colubridae

Summary

Summary: The largest family of snakes comprising five subfamilies: Colubrinae, Natricinae, Homalopsinae, Lycodontinae, and Xenodontinae. They show a great diversity of eating habits, from eating almost anything to having a specialized diet. They can be oviparous, ovoviviparous, or viviparous. The majority of North American snakes are colubrines. Among the colubrids are king snakes, water snakes, and garter snakes. Some genera are poisonous. (Goin, Goin, and Zug, Introduction to Herpetology, 3d ed, pp321-29)

Top Publications

  1. Pommier P, De Haro L. Envenomation by Montpellier snake (Malpolon monspessulanus) with cranial nerve disturbances. Toxicon. 2007;50:868-9 pubmed
    ..The clinical picture was dominated by neurological symptoms (ptosis, oculomotor paralysis). The patient recovered in 6 days with symptomatic treatment...
  2. Heyborne W, Mackessy S. Identification and characterization of a taxon-specific three-finger toxin from the venom of the Green Vinesnake (Oxybelis fulgidus; family Colubridae). Biochimie. 2013;95:1923-32 pubmed publisher
  3. Carranza S, Arnold E, Wade E, Fahd S. Phylogeography of the false smooth snakes, Macroprotodon (Serpentes, Colubridae): mitochondrial DNA sequences show European populations arrived recently from Northwest Africa. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2004;33:523-32 pubmed
    ..Isolated populations assigned to M. cucullatus in the Hoggar mountains (southern Algeria) and Western Sahara are probably relicts from quite recent periods of climatic amelioration in the North African desert...
  4. Sparkman A, Vleck C, Bronikowski A. Evolutionary ecology of endocrine-mediated life-history variation in the garter snake Thamnophis elegans. Ecology. 2009;90:720-8 pubmed
    ..These findings are discussed in the context of theoretical expectations for a tradeoff between reproduction and lifespan that is mediated by pleiotropic endocrine mechanisms...
  5. Santoro M, Aznar F, Mattiucci S, Kinsella J, Pellegrino F, Cipriani P, et al. Parasite assemblages in the Western whip snake Hierophis viridiflavus carbonarius (Colubridae) from southern Italy. J Helminthol. 2013;87:277-85 pubmed publisher
    ..Eleven taxa, including three potential agents of zoonosis, were added to the poorly known parasite fauna of this host. ..
  6. Rodríguez Robles J, De Jesús Escobar J. Molecular systematics of new world gopher, bull, and pinesnakes (Pituophis: Colubridae), a transcontinental species complex. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2000;14:35-50 pubmed
    ..catenifer, and P. ruthveni, and that their recognition better represents the evolutionary diversity within this species complex...
  7. Bronikowski A. Experimental evidence for the adaptive evolution of growth rate in the garter snake Thamnophis elegans. Evolution. 2000;54:1760-7 pubmed
    ..These results are considered in the context of population colonization history, migration and selection, and competing models for growth rate variation...
  8. Westphal M, Morgan T. Quantitative genetics of pigmentation development in 2 populations of the common garter snake, Thamnophis sirtalis. J Hered. 2010;101:573-80 pubmed publisher
    ..We suggest that developmental timing may be a potential explanatory mechanism for the difference between the populations...
  9. Geffeney S, Ruben P, Brodie E. Mechanisms of adaptation in a predator-prey arms race: TTX-resistant sodium channels. Science. 2002;297:1336-9 pubmed

More Information

Publications62

  1. Janzen F, Krenz J, Haselkorn T, Brodie E. Molecular phylogeography of common garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) in western North America: implications for regional historical forces. Mol Ecol. 2002;11:1739-51 pubmed
    ..Consequently, we consider all morphologically based subspecies designations of T. sirtalis in this region invalid because they do not reflect reciprocal monophyly of the mtDNA sequences...
