Thursday, 1 September 2011

The largest dangerous venomous snake in the world

Heterodon platyrhinos 

Like the western hognose this snake may provide clues as to how venom evolved; though it has enlarged rear teeth and very mild venom, it has no real mechanism for introducing this venom to prey.
DESCRIPTION: 51-1 15cm (1 ½ - 4 ft).
A Stocky snake with a distinctly less upturned nose than its western counterpart. The ground colours are variable, ranging from yellow through grey, brown to even red; some individuals are plain black or grey, but spotted specimens are the norm.
DISTRIBUTION: Much of eastern and central USA.
HABITAT: Active during the day it spends most of its time foraging for prey, often burrowing into root systems to locate toads. Like the Western Hognose, it will feign death as well as inflate the neck and strike.
FOOD: Mildly venomous. Toads form the majority of its diet, but frogs may also be eaten.
BREEDING: Lays a clutch of 5 – 61 eggs.
Cemophora coccinea

An impressive mimic of the eastern coral snake when seen at a distance, easier to identify if you can get a closer look.
DESCRIPTION: 36 - 82cm (1¼ - 2½ft).
Distinguished by having markings that form a saddle pattern rather than a banded pattern, a very pointed, red snout and a plain whitish belly.
DISTRIBUTION: USA, in many of the eastern seaboard states north to New Jersey, down to Florida, through to Texas and north to Montana.
HABITAT: Found in loose-soiled open woodland.
A burrower rarely found at the surface, more normally disturbed under logs or by agricultural practices.
FOOD: A constrictor, feeding on small mice, lizards and snakes, and proving very partial to snakes’ eggs.
BREEDING: Females lay 3-8 leathery and elongated eggs in a clutch.
Opheodrys vernalis   

The green dorsal colour of this snake changes to a dull blue or grey after death.
DESCRIPTION: 30-65cm (1-2ft).
A slender plain green snake with a white or yellow under the tail.
DISTRIBUTION: Occurs in much of northeastern USA and some parts of southern Canada as well as isolated populations in southern Texas and Idaho, New Mexico and Wyoming.   
HABITAT Mostly terrestrial in grassy areas in forests, prairies and along river edges.
FOOD East mainly insects and spiders.
BREEDING Several females may share a nest site where each will lay a clutch of 3-48 eggs.
Boiga dendrphila

A spectacular animal that is a popular “draw” in snake charming shows.
DESCRIPTION: Grows up to 2.5 meters (8ft).
A glossy black snake with 40-50 sulphur yellow bars. The eye has vertical pupils like a cat’s.
DISTRIBUTION: Thailand and Malay peninsular, Philippines and Indonesia.
HABITAT: Mangroves and tropical rain forests, where it is often found in the trees.
FOOD: Small mammals, birds, eggs and reptiles. Large fangs at the back of its mouth can deliver quite potent venom.
BREEDING: Lays a clutch of eggs in damp soil or rotting wood.
Dispholidus typus

When angered, this snake inflates its throat to produce an alarming thereat display to potential predators.
DESCRIPTION: Averages 120-15cm (4-5ft).
It possesses a very short head with large eyes and a slender body. The colour varies markedly, even within the same geographic location.
DISTRIBUTION: Africa, south of the Sahara.
HABITAT: Totally arboreal, the name boomslang comes directly from the Afrikaans meaning “tree snake”.
FOOD: One of the most notorious and venomous snakes in Africa, back-fanged but in fact relatively near the front of the mouth. It preys on chameleons, other lizards, amphibians and birds, often found raiding weaver bird colonies.
BREEDING: Up to 24 eggs deposited that require about 6 months’ incubation before the 30cm (1ft) hatchlings emerge.
Chrsopelea ornata

