Wildlife List of Snakes | Fauna | Sub Continent | South Asia, Indian
Wildlife, list of, snakes, Fauna, sub continent, south asia
Snakes in India
Indian subcontinent boasts of housing approximately 10
percent of the total snake species found in the world,
adding up to somewhere around 200 species in number.
From warm seas to semi-deserts, swamps, lakes and even
the Himalayan glaciers, one can find snakes in almost
all the habitats in India. The snakes of India range
from Worm Snakes, about 10 cm in length, to the King
Cobra, measuring upto 6 m. In the following lines, we
have mentioned the four most popular species of Indian
Cobra, scientifically known as Naja naja, is one of
the poisonous snake species native to the Indian
subcontinent. It grows to an average height of 1 m and
has two circular ocelli patterns on the rear of its
hood. These patterns seem to be connected by a curved
line, giving the look of spectacles. This is why the
snake is also known as the Spectacled Cobra of India.
A newborn cobra measures between 20 to 30 cm, but has
fully functional venom glands.
Indian King cobra snake belongs to the Ophiophagus
Genus and is scientifically known as Ophiophagus
Hannah. It is believed to be the largest poisonous
terrestrial snake, measuring upto 5.7 m in length.
However, the weight of a King cobra rarely exceeds 44
lb (20 kg). The venom of a king cobra is capable of
killing a human being, with the mortality rate being
as high as 75%. Even though the name suggest
otherwise, King cobra is not of the same Genus as the
Python snake, also known as Ajgar, is one of the most
massively built snakes of the Indian subcontinent. It
belongs to the Boidae Family and is dependent on water
to quite an extent. One of the unique features of the
Rock pythons of India is that they can raise their
body temperature above the ambient level, through
Indian Russell's Viper is known by a number of other
names, like Daboia, Tic Polonga, etc. A highly
poisonous snake of the Viperidae family, it is
scientifically known as Vipera russelli. Russell's
viper is responsible for most of the snakebite deaths
within its habitat. It is light brown in color and is
covered with three rows of dark brown or black
splotches, bordered with white or yellow.
Saw Scaled Viper
Common names: Indian saw-scaled viper, little Indian
viper. Also known as Echis carinatus. A small but
extremely dangerous viper. It gets the name saw-scaled
from rubbing the sides of its body together, producing
a rasping sound. This ill-tempered snake will attack
any intruder. Its venom is highly hemotoxic and quite
potent. Many deaths are attributed to this species.
Found in a variety of environments. It is common in
rural settlements, cultivated fields, arid regions,
barns, and rock walls.
Purple Pit Viper
Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus is a venomous pitviper
species found in parts of India and Southeast Asia.
Two subspecies are currently recognized, including the
nominate subspecies described here.
Males grow to a total length of 66.5 cm, females 90
cm. The tail lengths are then 12.5 cm and 14 cm
Scales in 25-27 longitudinal rows at midbody; 11-13
upper labials, the first partially or completely
united with the nasal; supraocular very narrow,
sometimes broken into small scales, 12-15 scales
between them; head scales small, sub equal,
tuberculate or granular; temporal scales keeled; body
color highly variable, above olive, grayish, to dark
purplish brown, below whitish, greenish or brown,
uniform or spotted with brown.
any of 12 species of highly venomous snakes belonging
to the cobra family (Elapidae). Kraits live in Asian
forests and farmland from Pakistan to southern China
and southward into Indonesia. They are terrestrial,
feeding mainly on other snakes but also on frogs,
lizards, and small mammals. Kraits are nocturnal
hunters and are dangerous to humans only when stepped
on or otherwise strongly provoked.
The banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus) of Southeast
Asia grows to 2 metres (6.6 feet), and other species
commonly reach more than a metre in length. All have
bodies that are strongly triangular in cross-section.
Some are boldly coloured in bands of black and white
or yellow; others are dark-bodied with a brightly
coloured (often red) head and tail. Kraits lay eggs in
clutches of 2–14, depending on the species.
Common Rat Snake
Rat snakes are large, fast moving snakes which grow to
a length of 2 ½ metres or more. Their size and color
are similar to the cobras. Rat snakes are found
wherever rats and frogs/toads are prevalent. So, of
course, they are often found in rice fields and in
The rat snake is active during the day, hunting for
rodents, frogs,toads and birds along fields and in
bushes. Large rat snakes can give a painful bite and
are quick to defend themselves. We have heard them
growl throatily,when first caught. The color varies
from jet black in the hilss all the way to yellowish