  2. Brodie E, Ridenhour B, Brodie E. The evolutionary response of predators to dangerous prey: hotspots and coldspots in the geographic mosaic of coevolution between garter snakes and newts. Evolution. 2002;56:2067-82 pubmed
    ..Much work remains to fill in the geographic pattern of variation among prey populations and, just as importantly, to explore the variation in the ecology of the interaction that occurs within populations...
  3. Dubey S, Brown G, Madsen T, Shine R. Male-biased dispersal in a tropical Australian snake (Stegonotus cucullatus, Colubridae). Mol Ecol. 2008;17:3506-14 pubmed
    ..with genetic information (based on nine microsatellite markers) on slatey-grey snakes (Stegonotus cucullatus, Colubridae) in the Australian wet-dry tropics...
  4. Manier M, Seyler C, Arnold S. Adaptive divergence within and between ecotypes of the terrestrial garter snake, Thamnophis elegans, assessed with F(ST)-Q(ST) comparisons. J Evol Biol. 2007;20:1705-19 pubmed
    ..Our findings are discussed in the context of previous correlational selection analyses which revealed stabilizing and correlational selection for some of the traits examined...
  5. Hoso M, Asami T, Hori M. Right-handed snakes: convergent evolution of asymmetry for functional specialization. Biol Lett. 2007;3:169-72 pubmed
    ..Our results demonstrate that symmetry break in dentition is a key innovation that has opened a unique ecological niche for snake predators...
  6. Chao L, Hsieh C, Shih C. First report of Amblyomma helvolum (Acari: Ixodidae) from the Taiwan stink snake, Elaphe carinata (Reptilia: Colubridae), collected in southern Taiwan. Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2013;4:246-50 pubmed publisher
    ..The increased international trade in wild reptiles may contribute to accidental transportation of ticks into Taiwan. The host range and vector capacity of A. helvolum for various tick-borne pathogens need to be further clarified...
  7. Huang S, Liu S, Guo P, Zhang Y, Zhao E. What are the closest relatives of the hot-spring snakes (Colubridae, Thermophis), the relict species endemic to the Tibetan Plateau?. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2009;51:438-46 pubmed publisher
    ..The divergence of the two species in Thermophis was caused by the barrier of the Hengduan Mountains, and the speciation had almost occurred when Tibetan Plateau attained present elevation...
  8. Robert K, Vleck C, Bronikowski A. The effects of maternal corticosterone levels on offspring behavior in fast- and slow-growth garter snakes (Thamnophis elegans). Horm Behav. 2009;55:24-32 pubmed publisher
    ..Offspring from corticosterone-treated fast-growth females exhibited less anti-predator reversal behavior; offspring from corticosterone-treated slow-growth females exhibited less anti-predator tail lashing behavior...
  9. Burbrink F, Fontanella F, Alexander Pyron R, Guiher T, Jimenez C. Phylogeography across a continent: the evolutionary and demographic history of the North American racer (Serpentes: Colubridae: Coluber constrictor). Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2008;47:274-88 pubmed
    ..Population expansion for lineages found east of the Mississippi River occurred earlier and was much greater than those found west of the River...
  10. Rodríguez Robles J, DeNardo D, Staub R. Phylogeography of the California mountain kingsnake, Lampropeltis zonata (Colubridae). Mol Ecol. 1999;8:1923-34 pubmed
    ..zonata are so variable that they cannot be reliably used to differentiate taxonomic units within this complex, which calls into question the recognition of seven geographical races of this snake...
  11. Almeida W, Brito S, Ferreira F, Christoffersen M. First record of Cephalobaena tetrapoda (Pentastomida: Cephalobaenidae) as a parasite on Liophis lineatus (Ophidia: Colubridae) in Northeast Brazil. Braz J Biol. 2006;66:559-64 pubmed
    ..This represents the first record of C. tetrapoda as a parasite of a snake in Northeast Brazil, as well as the first record of a colubrid, L. lineatus, as a new host for the pentastomid in Brazil...
