Elapidae

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Elapidae

[ə′lap·ə‚dē]
(vertebrate zoology)
A family of poisonous reptiles, including cobras, kraits, mambas, and coral snakes; all have a pteroglyph fang arrangement.

Elapidae

 

a family of snakes, closely related to the grass snake, from which they differ by having grooved, poisonous teeth in the anterior upper jaw. All Elapidae are very poisonous. Their poison acts primarily on the nervous system; it is used in medicine. The bite of large snakes of the family Elapidae, such as the cobra, is often fatal to man. There are 41 genera, including 181 species; they are found in Australia, southern Asia, Africa, and South and Central America. They live on the ground or, less frequently, in trees. They feed on Muridae, lizards, other snakes, and frogs. The majority are carnivorous. The best-known genera are the cobra (Naja) in Africa and southern Asia (there is one species in Turkmenia, USSR), the krait (Bungarus) in Asia, the black snake (Pseudechis) in Australia, the mamba (Dendraspis) in Africa, and the coral snake (Micrurus-Elaps) in tropical and subtropical America.

REFERENCE

Terent’ev, P. V. Gerpetologiia. Moscow, 1961.

P. V. TERENT’EV

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Molecular phylogeny of viviparous Australian elapid snakes: affinities of Echiopsis atriceps (Storr, 1980) and Drysdalia coronata (Schlegel, 1837), with description of a new genus.
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The venom of Australia's dangerous elapid snakes is powerfully neurotoxic, attacking nerve cells and thus causing weakness and paralysis.
Elapid snakes (front-fanged venomous land snakes) are the most important group medically, and most Australian snakes belong to this group.
Coelomic metazoan endoparasites of 15 colubrid and two elapid snake species from Costa Rica.
The small-sealed taipan, an Australian elapid, has the most toxic venom of any snake.
Elapid snakes, the same family as cobras and mambas, have 200 species in 50 genera and make Australia the only major continent with more poisonous than non-poisonous species.