Front-fanged Snakes

154 species

Elapids are venomous snakes characterized by their permanently erect fangs at the front of the mouth. Many members of this family are also recognized for their threat display of rearing upwards while spreading the neck-flap. Elapids are endemic to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, with terrestrial forms in Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Americas and marine forms in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Most species have neurotoxins in their venom which is channeled by their hollow fangs, while some may contain other toxic components in various proportions. Many species are more or less specialized in either humid or arid environments. Some species have very generalized diets, but many have narrow prey preferences and correlated morphological specializations, for example feeding almost exclusively on other serpents (especially the king cobra and kraits). Elapids may display a series of warning signs if provoked, either obviously or subtly. Cobras and mambas lift their inferior body parts, expand hoods, and hiss if threatened; kraits often curl up before hiding their heads down their bodies.
Elapids are venomous snakes characterized by their permanently erect fangs at the front of the mouth. Many members of this family are also recognized for their threat display of rearing upwards while spreading the neck-flap. Elapids are endemic to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, with terrestrial forms in Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Americas and marine forms in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Most species have neurotoxins in their venom which is channeled by their hollow fangs, while some may contain other toxic components in various proportions. Many species are more or less specialized in either humid or arid environments. Some species have very generalized diets, but many have narrow prey preferences and correlated morphological specializations, for example feeding almost exclusively on other serpents (especially the king cobra and kraits). Elapids may display a series of warning signs if provoked, either obviously or subtly. Cobras and mambas lift their inferior body parts, expand hoods, and hiss if threatened; kraits often curl up before hiding their heads down their bodies.