  12. Ching A, Rocha M, Paes Leme A, Pimenta D, de Fátima D Furtado M, Serrano S, et al. Some aspects of the venom proteome of the Colubridae snake Philodryas olfersii revealed from a Duvernoy's (venom) gland transcriptome. FEBS Lett. 2006;580:4417-22 pubmed
    We investigated the putative toxins of Philodryas olfersii (Colubridae), a representative of a family of snakes neglected in venom studies despite their growing medical importance...
  13. Geffeney S, Fujimoto E, Brodie E, Ruben P. Evolutionary diversification of TTX-resistant sodium channels in a predator-prey interaction. Nature. 2005;434:759-63 pubmed
    ..These results indicate that the evolution of a physiological trait has occurred through a series of unique functional changes in a gene that is otherwise highly conserved among vertebrates...
  14. de Oliveira L, Jared C, da Costa Prudente A, Zaher H, Antoniazzi M. Oral glands in dipsadine "goo-eater" snakes: morphology and histochemistry of the infralabial glands in Atractus reticulatus, Dipsas indica, and Sibynomorphus mikanii. Toxicon. 2008;51:898-913 pubmed publisher
    ..The protein content in the secretory cells can be related with the presence of toxins that can be used in chemical prey immobilization or detaching of snails from their shells...
  15. de Oliveira L, da Costa Prudente A, Zaher H. Unusual labial glands in snakes of the genus Geophis Wagler, 1830 (Serpentes: Dipsadinae). J Morphol. 2014;275:87-99 pubmed publisher
  16. Chen X, Huang S, Guo P, Colli G, Nieto Montes de Oca A, Vitt L, et al. Understanding the formation of ancient intertropical disjunct distributions using Asian and Neotropical hinged-teeth snakes (Sibynophis and Scaphiodontophis: Serpentes: Colubridae). Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2013;66:254-61 pubmed publisher
    ..disjunct and morphologically unique genera of hinged-teeth snakes, Scaphiodontophis (n=1) and Sibynophis (n=9; Colubridae), we inferred a time-calibrated phylogeny with additional 107 taxa representing the superfamily Colubroidea ..
  17. Williams B, Brodie E. A resistant predator and its toxic prey: persistence of newt toxin leads to poisonous (not venomous) snakes. J Chem Ecol. 2004;30:1901-19 pubmed
    ..Three weeks after eating one newt, snakes contained an average of 42 microg of TTX in the liver. This amount could severely incapacitate or kill avian predators, and mammalian predators may be negatively affected as well...
  18. Nieto N, Foley J, Bettaso J, Lane R. Reptile infection with Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the causative agent of granulocytic anaplasmosis. J Parasitol. 2009;95:1165-70 pubmed publisher
    ..Our findings suggest that lizards and snakes are exposed to A. phagocytophilum by infected ticks, but that they do not serve as primary reservoir hosts of this rickettsia...
  19. Nagy Z, Joger U, Wink M, Glaw F, Vences M. Multiple colonization of Madagascar and Socotra by colubrid snakes: evidence from nuclear and mitochondrial gene phylogenies. Proc Biol Sci. 2003;270:2613-21 pubmed
    ..The relationship of this radiation to the Socotran Ditypophis highlights the potential of the Indian Ocean islands to act as an evolutionary reservoir for lineages that have become extinct in Africa and Asia...
  20. Pappas T, Motamedi M, Christensen B. Unique temperature-activated neurons from pit viper thermosensors. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2004;287:C1219-28 pubmed
    ..Our findings indicate that a novel temperature-sensitive conductance with unique ion permeability and low-temperature threshold is expressed in TG neurons and may be involved in highly sensitive heat detection in snakes...
