender bodied with prehensile tails, incorporating many bewildering green species often universally called bamboo pitvipers, some species can also be seen on the ground, particularly the brown or grey-brown species. Precise Identification can be very problematic, particularly when more than several species of bamboo pitviper live in the same neighborhood. The only traits differentiating two or three close species are limited divergence in head scalation or the look of the male hemipenes that needs rather intimate examination of the snake. Many species are not highly dangerous but a few have caused serious, even fatal snakebites.

Asian true vipers
The Russell’s viper is the only legitimate Asian species of true viper. The Pakistan and Indian Carpet Vipers are Asian members of a widespread Middle Eastern-North African group.

The one species of subfamily Azemiopinae, Fea’s Viper comes from the montane district of north Myamnar and southern China. While it doesn’t have pits it is believed to be closely related sister-taxa of the widespread Asian-American pitvipers.

Kraits are an exclusively Asiatic faction, they have no close African relatives. They are ambiguous, reticent and withdrawn during the day, lethal at night. Many Kraits have non-venomous mimics that will bite if handled, causing bewilderment over the identity of the snake concerned, and even if a bite has occurred. The lack of pain or swelling, that gives no indication of the gravity of the bite, can lead to fatal delays in seeking medical attention. Of the 12 species, about half are guilty of thousands of human deaths annually, and the effects of bites from the other species are not known. Antivenom is not available for every species.

The 14 species of oriental coralsnakes can be divided into the long-glanded coralsnakes, slender coralsnakes, and Chinese-Philippine coralsnakes. Several are small, covert and innocuous though some have caused fatalities.

Snakes of Asia

Family Typhlopidae

Brahminy Blind Snake (Ramphotyphlops braminus) Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Slender blind snake (Typhlops porrectus) Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka
Giant blind snake (Typhlops diardii) Northeast India, Bangladesh, China, Indo-China, Myanmar, Thailand, Malay region
Pied blind snake (Typhlops leucomelas) Sri Lanka
Jan’s blind snake (Typhlops mirus) Sri Lanka
Günther’s blind snake (Typhlops pammeces)
Typhlops exiguus
Typhlops beddomii
Typhlops andamanesis
Rhinotyphlops acutus
Ramphotyphlops exocoeti
(Typhlops tindalli)
(Typhlops thurstoni)
(Typhlops tenuicollis)
(Typhlops oligolepis)
(Typhlops oatesii)
(Typhlops meszoelyi)
(Typhlops loveridgei)
(Typhlops jerdoni)
(Typhlops fletcheri)

Family Cylindrophiidae
Sri Lankan pipe snake Cylindrophis maculata Sri Lanka

Family Uropeltidae
Palni Shieldtail Snake Brachyophidium rhodogaster
Two-lined Black Shieldtail Melanophidium bilineatum
Beddome’s Black Shieldtail Melanophidium punctatum
Indian Black Earth Snake Melanophidium wynaudense
Travancore Hills Thorntail Snake Platyplectrurus madurensis
Lined Thorntail Snake Platyplectrurus trilineatus
Kerala Shieldtail Plectrurus aureus
Kanara Shieldtail Plectrurus canaricus
Günther’s Burrowing Snake Plectrurus guentheri
Nilgiri Burrowing Snake Plectrurus perroteti
Cardamom Hills Earth Snake Rhinophis fergusonianus
Schneider’s Earth Snake Rhinophis oxyrhynchus
Salty Earth Snake Rhinophis sanguineus
Travancore Shieldtail Rhinophis travancoricus
Purple-red Earth Snake Teretrurus sanguineus
Madurai Earth Snake Uropeltis arcticeps
Beddome’s Earth Snake Uropeltis beddomii
Brougham’s Earth Snake Uropeltis broughami
Ceylon Earth Snake Uropeltis ceylanicus
Sirumalai Hills Earth Snake Uropeltis dindigalensis
Elliot’s Earth Snake Uropeltis ellioti
Günther’s Earth Snake Uropeltis liura
Bombay Earth Snake Uropeltis macrolepis
Anaimalai Earth Snake Uropeltis macrorhynchus
Spotted Earth Snake Uropeltis maculatus
Boulenger’s Earth Snake Uropeltis myhendrae
Southern Earth Snake Uropeltis nitidus
Ocellated Shieldtail Uropeltis ocellatus
Shieldtail Earth Snake Uropeltis petersi
Phipson’s Shieldtail Uropeltis phipsonii
Indian Earth Snake Uropeltis pulneyensis
Red-lined Earth Snake Uropeltis rubrolineatus
Red-spotted Earth Snake Uropeltis rubromaculatus
Smith’s Earth Snake Uropeltis smithi
Woodmason’s Earth Snake Uropeltis woodmasoni