One of the 5 species of snakes that can spread their ribs and glide from tree to tree.
DESCRIPTION: Grows to about 1.3 meters (4ft).
An athletic, slender snake with large eyes. Its coloration is green with each bordered and bisected by black.
DISTRIBUTION: India and Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Southern China and the Malay peninsular.
HABITAT: A denizen of tropical rain forests, it is diurnal, arboreal and sun loving. Moves with alacrity in the tree tops by climbing, jumping and gliding. Back-fanged, but they have weak venom.
FOOD: Lizards and frogs. May take an hour or more to subdue a lizard.
BREEDING: Comes down to the ground to lay eggs in leaf mould on the forest floor.
Oxybelis aeneus

May attempt to mimic the branches they habitually lie along by appearing to sway in the breez.
DESCRIPTION: 90-150cm (3-5ft).
An incredibly slender and long-headed snake, with comparatively small eyes and a long tail (up to half its body length). Generally grayish-brown above, grey below, with white or yellow under the head, an eye stripe and distinctive cream lips.
DISTRIBUTION: Extreme South Arizona into Central and South America.
HABITAT: Active during daylight hours, mainly arboreal, often being found along thin branches, in a range of arid to moist habitats. Bluffs when disturbed with a wide-gaping mouth.
FOOD: Back-fanged and mildly toxic, feeds mainly on lizards.
BREEDING: A clutch of 3-5 eggs is laid in spring and summer.
Laticuda colubrina

Can be found in large numbers when they come shore to breed.
DESCRIPTION: Up to 1.5 metres (5ft) in length.
Its coloration is bluish grey with cross bands of black. They head is marked with black and yellow.
DISTRIBUTION: Tropical seas and shores from India through Indonesia, Malaysia, New Guinea, Australia and the Pacific Islands.
HABITAT: Mainly aquatic, but also found on the land in rocky and coral crevices. Venom is toxic but this snake has a placid disposition and does not bite even when freshly caught.
FOOD: Forages at night, grabbing sleeping fish from rock crevices.
BREEDING: It comes ashore to lay eggs.

Parademansia microlepidota

The land snake with the most potent venom. A large one has the potential to dispatch 250,000 mice.
DESCRIPTION: 2 metres (6½ft) is the average length.
Usually a brown snake, with some of its scales edged with black or brown. Some populations have a distinct black head.
DISTRIBUTION: Australia in western Queensland, northwestern South Australia and western New South Wales.
HABITAT: Found in stony deserts or dry flood plains with deep cracking clays and soils. Abroad in daylight, it often lives in the burrows of its main prey, the plague rat.
FOOD: Rodents.
BREEDING: Lays a clutch of 9-12 eggs which hatch in about 70 days.
Pseudechis colletti

Potentially fatal to people, this rare and beautiful Australian snake keeps itself to itself and there is no proof that it has ever bitten anyone. 
DESCRIPTION: Total length is about 2.5 metres (8ft).
The snake has a brown or black body colour, with blotches of orange or red that merges together at the sides.
DISTRIBUTION: Only found in central Queensland, Australia.
HABITAT: Generally near rivers in black soil flood plains or riverine forests. It is so uncommon and elusive that little is known about its behavior.
FOOD: Small mammals, lizards, forgs and brids.
BREEDING: Lays 7-14 eggs in October to December.

Notechis scutatus

The venomous snake that is common in the most densely populated areas of Australia.
DESCRIPTION: A bulky snake that can grow to nearly 2 metres (6½ft) in length.
Very variable in colour, can be grey, green brown or even black with a series of lighter cross bands.
DISTRIBUTION: East and south eastern Australia.
HABITAT: Usually found in damp habitats.
Unaggressive, but holds its ground, so it can be trodden upon accidentally; before an anti-venom was developed it was responsible for human fatalities.
FOOD: Specializes in frogs, but will take birds and rodents.
BREEDING: Males indulge in “ritualized combats” during the spring. After mating the female retains her eggs within her body, eventually giving to 30 or so young.
Notechis ater

