Terrestrial Snakes of Pakistan
Special Note: The information on this page was taken from the
field guide, A Guide to The Snakes of Pakistan, Edition
Chimaira Frankfurt am Main 2002, by Dr.
Muhammad Sharif Khan. I am extremely grateful to both the author
Dr. Muhammad Sharif Khan and the publisher Andreas S. Brahm for allowing
me to use the information from this book, under special permission. As
such, all information on this page is the copyright property of Dr.
Muhammad Sharif Khan and Andreas S. Brahm and should not be used without
the written permission of the copyright holders.
of deadliest venomous
snakes containing cobras, kraits, mambas and coral. They are
morphologically colubrids, except that they possess a pair of short
immovable, hollow fangs, longer than rest of the teeth, connected with poison
through a duct opening at the tip of the fang. Moreover,
characteristically, the loreal scale is absent from head scales. Elapids are
represented in Pakistan by two genera of 4-5 species.
Bungarine snakes, the
"kraits", are medium-sized, thin snakes, with small dark eyes
which are hardly visible in life. Smooth scales, black to dark brown
dorsum with a steelish luster, paired narrow white bands extend across
dorsum at regular intervals.
Kraits are shy, in
danger prefer to lie low, when provoked body rolls into a ball, and
hisses. The head is kept under coils, while the tail is kept high and is
waved to and fro, to distract attention of enemy. The
"balling" snake suddenly strikes when molested (khan and
is represented in Pakistan by three species:
Snakes of this genus
can expand ribs of anterior half of their body so to stretch the skin of
this region into a "hood", and are capable of raising it
vertically up above These snakes are usually known as "nags",
are long, thick, heavy bodied, often exceeding 1500 mm in total length.
They are deadly poisonous and most-feared of the subcontinent.
Genus Naja is
represented in Pakistan by two species:
This family is
represented in Pakistan by five genera and seven species and subspecies.
Snout pointed, a deep
loreal pit between eye and nostril; head-top relatively flat with large
shields, usually small azygos scales split off from the main head
scales; nostril centered between two nasal scales; postocular and
subocular are fused to form a large scale; which does not line the
Pit vipers are
represented by a single species in Pakistan, belonging to the genus Gloydius:
A Guide to The Snakes of Pakistan, Muhammad Sharif Khan,
Edition Chimaira Frankfurt am Main 2002 (www.chimaira.de)
Snakes of the Middle East (Identification Guide), Defence
Intelligence Document, U.S Defence Intelligence Agency
Muhammad Sharif Khan, Herpetological Lab Rabwah, Pakistan
Museum of Natural History
Wildlife of Pakistan-All Rights