Venomous Snakes and Snakebite in India

  • B. Vijayaraghavan
  • S. R. Ganesh
Living reference work entry


An overview of the venomous snake fauna of India is presented. Regions having high diversity of venomous snakes that are consequent on the presence of distinct ecoregions are projected. Annual statistics from India as to the number of snakebites and deaths from snakebite are reviewed. The lack of a consensual estimate of snakebite statistics from India is highlighted. Differences in methods of data collection, time span used for the study, and venomous snake diversity among the Indian states are presumed to be the causal factors. The concept of “Big Four venomous snakes” in the current context is reviewed in light of the venomous snake diversity of the country. Among the “other venomous snakes,” identification of lethal (e.g., sea snakes, king cobra, banded krait) and nonlethal though venomous ones (most species of Indian pit vipers) is highlighted for snakebite management. Lastly, for those that do not necessitate the use of antivenom for treatment, acquisition of knowledge on effects and appropriate medical intervention is highlighted.


Venomous Snake Nicobar Island Coral Snake Naja Naja King Cobra 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chennai Snake ParkChennaiIndia

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