Figure 1-1. Gila monster and a beaded lizard.
Figure 1-2. A beaded lizard's tooth and the venom apparatus of the Gila monster.
b. Family Colubridae. Of the over 1000 species of snakes in the Colubridae
family, there are some 200 venomous species. The boomslang (Dispholidus typhus) of
South Africa and the bird snake (Thelotornis kirtlandii) are found in this group. They are
found in mostly tropical and subtropical areas and have grooved fangs on the posterian
maxillae (rear fangs). Although little is known concerning the venoms, some are
powerfully hemorrhagic. This venom has been implicated in fatal envenomations.
c. Family Elapidae. The snakes of this family are referred to as the elapids and
include over 150 species of coral, (Figure 1-3) and venomous snakes of Australia. The
coral snakes have bright rings of red, white or yellow, and black across their bodies to
make them the most beautifully colored of the venomous snakes. Corals are relatively
small snakes and their secretive and burrowing habits keep contact with humans rather
rare and bites even rarer. The eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius), the Texas coral
snake (M. Tenere), and the Arizona or Sonoran coral snake (Micruroides euryxanthus)
are found in the United States. They are fixed fangs on the anterior ends of the
maxillae and the venom is predominately neurotoxic and potent.