Some island populations of this snake fast for 10 months of the year.
DESCRIPTION: There are a variety of subspecies that range in size from 1-2.4 metres (3-8ft). All are heavily built, with broad heads. The colour is dark brown or black, with some of the western populations having lighter bands.
DISTRIBUTION: Western Australia, southern Australia’s Tasmania and small islets and islands off Australia’s southern coast.
HABITAT: Found in marshlands, sand dunes or dry rocky deserts. Some of the island forms spend most of their time in sea bird burrows. 
FOOD: frogs, birds and rodents. Two of the island subspecies survive by feeding upon mutton bird, a type of shearwater. The snakes must gorge on chicks when the shearwater are breeding, then fast for 10 months, when the mutton birds are out at sea. Juvenile tiger snakes live on lizards until they are big enough to eat a bird.     
BREEDING: females give birth to 6-20 young (sometimes more) in mid to late summer.
Oxyuranus scutellatus
the largest and most notorious venomous snake in Australia, with the longest fangs(12mm [1/2 in ] ) to boot. 
DESCRIPTION: can grow to 3.5 metres (111/2ft) but more usually 1.5 metres (5ft). it has large glittering eyes set in a creamy head, with a body of light to dark brown becoming lighter at the sides.  
DISTRIBUTION: north and northeastern Australia.
HABITAT: Found in sugar cane fields, farms, rubbish dumps and woodlands. If given the chance a taipan will always retreat from people but if provoked will strike repeatedly.   
FOOD:  A rodents specialist, which is why it is attracted to farms and dumps where there are large populations of mice.   
BREEDING: lays 10-12 eggs.
Acanthophis antarcticus
Perfectly camouflaged, it wiggles the tip of its tail to lure unwary prey.
DESCRIPTION: fat body usually under 1 metre (3ft) in length very variable in colour; red, grey or brown with
DISTRIBUTION: north and northeastern Australia.
HABITAT: Found in sugar cane fields, farms, rubbish dumps and woodlands. If given the chance a taipan will always retreat from people but if provoked will strike repeatedly.   
FOOD:  A rodents specialist, which is why it is attracted to farms and dumps where there are large populations of mice.   
BREEDING: lays 10-12 eggs.

Pseudechis australis
Under threat in the northern part of its range from the lethal effects of swallowing cane toads.
DESCRIPTION: Up to 2 metres (6 ½ ft) long.
Each scale can be edged or tipped with black, resulting in a reticulated pattern on an all ground colour of copper or brown.
DISTRIBUTION: The whole of Australia, except the south and the east.
 HABITAT: Found in nearly every type of habitat from tropical forests to arid desert. In cool weather this snake is active during the day, becoming nocturnal in hotter seasons or climates.
FOOD:  Small mammals, birds and frogs. For the snake, cane toads seem a prefect food except that they are toxic and eating one causes death. Native animals have yet to come to terms with an introduced species.
BREEDING: ritualized combat has been observed between males during the breeding seasons (October and November). After mating the females lays about 10 eggs.
Micruroides euryxanthus
Despite processing a potent venom, this snake generally defends itself with sound; waving its tail above its body and extruding its cloaca produces “Popping” sounds.

DESCRIPTION: No more than about 50cm (20in) long. The body is totally encircled by clearly defined glossy, black, yellow and red bands.
The edges of the scales are tipped black, while the head is black from the snout to just behind the termination of the mouth.

DISTRIBUTION: Northern Mexico into New Mexico and Arizona.

 HABITAT: Found in areas of sandy soil in rocky locations emerging from burrows or under rocks at night and during overcast conditions.

FOOD:  Venomous, feeding almost entirely on snakes, especially the bind snake, Leptotyphlops.

BREEDING: 2-3 eggs laid under a rock or in a burrow.
Micrurus Fuluius
Highly venomous but inoffensive, will rarely bite except under extreme circumstances.

DESCRIPTION: Up to around 90cm (3ft). The yellow bands are narrow and border the black and red bands; there is some flecking o black in the red bands. The black on the head reaches only to just beyond the eyes.

DISTRIBUTION: southeastern USA, and from southern Arkansas west into Taxes and south into Mexico.

