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Natrix tessellata Rheinland-Pfalz 02.jpg
Dice snake, Natrix tessellata
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Natricinae
Bonaparte, 1838

Many, see text

The Natricinae are a subfamily of the Colubridae family of snakes, which comprises 28 genera. Members include many very common snake species, such as the European grass snakes, and the North American water snakes and garter snakes. Some members of the subfamily are known as keelbacks, because their dorsal scales exhibit strong keeling.


While often regarded as a subfamily of the Colubridae,[1] in some classifications, they are raised to the family level as Natricidae.[2][3]

They are recognised as a sister group of the Dipsadinae plus the Pseudoxenodontinae.[1]


In addition, the following genera are often placed here, but may belong elsewhere:


  1. ^ a b Pyron, R. Alexander; et al. (2011). "The phylogeny of advanced snakes (Colubroidea), with discovery of a new subfamily and comparison of support methods for likelihood trees" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 58.2: 329–342. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Natricidae". The Reptile Database, Zoological Museum Hamburg. 
  3. ^ Dowling, Herndon G. & Jenner, Janann V. (1988). Snakes of Burma: Checklist of reported species and bibliography. Smithsonian Herpetological Information Service #76. Washington, D.C.: Division of Amphibians and Reptiles, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. OCLC 23345387.