(part 1: terrestrial species)
Cobras, Mambas, etc.
321 species of which 186 (57.9%) are endemic -
46 genera of which 22 (47.8%) are endemic.
In addition to the terrestrial species, the family Elapidae now includes the sea snakes, formerly considered as one or two separate family, Hydrophiidae and (or including) Laticaudidae. Current knowledge support the inclusion of all these snakes in one family, Elapidae, separating them only on the subfamily level (e.g., Goin, Goin & Zug 1978; Slowinski, Knight & Rooney 1997; Pyron, Burbrink & Wiens 2013; Wallach, Williams & Boundy 2014). Nevertheless, the sea snakes are clearly distinguishable from the terrestrial species, even to layman, in their morphological adaptation of the oar-shaped tail to their almost strictly marine life style and habitat. For this reason, the terrestrial and marine species are treated separately herein, although recognized as part of the same family.
Of historical interest, Smith, Smith & Sawin (1977), based on unpublished material from Samuel McDowell, completely rearranged the taxonomy of Elapidae and Hydrophiidae, retaining both families, but resulting in an arrangement which included terrestrial as well as marine genera in both families. For suggested classifications placing genera outside the family Elapidae, see under each genus.
North America, Central America, South America, Africa, Middle East, S. Asia, Malay Archipelago, Australia, W. Pacific Ocean.
Central African Republic,
Papua New Guinea,
Sao Tome & Principe,
Trinidad & Tobago,