HABITAT: A secretive snake, it often remains hidden in leaf debris or burrows, only emerging into its woodland or riverine habitat on humid or overcast days.

FOOD:  Venomous, feeding on small prey items, snake, lizards and nestling rodents.

BREEDING: Deposits up to 18 eggs in rotten logs or stumps.

Lachesis Muta
It is reputed that female bushmaster actively and aggressively guard their nest sites.

 DESCRIPTION: Normally 210-240cm (7-8ft), but sometimes up to 350cm (12ft). The ground colour can vary between yellowish , reddish and grey-brown blotches that stretch down the sides to form dark lateral triangles.

DISTRIBUTION: Much of Central America and into Peru, the Guians and into Brazil.

HABITAT: Resides almost exclusively in primary and secondary forests and adjacent cleared areas, mostly nocturnal, foraging for prey on the ground, in burrows and around exposed root systems.

FOOD:  Venomous, most normally feeding on small mammals, but occasionally eating birds and amphibians.

BREEDING: Lays about 12 eggs in a clutch.

Hemachatus Hemachatus
“Rinkhals” is the Afrikaans name, referring to the distinctive white throat band.

DESCRIPTION: A large stout cobra that is dingy black or brown. Average about 1 metre (3ft) in length. The only cobra with keeled body scales.

DISTRIBUTION: Zimbabwe and South Africa.

HABITAT: Found in a variety of habitats where it hides in scrubby vegetations or rock piles. When defending itself it can spit venom for up to 3metres (10ft).

FOOD:  Rodents and toads.

BREEDING: A live-bearer, which is unusual for a cobra. It gives birth to a litter of 63 young in the autumn.

Naja mossambica
The “red spitter” can spray two jets venom from tiny holes in the tips fangs for up to 2.5 metres (8ft).

DESCRIPTION: Usually attaining a length of 1.5 metres (5ft) but on occasions reaching up to 2.8 metres (9ft). Its coloration ranges from brown –red, pinkish to orange-red; there are often black cross bands or blotches on the throat.

DISTRIBUTION: Southern Tanzania, Mozambique, Botswana and Northern South Africa.

HABITAT: Ground dwelling, sheltering in termite mounds and rock crevices, it basks during the day and forages at night. Quick to rouse and to spit, it will also bite readily, through the venom rarely causes fatalities.

FOOD:  Venomous, eating toads, snakes, birds, rodents and even eggs.

BREEDING:  Between 10 and 22 eggs are laid in summer.

Ophiophagus hannah
Through a slender snake it is the largest of the African cobras.

DESCRIPTION: Up to 2.5 metres (8ft). It appears black unless in good lights. When a distinct pale flecking of the scales is obvious. The front of the snout, parts of the face and the underside are a bright orange-yellow; on the belly this is broken by a black band under the hood.  

DISTRIBUTION: Central Africa, South to Angola and eastern parts of South Africa.

HABITAT: Occurs in heavily forested areas or along forest edges.

FOOD:  Venomous, Small mammals.

BREEDING:  Lays 15-26 large eggs in leaf litter or hollow logs.

Ophiophagus hannah
The largest venomous snake in the world with gigantic long enough to penetrate the hide of an elephant and enough venom to kill it.

DESCRIPTION: Usually 4 metres (13ft) in lengths, but the maximum ever recorded was over 5.5 metres (18ft). Medium to dark brown with dull light and dark cross bands along the body.

DISTRIBUTION: India, Indo-China to Southern India, and the Indo-Australia Archipelago.

HABITAT: A denizen of tropical rain forests. For most of the years shy and wary of human beings, but females can become aggressive when guarding the nest. A king cobra rearing up over 1 metre (3ft) off the ground in a threat display can make for an exciting encounter.

FOOD: Rodents and reptiles, with a predilection for other snakes.

 BREEDING:  the only snake in the world that builds an elaborate nest. The female lays up to 40 eggs, staying on guard until they hatch.

No comments:

Post a Comment