Monday, September 3, 2012

Snakes of Nepal


Out of about 3000 species of Snakes found all over the world.There are only about 79 indentified Snakes in Nepal, and only 19 of them are venomous. The most common and the most Venoums are :
The common cobra, Naja Naja is a very venomous snake belonging to family Elapidae. The name is short for cobra capo or capa Snake, which is Portuguese for "snake with hood", or "hood-snake". When disturbed or stressed they rear up and spread their hoods. Naja naja was first described by Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus in 1758. The generic and specific epithet name naja is a Latinisation of the Sanskrit word naga meaning "cobra". The spectacled Cobra is one of the most common snakes of South Asia and results in death of many people every year. The venom of Cobra is most Virulent. It is a neurotoxin, attacks the nerve centers and causing paralysis of muscles, mostly of respiratory muscles. Snake do not usually go around biting humans, but when cornered and threatened they attack, the venom is transmitted through Fangs, which are specialized teeth attached to maxillary bones. They serve as hypodermic needles for injecting venom. The fangs, when broken or lost are replaced by new sets of fangs. In Cobra, the fangs are Proteroglyphous at the front of maxillae and permanently erect. Each fang is grooved all along its anterior face. The Cobra venom effect was described by Late Prof, K.N. Bahl by the word COBRA as, Spinal Cord (CO) and Brain (BRA) is affected. Coagulation of Blood (COB) is reduced (R) so that wound bleeds for hours and death occurs by asphyxia (A). ASVS, Anti Snake Venom Serum are very expensive. Therefore, since, 1999 the Nepalese government has made ASVS free to Nepalese Snakebite victim. Lyophilizes polyvalent ASVS (effective against the venom of CobraKrait Russells Viper) are used in Nepal to treat snake bite victims. 



The Russell's viper Daboia russelii 
Russell's Viper is widely distributed venomous species of Nepal. It is most common in Terai region and also found in hills upto 2000m. The body coloration is brown with keeled scales with white cross bars. There is a thermoreceptor of heat sensing pit between eyes and snout. This species of Viper is believed to cause more deaths in Terai region of Nepal than the Cobras because they are nocturnal and very hard to avoid. 

The common krait Bungarus caeruleus

It is one of the most familiar Krait found in Nepal.  It is a nocturnal species and is found living under cracked walls and heaps of stones. It is also known as "Blue Krait" due to its dark blue color on upper aspect of the body. It does not exceed over 2 m in length. It is generally found near termite mounds, rat holes and among piles of bricks or rubbish. It may be found in agricultural areas as well. It is found up to the altitude of 1400 m. The snake is extremely Venomous. 



The king Cobra Ophiophagus hannah (Rare and Venomous)

The King Cobra as the name suggest is on the top of food chain in snake world. The name Ophiophagus literally means Snake Eater (Ophio -Snake Phagus - To eat) . King Cobra is the largest venomous snake on Earth! It can reach the length of 18 feet and can erect 1/3 part of its body in mid air, that basically means the Snake can look in the eyes of full grown man and emit a scary bone chilling hiss like that of a growling dog. Though King Cobra venom are not considered as one of the most  venomous but the amount released from the King Cobra are twice the amount released from other snakes!  

So, Basically these are all the snakes that you must ignore (but not kill) just do not disturb them! And, regarding others, they are most rear fanged snakes and not venomous! You should not be worried about dying from Snake bites if its not one of them, and few others that I will write about later!

Now lets move on to the Common but non Venomous snakes of Nepal. Well the most common Snake of all has to be the Common Rat snake ( Ptyas Mucosus ) commonly locally known as Dhaman in Nepal. Generally it is found in low hills and mostly near human habitation. It has a thin head, which is distinct from the neck, large eyes long and slender tail. The rat snake is very active during the day time. They consume rats and small snakes. The rat snake to emits a sound similar to that of growling dog. 



Another well known non venomous species of Nepal is the Asiatic Rock Python  Python m. molurus. Commonly known as Ajingar in Nepal. Mostly carried around by Jogi's. But it is one of the Endangered species of Nepal and its trade is Illegal! 



The list of species of Snakes of Nepal are as follows! 

Sub Order                              Family                                Scientific Names 
SERPENTESTYPHLOPIDAE51.Ramphotyphlops braminus
52.Typhlops diardii diardii
53.Typhlops porrectus
BOIDAE54.Eryx conica conica
55.Eryx johnii johnii
56.Python molurus molurus
57.Python molurus bivittatus
COLUBRIDAE58.Ahaetulla nasutus
59.Amphiesma parallela
60.Amphiesma platyceps
61.Amphiesma stolata
62.Argyrogena fasciolatus
63.Atretium schistosum
64.Boiga cyanea
65.Boiga forsteni
66.Boiga multifasciata
67.Boiga nuchalis
68.Boiga ochracea ochracea
69.Boiga ochracea stoliczkae
70.Boiga trigonatus
71.Chrysopelea ornata ornata
72.Trachischium leave
73.Dendrelaphis tristis
74.Elachistodon westermanni
75.Elaphe cantoris
76.Elaphe helena helena
77.Elaphe hodgsonii
78.Elaphe porphyracea porphyracea
79.Elaphe radiata
80.Enhydris enhydris
81.Enhydris sieboldii
82.Homalopsis buccata
83.Liopeltis rappii
84.Lycodon aulicus
85.Lycodon jara
86.Oligodon albocinctus
87.Oligodon arnensis
88.Oligodon erythrogaster
89.Psammodynastes pulverulentus
90.P. condanarus condanarus
91.Pseudoxenodon macrops macrops
92.Ptya mucosus mucosus
93.Ptya nigromarginatus
94.Rhabdophis himalayanus
95.Rhabdophis subminiatus
96.Sibynophis collaris
97.Sibynophis sagittaria
98.Spalerophis diadema atriceps
99. Trachischium fuscum
100.Tracchischium guentheri
101.Tracchischium monticolum
102.Tracchischium tenuiceps
103.Xenochrophis cerasogaster
104.X. flaavipunctatus schnurenbergerii
105.Xenochrophis piscator
106.Xenochrophis sanctijohannis
ELAPIDAE107. Bungarus bungaroides
108. Bungarus caeruleus
109. Bungarus fasciatus
110. Bungarus lividus
111. Bungarus niger
112. Hemibungarus macclellandi univirgatus
113. Naja kaouthia
114. Naja naja
115. Ophiophagus hanah
VIPERIDAE116. Agkistrodon himalayanus
117. Daboia russelii russelii
118. Ovophis monticola monticola
119. Protobothrops jerdonii jerdonii
120. Trimeresurus albolabris
121. Trimeresurus erythrurus
122. Trimeresurus gramineus
123. Trimeresurus karanshahi
124. Trimeresurus septentrionalis
125. Trimeresurus stejnegeri stejnegeri
126. Trimeresurus stejnegeri yunnanensis






127. Trimeresurus tibetanus




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