  21. Cho S, Kim T, Kong Y, Na B, Sohn W. Larval Gnathostoma hispidum detected in the red banded odd-tooth snake, Dinodon rufozonatum rufozonatum, from China. Korean J Parasitol. 2007;45:191-8 pubmed
    ..On the basis of these morphological characteristics, the larvae were identified as the third stage larvae of Gnathostoma hispidum...
  22. Fregoso S, Stewart J, Ecay T. Expression of calcium transport proteins in the extraembryonic membranes of a viviparous snake, Virginia striatula. J Exp Zool B Mol Dev Evol. 2012;318:250-6 pubmed publisher
    ..In addition, the developmental pattern of calbindin-D(28K) expression in V. striatula is similar to that of an oviparous snake, which suggests that calcium transport mechanisms and their regulation are independent of reproductive mode...
  23. Shine R, LeMaster M, Moore I, Olsson M, Mason R. Bumpus in the snake den: effects of sex, size, and body condition on mortality of red-sided garter snakes. Evolution. 2001;55:598-604 pubmed
    ..For example, sex biases in mortality reflect differences in postemergence behavior and locomotor capacity, the greater attractiveness of larger females to males, and the high energy costs of reproduction for females...
  24. Shine R, Mason R. Does large body size in males evolve to facilitate forcible insemination? A study on garter snakes. Evolution. 2005;59:2426-32 pubmed
    ..Experimental studies are needed to determine whether the same situation occurs in other organisms in which body-size advantages have been attributed to male-male rather than male-female interactions...
  25. Hopkins W, Winne C. Influence of body size on swimming performance of four species of neonatal natricine snakes acutely exposed to a cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticide. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2006;25:1208-13 pubmed
    ..We suggest that future studies examining the effects of repeated low-dose exposure to cholinesterase inhibitors on performance parameters will be useful in assessing the ecological significance of our findings...
  26. Burbrink F, Pyron R. How does ecological opportunity influence rates of speciation, extinction, and morphological diversification in New World ratsnakes (tribe Lampropeltini)?. Evolution. 2010;64:934-43 pubmed publisher
    ..This evidence runs counter to the general Pleistocene species pump model...
  27. Huang G, Zhang J, Wang D, Mason R, Halpern M. Female snake sex pheromone induces membrane responses in vomeronasal sensory neurons of male snakes. Chem Senses. 2006;31:521-9 pubmed
    ..An associated finding of the present study is that the female sex pheromone, which is insoluble in aqueous solutions, became soluble in the presence of Harderian gland homogenate...
  28. Choi C, Lee H, Go J, Park Y, Chai J, Seo M. Extraintestinal migration of Centrorhynchus sp. (Acanthocephala: Centrorhynchidae) in experimentally infected rats. Korean J Parasitol. 2010;48:139-43 pubmed publisher
    ..Based on the morphological characteristics, including the arrangement of proboscis hooks, these larvae proved to be a species of Centrorhynchus, and more studies were needed for species identification...
  29. Wu H, Li J, Li Y. [Effect of soluble total proteins of Zaocys dumnades on interleukin-1beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-10 expressions in human fibroblast-like synoviocytes in vitro]. Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 2009;29:1969-72 pubmed
    ..To evaluate the effect of soluble total proteins of Zaocys dhumnades on the expressions of interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and IL-10 in human fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) cultured in vitro...
  30. Moutou F, Pastoret P. Invasive reptiles and amphibians. Rev Sci Tech. 2010;29:235-40, 227-233 pubmed
    ..A brief analysis of the causes and effects of their introductions into new areas reveals connections with economic interests, trade in companion animals, medical research and public health...
  31. Jang K, Hwang U. Complete mitochondrial genome of the black-headed snake Sibynophis collaris (Squamata, Serpentes, Colubridae). Mitochondrial DNA. 2011;22:77-9 pubmed publisher
    The black-headed snake Sibynophis collaris (Reptilia, Squamata, Colubridae) is a least concern species in the world...
