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a genus of poisonous snakes of the family Elapidae. In some species the body attains a length of 3 m. The snakes are ovoviviparous, and they feed mainly on small invertebrates. There are four or five species, of which two are found in New Guinea, and the others in Australia. The black snake (P. porphyriacus) is one of the most common species of eastern Australia. Its head and body are shiny black on top, with the underside ranging from pink to bright red. The average length of this species is 1.5 m. The snake lives near water and is diurnal. The venom of the snakes of this genus coagulates an organism’s protein. Until the mid-19th century, the genus Pseudechis included various other poisonous snakes, such as the common adder.