Thursday, July 26, 2012

Big Four Snakes of Asia

The Big Four snakes of Asia are the snakes which inflict the most snake bites in Asia, especially in the southern parts.  The Big Four includes:

  • The saw-scaled viper
  • The russell's viper
  • The Indian cobra
  • The common krait
                                                     1. The saw scaled viper

The saw scaled viper (Echis carinatus) is considered to be one of the most aggressive snake in the world.  They are from the family of vipers (Viperidae).  These snakes are quite small.  Their length ranges from 30 cm (11 inches) to 65 cm (25 inches).  Saw scaled vipers are found in the Indian subcontinent (Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh), Middle-East Asia and Central Asia.

                                                       2.  The russell's viper

The russell's viper (Daboia russelii) is a species of viper.  It causes the most deaths by any snake in Asia.  The word 'Daboia' means hidden or a lurker in Hindi.  A russell viper ambushes its prey.  Its skin allows it to camouflage with the background.  These snakes produce neurotoxin which affects the nervous system, causing paralysis.  Russell's vipers are found in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, China, Cambodia and parts of Indonesia.

                                                         3. The Indian cobra

The Indian cobra (Naja naja) is a species of cobra and belongs to the Elapidae family. The Indian cobra is also known as the spectacled cobra. It got its name from the shape on its hood. The hood has two oceli that is connected by a curved line. This shape looks like spectacles. The Indian cobra is mainly found in the Indian subcontinent. These snakes rarely exceed the lengths of 8 or 8.5 feet. An average spectacled cobra is 6 feet long.

                                                        4. The common krait

The common krait (Bungarus caeruleus) is an elapid found in the Indian subcontinent. It is also known as the Indian krait or the blue krait. It has a body that is blue, black or brown. They ahve white bands on their body. Common kraits are considered to be 15 times more venomous than cobras. They are one of the most deadliest snakes in the world.

Source of pic 1, pic 2, pic 3 and pic 4

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