  32. Greene M, Stark S, Mason R. Pheromone trailing behavior of the brown tree snake, Boiga irregularis. J Chem Ecol. 2001;27:2193-201 pubmed
    ..Males did not, however, discriminate between male and female trails when given a choice on the Y maze...
  33. O Donnell R, Staniland K, Mason R. Experimental evidence that oral secretions of northwestern ring-necked snakes (Diadophis punctatus occidentalis) are toxic to their prey. Toxicon. 2007;50:810-5 pubmed
    ..We suggest that northwestern ring-necked snakes may have evolved venom to subdue larger prey items than the snake would otherwise be capable of taking...
  34. Zelanis A, Teixeira da Rocha M, de Fátima Domingues Furtado M. Preliminary biochemical characterization of the venoms of five Colubridae species from Brazil. Toxicon. 2010;55:666-9 pubmed publisher
    The paraphyletic family Colubridae comprises several species of rear-fanged snakes with toxin-secreting Duvernoy's gland, some of them able to cause human envenomation with systemic and/or local damage...
  35. Hofmann S. Population genetic structure and geographic differentiation in the hot spring snake Thermophis baileyi (Serpentes, Colubridae): indications for glacial refuges in southern-central Tibet. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2012;63:396-406 pubmed publisher
    ..The present data should be taken into account in necessary monitoring and management plans for T. baileyi...
  36. Teynié A, David P, Lottier A, Le M, Vidal N, Nguyen T. A new genus and species of xenodermatid snake (Squamata: Caenophidia: Xenodermatidae) from northern Lao People's Democratic Republic. Zootaxa. 2015;3926:523-40 pubmed publisher
    ..A key to the genera Achalinus, Fimbrios and Parafimbrios gen. nov. is provided. Parafimbrios laos spec. nov. is the 111th snake species currently recorded from Laos. ..
  37. Hardwick J, Parsons R. Necessity of protein kinase C activity for maintenance of acetylcholine receptor function at snake twitch fibre endplates. Br J Pharmacol. 1995;114:433-41 pubmed
    ..These receptors must be replaced or reactivated by a process involving protein kinase C. When this phosphorylation step is inhibited, the AChRs remain in an activatable form, but with a reduced conductance...
  38. Papp T, Gal J, Abbas M, Marschang R, Farkas S. A novel type of paramyxovirus found in Hungary in a masked water snake (Homalopsis buccata) with pneumonia supports the suggested new taxonomy within the Ferlavirus genus. Vet Microbiol. 2013;162:195-200 pubmed publisher
    ..Our paper presents the first description of this novel reptilian paramyxovirus from a homalopsid snake with mucopurulent pneumonia in Hungary...
  39. Daghfous G, Smargiassi M, Libourel P, Wattiez R, Bels V. The function of oscillatory tongue-flicks in snakes: insights from kinematics of tongue-flicking in the banded water snake (Nerodia fasciata). Chem Senses. 2012;37:883-96 pubmed publisher
    ..External stimuli such as tactile and/or vomeronasal stimulation can induce a shift between these categories...
  40. Sparkman A, Byars D, Ford N, Bronikowski A. The role of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in growth and reproduction in female brown house snakes (Lamprophis fuliginosus). Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2010;168:408-14 pubmed publisher
  41. Huey R, Moody W. Neuroscience and evolution. Snake sodium channels resist TTX arrest. Science. 2002;297:1289-90 pubmed
  42. Placyk J, Burghardt G. Evolutionary persistence of chemically elicited ophiophagous antipredator responses in gartersnakes (Thamnophis sirtalis). J Comp Psychol. 2011;125:134-42 pubmed publisher
    ..Such evidence of both genetic and experiential factors underlying the antipredator responses to ophiophagous snakes indicates that antipredator responses have persisted despite separation of predator and prey...
  43. Diclaro J, Lehnert M, Mitola M, Pereira R, Koehler P. A case study of Megaselia scalaris (Diptera: Phoridae) causing ocular myiasis in a western hognose snake. J Med Entomol. 2011;48:934-6 pubmed
    ..This case study further demonstrates the opportunistic behavior of M. scalaris...
