Evolution and Systematics
Some snakes move by passing one or two curves down their bodies (concertina movement) using scales to apply pressure points.
"Snakes can also engage in what's called 'concertina' movement, in which one or two curves pass down the length of an otherwise straight animal. This works well for an animal confined within a channel just a bit larger than itself (such as a rodent's burrow). At least one snake, Bitis caudalis, the South African desert viper, can jump, getting entirely airborne and moving a distance almost equal to its length (Gans 1974)." (Vogel 2003:489)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
- Steven Vogel. 2003. Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 580 p.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
Specimens with Sequences:1831
Specimens with Barcodes:1446
Species With Barcodes:420
The Colubridae (from Latin coluber, snake) are a family of snakes. With 304 genera and 1,938 species, Colubridae is the largest snake family, and includes about two-thirds of all current snake species. The earliest species of the family date back to the Oligocene epoch. Colubrid species are found on every continent except Antarctica.
While most colubrids are nonvenomous (or have venom that is not known to be harmful to humans) and are mostly harmless, a few groups, such as genus Boiga, can produce medically significant bites, while the boomslang, the twig snakes and the Asian genus Rhabdophis have caused human fatalities.
Some of the colubrids are described as opisthoglyphous, meaning they have elongated, grooved teeth located in the back of the upper jaw. The opisthoglyphous dentition appears at least twice in the history of snakes. These are unlike those of vipers and elapids, which are located in the front.
The Colubridae are not a natural group, as many are more closely related to other groups, such as elapids, than to each other. This family has classically been a garbage bin taxon for snakes that do not fit elsewhere. It is hoped that ongoing research will sort out the relations within this group.
Subfamily Boodontinae (sometimes moved to family Lamprophiidae as subfamily Lamprophiinae)
- Buhoma (tentatively placed here)
- Duberria (tentatively placed here)
- Montaspis (tentatively placed here)
Subfamily Colubrinae - nearly 100 genera
- Calamodontophis (tentatively placed here)
- Carphophis (tentatively placed here)
- Contia (tentatively placed here)
- Crisantophis (tentatively placed here)
- Diadophis (tentatively placed here)
- Diaphorolepsis (tentatively placed here)
- Echinanthera (tentatively placed here)
- Emmochliophis (tentatively placed here)
- Enuliophis (tentatively placed here)
- Enulius (tentatively placed here)
- Gomesophis (tentatively placed here)
- Hydromorphus (tentatively placed here)
- Nothopsis (tentatively placed here)
- Pseudotomodon (tentatively placed here)
- Ptychophis (tentatively placed here)
- Rhadinophanes (tentatively placed here)
- Synophis (tentatively placed here)
- Tachymenis (tentatively placed here)
- Taeniophallus (tentatively placed here)
- Tantalophis (tentatively placed here)
- Thamnodynastes (tentatively placed here)
- Tomodon (tentatively placed here)
- Xenopholis (tentatively placed here)
Subfamily Homalopsinae - about 10 genera
Subfamily Natricinae - about 30 genera
Subfamily Pareatinae - three genera
Subfamily Pseudoxyrhophiinae - about 20 genera
Subfamily Xenodontinae - some 55-60 genera
- Omoadiphas (recently discovered)
- Bauer, Aaron M. (1998). Cogger, H.G. & Zweifel, R.G., ed. Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 188–195. ISBN 0-12-178560-2.
- Bruna Azara, C. 1995. Animales venenosos. Vertebrados terrestres venenosos peligrosos para el ser humano en España. Bol. SEA, 11: 32-40
- Lawson, R; Slowinski, J.B.; Crother, B.I.; Burbrink, F.T. (2005). "Phylogeny of the Colubroidea (Serpentes): New evidence from mitochondrial and nuclear genes". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37: 581–601. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.07.016. PMID 16172004.
- Fry, B.G.; Vidal, N.; van der Weerd, L.; Kochva, E.; Renjifo, C. (2009). "Evolution and diversification of the Toxicofera reptile venom system". Journal of Proteomics 72: 127–136. doi:10.1016/j.jprot.2009.01.009.
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