mamba(redirected from Dendroaspis)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
mamba,name for African snakes of the genus Dendroaspis, in the cobracobra,
name for African and Asian snakes of the family Elapidae that are equipped with inflatable neck hoods. The family also includes the African mambas, the Asian kraits, the New World coral snakes and a large number of Australian snakes.
..... Click the link for more information. family. Widely distributed throughout Africa except in the deserts, mambas have extremely toxic venom. When attacking they raise the front of the body high off the ground and aim at the head or trunk of the victim. They do not have hoods (as do the Asian cobras), but some can inflate their necks in a threatening gesture. Members of some species are very aggressive, displaying a greater tendency to attack than do most snakes; nevertheless, their reaction to danger is often flight. The so-called black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis), actually dark brown to gray, may grow up to 14 ft (4.3 m) long and is the most feared of the mambas. It lives mostly in open country and preys on small mammals and birds. The green mamba (D. angusticeps) is a more arboreal snake, found in forest and bush country. Both are distributed throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa. Mambas are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Squamata, family Elapidae.
a poisonous snake of the genus Dendroaspis family Elapidae. There are four species, distributed throughout Africa (south of the Sahara). Length, 2-4 m. The snakes, except for the black mamba (D. polylepsis), are green, sometimes with dark spots.
As a rule, mambas inhabit trees but may be encountered in bushes. They sometimes crawl into settlements and cultivated lands. Mambas are egg-laying snakes and feed on birds, lizards, and rodents. Small animals die within seconds of a mamba’s bite; many cases of human deaths are known.