Family: Elapidae (mambas, cobras & relatives)

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The Elapidae family consists of 61 genera and 235 species, of these southern Africa has 7 genera and 19 species. They can be identified by their smooth scales, long slender bodies, their active hunting strategy, fixed fangs and most species Oviparous reproduction.

Genera native to southern Africa

Homoroselaps (harlequin snakes)

Consists of 2 species.


Aspidelaps (coral and shield-nose snakes)

Consists of 5 species.

Elapsoidea (garter snakes)

Consists of 9 species.

Elapsoidea boulengeri (Zambezi garter snake)

Naja (cobras)

Consists of 8 species.

Hemachatus (Rinkhals)

One species: Hemachatus haemachatus  (Rinkhals, Ring- necked spitting cobra), which is a cobra-like species that is able to spit its venom.

Dendroaspis (mambas)

Consists of 2 species.

Pelamis (Yellow-bellied Sea snake)

One marine species:  Pelamis platura (Pelagic sea snake or Yellow-bellied sea snake).


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