Family Acrochordidae
Wart snake Acrochordus granulatus India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Timor

Family Boidae
Common sand boa Gongylophis conicus Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka
Red sand boa Eryx johnii India, Pakistan
Whitaker’s sand boa Eryx whitakeri Southwest India
Indian rock python Python molurus Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Java
Reticulated python Python reticulatus India (Arunachal Pradesh, Nicobars), Myanmar, China, Indo-China, Malay region

Family Xenopeltidae
Sunbeam snake Xenopeltis unicolor India (Nicobars), Myanmar, Thailand, China, Indo-China, Malay region

Family Elapidae
Andamans krait Bungarus andamanensis India (Andamans)
Common Indian krait Bungarus caeruleus Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan krait Bungarus ceylonicus Sri Lanka
Banded krait Bungarus fasciatus Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Indo-China, China, Malay region
Sindh krait Bungarus sindanus Pakistan, India
Northeastern Hill Krait Bungarus bungaroides
Lesser Black Krait Bungarus lividus
Greater Black Krait Bungarus niger
Beddome’s Coral Snake Calliophis beddomei
MacClelland’s coral snake Calliophis macclellandi Nepal, India, Myanmar, Indo-China, Taiwan
Slender coral snake Calliophis melanurus Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka
Black Coral Snake Calliophis nigrescens
Bibron’s Coral Snake Calliophis bibroni
Monocled cobra Naja kaouthia Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Indo-China, China
Spectacled cobra Naja naja Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka
Black cobra Naja oxiana Central Asia, Pakistan, India
Andaman cobra Naja sagittifera India (Andamans)
King cobra Ophiophagus hannah India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, China, Indo-China, Malay region, Philippines

Family Hydrophiidae
Spine-tailed seasnake Aipysurus eydouxii
Large-headed sea snake Astrotia stokesii Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malay region
Yellow-and-black sea snake Atretium schistosum India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka
Olive-headed seasnake Disteira major
Disteira nigrocincta

Wall’s sea snake Disteira walli
Beaked seasnake or hook-nosed sea snake Enhydrina schistosa Persian Gulf, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indo-China, Malay peninsula
Faint-banded seasnake Hydrophis belcheri
Peters’ sea snake Hydrophis bituberculatus
Hydrophis brooki

Blue sea snake Hydrophis caerulescens Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, China, Malay region
Annulated sea snake Hydrophis cyanocinctus
Banded sea snake Hydrophis fasciatus Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Malay region
Hydrophis inornatus
Kloss’ sea snake Hydrophis klossi
Bombay sea snake Hydrophis mamillaris Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka
Black-banded sea snake Hydrophis nigrocinctus India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar
Estuarine sea snake Hydrophis obscurus India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar
Cochin banded sea snake Hydrophis ornatus Persian Gulf, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malay region, Indo-China, China
Persian Gulf sea snake Hydrophis lapemoides
Slender-necked seasnake Hydrophis melanocephalus
Yellow sea snake Hydrophis spiralis
Collared sea snake Hydrophis stricticollis
Jerdon’s sea snake Kerilia jerdonii India, Sri Lanka, Malay peninsula
Bighead sea snake Kolpophis annandalei
Short sea snake Lapemis curtus Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Malay region, Indo-China
Yellow-lipped sea krait Laticauda colubrina India, East of the islands of the Sundas
Laticauda laticaudata
Hardwicke’s spine-bellied seasnake Lapemis hardwickii
Annulated sea snake Leioselasma cyanocincta Persian Gulf, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malay region
Yellow sea snake Leioselasma spiralis Persian Gulf, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Malay region
Microcephalophis cantoris
Slender narrow-headed sea snake Microcephalophis gracilis Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malay region, China
Yellow-bellied sea snake Pelamis platurus
Thalassophina viperina

Anomalous sea snake Thalassophis anomalus

Family Viperidae
Himalayan pit viper Gloydius himalayanus India, Pakistan, Nepal
Levantine viper Macrovipera lebetina Middle East, Pakistan
Russel’s viper Daboia russelii Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, China, Indo-China, islands of Java, Komodo, Flores, Indonesia
Indian saw-scaled viper Echis carinatus Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka
Echis megalocephalus
Common hump-nosed pit viper Hypnale hypnale India, Sri Lanka
Millard’s hump-nosed pit viper Hypnale nepa Sri Lanka
Wall’s hump-nosed pit viper Hypnale walli Sri Lanka
Blotched pit viper Ovophis monticola Bangladesh, India, Nepal
Brown spotted pit viper Protobothrops mucrosquamatus India, Bangladesh, China, Myanmar, Vietnam
Protobothrops jerdonii
White-lipped pit viper Trimeresurus albolabris India, Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Myanmar, Thailand, Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sundas up to Timor
Anderson’s pit viper Trimeresurus andersonii India (Andamans)
Bamboo pit viper Trimeresurus gramineus Nepal, India
Large-scaled green pit viper Trimeresurus macrolepis Southwest India
Malabar rock pit viper Trimeresurus malabaricus Southwest India
Tibetan pit viper Trimeresurus tibetanus Tibet, Nepal
Trimeresurus stejnegeri
Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus

