From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dice snake, Natrix tessellata
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Natricinae
Bonaparte, 1838

36, see text

The Natricinae are a subfamily of colubroid snakes, sometimes referred to as a family (Natricidae).[1] The subfamily comprises 36 genera. Members include many very common snake species, such as the European grass snakes, and the North American water snakes and garter snakes. Some Old World members of the subfamily are known as keelbacks, because their dorsal scales exhibit strong keeling.

Natricine snakes are found in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and Central America as far south as Costa Rica. A single species, Tropidonophis mairii, reaches Australia. Although the highest diversity is in North America, the oldest members are in Asia and Africa, suggesting an Old World origin for the group. Most species are semiaquatic and feed on fish and amphibians, although a few are semifossorial or leaf-litter snakes that feed on invertebrates. Most species are harmless to humans, but a few (e.g., Thamnophis sirtalis, Thamnophis elegans) are capable of inflicting bites that can result in local, non-life-threatening symptoms, and at least two members of the genus Rhabdophis (R. tigrinus and R. subminiatus) are capable of inflicting life-threatening bites to humans, though they have only enlarged, ungrooved fangs in the back of the mouth.[2]


They are recognised as a sister group of the Dipsadinae plus the Pseudoxenodontinae.[3]



  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Weinstein, Scott A.; Warrell, David A.; White, Julian; Keyler, Daniel E. (2011). Venomous Bites from Non-Venomous Snakes: A Critical Analysis of Risk and Management of "Colubrid" Snake Bites. London: Elsevier. 364 pp. ISBN 978-0123877321.
  3. ^ 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. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2010.11.006. PMID 21074626. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Blythia reticulata | The Reptile Database".

Further reading[edit]