Natricinae

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Natricinae
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
Genera

28, 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.

Natricine snakes are found in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North 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 semi-aquatic and feed on fish and amphibians, although a few are semi-fossorial 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, even though they have only enlarged, ungrooved fangs in the back of the mouth.[1]

Classification[edit]

While often regarded as a subfamily of the Colubridae,[2][3] in some classifications, they are raised to the family level as Natricidae.[4]

They are recognised as a sister group of the Dipsadinae plus the Pseudoxenodontinae.[2]

Genera[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Weinstein, S. A.; Warrell, D. A.; White, J.; Keyler, D. E. (2011). Venomous bites from non-venomous snakes: A critical analysis of risk and management of “colubrid” snake bites. London: Elsevier. 
  2. ^ 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 from the original (PDF) on 3 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Natricinae". The Reptile Database, Zoological Museum Hamburg. 
  4. ^ 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.