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FAMILY 15.-LYCODONTIDÆ (11 Genera, 35 Species.)
The Lycodontidæ, or Fanged Ground Snakes, are confined to the Ethiopian and Oriental regions, over the whole of which they range, except that they are absent from Madagascar and extend eastward to New Guinea. The genera have often a limited distribution:
Lycodon ranges from India and Ceylon to China, the Philippines, and New Guinea; Tetragonosoma, the Malay Peninsula and Islands; Leptorhytaon and Ophites, India ; Cercaspis, Ceylon; and Cyclocorus, the Philippines. The African genera are Bowdon, Lycophidion, Holuropholis, Simocephalus, and Lamprophis, the latter being found only in South Africa. The species are nearly equally abundant in both regions, but no genus is common to the two.
FAMILY 16.--AMBLYCEPHALIDÆ. (5 Genera, 12 Species.
The Amblycephalidæ, or Blunt Heads, are very singularly distributed, being nearly equally divided between Tropical America and the eastern half of the Oriental region, as will be seen by the following statement of the distribution of the genera :
Amblycephalus (1 sp.), Malay Peninsula to Borneo and the Philippines ; Pareas (3 sp.), Assam, China, Java, and Borneo;
Asthenodipsas (1 sp.), Malacca ; Leptognathus (6 sp.), Central and South America; and Anoplodipsas (1 sp.), supposed to come from New Caledonia, and, if so, furnishing a link, though a very imperfect one, between the disconnected halves of the family.
FAMILY 17.-PYTHONIDÆ (21 Genera, 46 Species.)
The Pythonidæ, comprising the Rock Snakes, Pythons, and Boas, are confined to the tropics, with the exception of one species in California. They are very abundant in the Neotropical region, where nearly half the known species occur; the Australian region comes next, while the Oriental is the least prolific in these large serpents. The genera which have been described are very numerous, but they are by no means well defined. The following are the most important:
Python is confined to the Oriental region; Morelia, Liasis, and Nardoa are Australian and Papuan; Enygrus is found in the Moluccas, New Guinea and the Fiji Islands; Hortulia is African; Sanzinia is peculiar to Madagascar; Boa, Epicrates, Corallus, Ungalia, and Eunectes are Tropical American; Chilabothrus is peculiar to Jamaica and Mexico; and Lichanotus to California.
An extinct species belonging to this family has been found in the Brown-coal formation of Germany, of Miocene age.
FAMILY 18.-ERYCIDÆ. (3 Genera, 6 Species.)
The Erycidæ, or Land Snakes, form a small but natural family, chiefly found in the desert zone on the confines of the Palæarctic, Oriental, and Ethiopian regions. They range from South Europe to West Africa and to Sikhim. The three genera are distributed as follows:
Cursoria (1 sp.), Afghanistan ; Gongylophis (1 sp.), India and Sikhim; Eryx (4 sp.), has the range of the entire family.
FAMILY 19.-ACROCHORDIDÆ. (2 Genera, 3 Species)
The Acrochordidæ, or Wart Snakes, form a small and isolated group, found only in two sub-divisions of the Oriental regionthe South Indian and the Malayan, and in New Guinea.
Acrochordus, inhabits Penang, Singapore, and Borneo; Chersydrus, Southern India and the Malay Peninsula, with a species recently discovered in New Guinea.
FAMILY 20.-ELAPIDÆ. (23 Genera, 100 Species.)
The Elapidæ, or Terrestrial venomous Colubrine Snakes, are an extensive group, spread over the tropics of the whole world, but especially abundant in Australia, where half the known species occur, some of them being the most deadly of venomous serpents. In the Oriental region they are also abundant, containing amongst other forms, the well-known Cobras. The American species are almost equally numerous, but they all belong to one
genus, and they are annulated with rings of various colours in a manner quite distinct from any other members of this family. The genera, which are all very distinct, are distributed as follows :
Diemenia, Acanthophis, Hoplocephalus, Brachiurophis, Tropidechis, Pseudechis, Cacophis, Pseudonaje, Denisonia, and Vermicella, are Australian, the first two ranging to the Moluccas and New Guinea ; Ogmodon occurs in the Fiji Islands ; Naja, Bungarus, Ophiophagus, Pseudonaje, Xenurelaps, Doliophis, Megorophis, and Callophis are Oriental, one species of the latter genus being found in Japan, while an Ophiophagus has been discovered in New Guinea; Cyrtophis, Elapsoidea, and Poecilophis are African: Elaps is American, ranging as far north as South Carolina, but not to the West Indian Islands.
FAMILY 21.-DENDRASPIDIDÆ. (1 Genus, 5 Species.).
The single genus Dendraspis, constituting the family, is confined to Tropical Africa.
FAMILY 22.-ATRACTASPIDIDÆ (1 Genus, 4 Species.)
This small family, consisting of the genus Atractaspis, is also confined to Africa, but has hitherto only been found in the West and South
FAMILY 23.-HYDROPHIDÆ. (8 Genera, 50 Species.)
The Hydrophidæ, or Sea Snakes, are a group of small-sized marine serpents, abundant in the Indian and Australian seas, and extending as far west as Madagascar, and as far east as Panama. They are very poisonous, and it is probable that many species remain to be discovered. The genera are distributed as follows :
Hydrophis (37 sp.), ranging from India to Formosa and Australia; Platurus (2 sp.), from the Bay of Bengal to New Guinea and New Zealand; Aipysurus (3 sp.), Java to New Guinea and Australia; Disteira (1 sp.), unknown locality ; Acalyptus (1 sp.), South-west Pacific; Enhydrina (1 sp.), Bay of Bengal to New Guinea ; Pelamis (1 sp.), Madagascar to New Guinea, New Zealand, and Panama ; Emydocephalus (1 sp.), Australian Seas.
FAMILY 24.-CROTALIDÆ. (11 Genera, 40 Species.)
The Crotalidæ, or Pit Vipers, including the deadly Rattlesnakes, form a well-marked family of fanged serpents, whose distribution is very interesting. They abound most in the Oriental region, at least 5 of the genera and 20 species being found within its limits, yet they are quite unknown in the Ethiopian region -a parallel case to that of the Bears and Deer. A few species are peculiar to the eastern portion of the Palæarctic region, while