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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a group of snakes of the family Colubridae, sometimes classified with the subfamily Boiginae. Body length, 50 cm-3 m. Large grooved venom-conducting fangs are located in the rear upper jaw. (Grouped with some other snakes, they are often called opisthoglyphs.)

There are approximately 70 genera (over 300 species), widespread on all the continents but concentrated in the tropics and subtropics. The poison glands are weakly developed, and the bite is usually fatal only to small animals. There have been a few cases of human beings dying from bites of the African boomslang (Dispholidus typus), which lives in South Africa. Humans can also be poisoned by bites of African arboreal snakes of the genus Thelotornis and some other species.

Most colubrids lay eggs, but many species are ovoviviparous. The six species found in the USSR are harmless to man: Taphrometoron lineolatus, a species of Psammophis, Boiga trigona-tum, Malpolon monspessulanus, and two species of Telescopus.


Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 4, part 2. Moscow, 1969.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ecology of the Colubrid Snake Spilotes pullatus from the Atlantic Forest of Southeastern Brazil.
We observed the mating behavior of the neck-banded snake Scaphiodontophis annulatus (a common species of colubrid in the South Pacific of Costa Rica) in the pre-montane wet forest of Las Cruces Biological Station (San Vito de Java, Costa Rica).
The purpose of this study was to examine 6 species of colubrid snakes from California for helminths: the glossy snake, Arizona elegans; western shovelnose snake, Chionactis occipitalis; coachwhip, Masticophis flagellum; striped racer, Masticophis lateralis; spotted leafnose snake, Phyllorhynchus decurtatus; and longnose snake, Rhinocheilus lecontei.
Comparative ecology of two colubrid snakes, Masticophis t.
Even though some biological significances of "colubrid" snake venoms are known, information in the specialized literature is sparse and the subject represents an open field to be explored.
Seasonal testicular histology of the colubrid snakes, Masticophis taeniatus and Pituophis melanoleucus.
The most likely scenario is that banded colubrids are protected through Batesian and perhaps Miillerian (in the case of rear-fanged species) mimicry of elapid coral snakes.
chlorophaea different from the more typical bimodal (high number of observations in spring and autumn) recorded for larger-bodied, temperate species of colubrid snakes (Oliver, 1955), such as racers (Coluber constrictor), hognose snakes (Heterodon), and ratsnakes (Pantherophis).
poecilogyrus may explain trends toward higher labial counts, but this is not a general phenomenon in colubrids. The trend towards increased counts may reflect actual genetic changes for labial numbers or a secondary response to genes controlling snout length.
For example, scales of many colubrid species have a similar microornamentation pattern: they are lamellate-imbricate at the basal end and echinate at the apical end (Price and Kelly, 1989).
Coelomic endoparasites in four species of colubrid snakes, Drymobius margaritiferus, Masticophis mentovarius, Salvadora mexicana and Trimorphodon tau from Mexico.
The actual dietary use of natracines in this region cannot be documented, but can be confirmed for some of the crotalid and colubrid taxa recovered.