SUBFAMILY Boiginae - Back-fanged Snakes
Sand Snakes and co.
This is a big and medically important sub-family with over 73 genera and some 330 species in total. The larger number, are found in Africa and tropical America and are usually quite aggressive snakes once in the hand. All of them possess grooved rear fangs on the top jaw and have varying degrees of toxicity.
The Boomslang Dispholidus typus and the Twig Snakes Thelotornis sp. are both deadly and although bites are rare and usually on careless handlers they are both responsible for several human fatalities. Blanding’s Tree Snake Boiga blandingii is thought to also have a deadly venom so should be handled with extreme caution.
11 genera are found in our part of East Africa and include the common Sand Snakes Psammophis sp. and the Beaked Snakes Rhamphiophis sp.