Farmers (rice)



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Farmers (rice)

  • Farmers (rice)

  • Plantation workers (rubber, coffee)

  • Herdsmen

  • Hunters

  • Snake handlers (snake charmers and in snake restaurants and traditional Chinese pharmacies)

  • Fishermen and fish farmers

  • Sea snake catchers (for sea snake skins, leather)



Many snake bites and even deaths from snakebite are not recorded.

  • Many snake bites and even deaths from snakebite are not recorded.

  • One reason is that many snake bite victims are treated not in hospitals but by traditional healers.

  • India - No reliable national statistics are available.

  • In 1981, a thousand deaths were reported in Maharashtra State. In the Burdwan district of West Bengal 29,489 people were bitten in one year with 1,301 deaths.

  • It is estimated that between 35,000 and 50,000 people die of snake bite each year among India’s population of 980 million.



In the US: Snakebites frequently go unreported. The national average is approximately 4 bites per 100,000 persons.

  • In the US: Snakebites frequently go unreported. The national average is approximately 4 bites per 100,000 persons.

  • Internationally: No accurate international data exist. Most snakebites and deaths due to snakebites are not reported.



Worldwide, only about 15% of the more than 3000 species of snakes are considered dangerous to humans.

  • Worldwide, only about 15% of the more than 3000 species of snakes are considered dangerous to humans.

  • The family Viperidae is the largest family of venomous snakes, and members of this family can be found in Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

  • The family Elapidae is the next largest family of venomous snakes.



There are two important groups (families) of venomous snakes in South East Asia

  • There are two important groups (families) of venomous snakes in South East Asia

  • Elapidae have short permanently erect fangs This family includes the cobras, king cobra, kraits, coral snakes and the sea snakes.

  • The most important species, from a medical point of view include the following:

  • Cobras: genus Naja

  • N naja(spectaled cobra –all over in India )

  • N kaouthia (monocled – West Bengal ,MP ,U.P, Orissa)

  • N oxiana [Black cobra – northern states - patternless]

  • N philippinensis

  • N atra

  • King cobra: Ophiophagus hannah







KRAITS (genus Bungarus)

  • KRAITS (genus Bungarus)

  • B caeruleus common krait [all over India ]

  • - paired white bands & large hexagonal scales in top of the snakes

  • B fasciatus banded krait [black & yellow band –W.B,M.P,A.P,BIHAR ,ORRISSA]

  • B candidus Malayan krait

  • B multicinctus Chinese krait

  • Sea snakes (important genera include Enhydrina, Lapemis and Hydrophis)

  • Blue spotted sea snake (Hydrophis cyanocinctus)





Have long fangs which are normally folded up against the upper jaw but, when the snake strikes, are erected .

  • Have long fangs which are normally folded up against the upper jaw but, when the snake strikes, are erected .

  • There are two subgroups, the typical vipers (Viperinae) and the pit vipers (Crotalinae).

  • The Crotalinae have a special sense organ, the pit organ, to detect their warm-blooded prey. This is situated between the nostril and the eye







Medically important species in South East Asia

  • Medically important species in South East Asia

  • Russell’s vipers -Daboia russelii - [Black edged chain like marking on body &white triangular marking on the head – throughout India]

  • Saw-scaled or carpet vipers - Echis carinatus and E sochureki

  • [most parts of India except Kerala – Arrow shaped mark in head & hoop like markings in flanks ]

  • Pit vipers

  • calloselasma rhodostoma malayan pit viper

  • Hypnale hypnale hump-nosed viper

  • Green pit vipers or bamboo vipers (genus trimeresurus)

  • T albolabris white-lipped green pit viper

  • T gramineus indian bamboo viper

  • T mucrosquamatus chinese habu

  • T purpureomaculatus mangrove pit viper

  • T stejnegeri chinese bamboo viper





Some harmless snakes have evolved to look almost identical to venomous ones.

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