  44. Munk Y. Kinematics of swimming garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis). Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2008;150:131-5 pubmed
    ..We furthermore find a statistically well-supported positive correlation between swimming speed and both the initial amplitude of the propulsive wave at the head and the degree of amplitude growth from head to tail...
  45. Kikuchi D, Pfennig D. Predator cognition permits imperfect coral snake mimicry. Am Nat. 2010;176:830-4 pubmed publisher
    ..We suggest that L. elapsoides have evolved only those signals necessary to deceive predators. Generally, imperfect mimicry might suffice if it exploits limitations in predator cognitive abilities...
  46. Jakes K, O Donoghue P, Whittier J. Ultrastructure of Hepatozoon boigae (Mackerras, 1961) nov. comb. from brown tree snakes, Boiga irregularis, from northern Australia. Parasitol Res. 2003;90:225-31 pubmed
    ..These stages did not possess apical complex organelles and were surrounded by thick walls containing circumferential junctions and interposed strips reminiscent of oocyst sutures...
  47. Chai J, Shin E. Neodiplostomum leei n. sp. (Digenea: Neodiplostomidae) from chicks infected with metacercariae from the grass snake Rhabdophis tigrina. J Parasitol. 2002;88:1181-6 pubmed
    ..Results show that there are at least 3 species of neodiplostomid trematodes in the grass snake in the Republic of Korea, i.e.. P. cordatum, N. seoulense and N. leei n. sp...
  48. Burger J, Campbell K, Murray S, Campbell T, Gaines K, Jeitner C, et al. Metal levels in blood, muscle and liver of water snakes (Nerodia spp.) from New Jersey, Tennessee and South Carolina. Sci Total Environ. 2007;373:556-63 pubmed
    ..Moreover, because of their wide geographical distribution and use of varying trophic compartments, this genus can be useful for cross-site comparisons...
  49. Lee K, Guk S, Chai J. Toll-like receptor 2 and Muc2 expression on human intestinal epithelial cells by Gymnophalloides seoi adult antigen. J Parasitol. 2010;96:58-66 pubmed publisher
    ..seoi antigen upregulates TLR2 and MUC2 expression on human intestinal epithelial cells. These effects reflect a helminth-induced, IFN-gamma-dependent, and innate mucosal immune mechanism in this human intestinal cell line...
  50. Acosta de Pérez O, Leiva de Vila L, Peichoto M, Maruñak S, Ruiz R, Teibler P, et al. Edematogenic and myotoxic activities of the Duvernoy's gland secretion of Philodryas olfersii from the north-east region of Argentina. Biocell. 2003;27:363-70 pubmed
    ..It demonstrates the potential toxicity of the venom of P. olfersii, who inhabits the North-East region of Argentina. It also reinforces the original warning concerning the potential danger of bites by colubrids...
  51. Peichoto M, Tavares F, Dekrey G, Mackessy S. A comparative study of the effects of venoms from five rear-fanged snake species on the growth of Leishmania major: identification of a protein with inhibitory activity against the parasite. Toxicon. 2011;58:28-34 pubmed publisher
  52. Myers E, Rodríguez Robles J, DeNardo D, Staub R, Stropoli A, Ruane S, et al. Multilocus phylogeographic assessment of the California Mountain Kingsnake (Lampropeltis zonata) suggests alternative patterns of diversification for the California Floristic Province. Mol Ecol. 2013;22:5418-29 pubmed publisher
  53. Maul J, Smiley P, Cooper C. Patterns of avian nest predators and a brood parasite among restored riparian habitats in agricultural watersheds. Environ Monit Assess. 2005;108:133-50 pubmed
    ..We suggest that land managers using drop-pipes as part of stream restoration projects allow for the development of the constructed habitat with the largest area and greatest vegetative structure...