Pope’s Pit Viper Trimeresurus popeiorum
Medo Pit Viper Trimeresurus medoensis
Trimeresurus labialis
Trimeresurus erythrurus

Cantor’s Pit Viper Trimeresurus cantori
Pseudocerastes persicus

Snakes of Europe

Family: Typhlopidae
Worm Snake Xerotyphlops vermicularis south-eastern Europe

Family: Boidae (Boas)
Sand Boa Eryx jaculus south-eastern Europe

Family: Colubridae (Colubrids)
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Western Whip Snake Hierophis viridiflavus south-western Europe, Italy, Switzerland and Slovenia
Caspian WhipSnake Dolichophis caspius south-eastern Europe, Turkey
Large Whip Snake Dolichophis jugularis south-eastern Europe
Red-Bellied Racer Dolichophis schmidti Russia, Turkey, Georgia
Horseshoe Whip Snake Hemorrhois hippocrepis Italy, Iberian Peninsula
Spotted Whip Snake Hemorrhois ravergieri Greece, Turkey, Georgia
Algerian Whip Snake Hemorrhois algirus Malta
Coin Snake, Hemorrhois nummifer (has been mentioned from European Turkey but actual presence in Europe remains unconfirmed and demands substantiation)
Red Whip Snake Platyceps collaris Bulgaria, Turkey
Dahl’s Whip Snake Platyceps najadum south-eastern Europe
Balkan Whip Snake Hierophis gemonensis south-eastern Europe
Cyprus Whip Snake Hierophis cypriensis Cyprus in Asia – Greece, Turkey
Asia Minor Dwarf Racer Eirenis modestus Greece, Russia, Turkey, Georgia
Collared Dwarf Racer Eirenis collaris Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia
Four-lined Snake Elaphe quatuorlineata south-eastern Europe
Blotched snake Elaphe sauromates eastern and south-eastern Europe
Steppes RatSnakes Elaphe dione Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Kazakhstan)
Ladder Snake Rhinechis scalaris Iberian Peninsula, France
Transcaucasian Rat Snake Zamenis hohenackeri Russia, Georgia, Turkey
Leopard Snake Zamenis situla southern Europe
Aesculapian Snake Zamenis longissimus
Italian Aesculapian Snake Zamenis lineatus Italy
Smooth Snake Coronella austriaca
Southern Smooth Snake Coronella girondica Iberian Peninsula, France, Italy
European Cat Snake Telescopus fallax south-eastern Europe
False Smooth Snake Macroprotodon brevis Iberian peninsula)
False Smooth Snake Macroprotodon cucullatus Iberian peninsula

(Sub)family: Natricinde/Natricinae
Viperine Water Snake Natrix maura
Grass Snake Natrix natrix
Dice Snake Natrix tessellata
Large-headed Water Snake Natrix megalocephala Russia, Turkey, Georgia

Family: Lamprophiidae
Montpellier Snake Malpolon monspessulanus southwestern Europe
Eastern Montpellier Snake Malpolon insignitus southeastern Europe

Family: Viperidae
Caucasus Viper Vipera kaznakovi Russia, Georgia, Turkey
Orsini’s Viper, Meadow Viper Vipera ursinii south-eastern France, central Italy, west Balkans, northern Greece, Hungary, Romania
European Adder Vipera berus
Seoane’s Viper Vipera seoanei Iberia
Asp Viper Vipera aspis south-western Europe, Italy and Switzerland
Lataste’s Viper Vipera latastei Iberia
Nose-horned Viper Vipera ammodytes south-eastern Europe, Hungary and Austria
Ottoman Viper Vipera xanthina Greece
Nikolsky’s Adder Vipera nikolskii Ukraine
Meadow Viper Vipera renardi Russia
Magnificent Viper Vipera magnifica Russia
Orlov’s Viper Vipera orlovi Russia
Lotiev’s Viper Vipera lotievi Russia, Georgia
Caucasus Subalpine Viper Vipera dinniki Russia, Georgia
Milos Viper Macrovipera schweizeri (Islands of Milos, Kimolos, Polyaigos, Sifnos)
Blunt-nosed Viper Macrovipera lebetina southern Russia, Cyprus in Asia – Greece, Turkey
Subfamily: Crotalinae
Halys Pit Viper Gloydius halys Russia, Kazakhstan

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