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TAXONOMY OF SNAKES

TAXONOMY OF SNAKES
Carolus Linnaeus, the eighteenth-century
Swedish naturalist, counted as greatest
pigeonholer in history, created the
system of classification that bears his
name, through which every living thing on
the earth is ascribed its place in relation to
all others. He quite literally created order
from chaos.

TAXONOMY OF SNAKES

The Linnean system is complicated to


the laymen but it is really quite simple.
There are nine major levels- from most
generals to most specific and animals
and plants are grouped with those
sharing similar characteristics.

TAXONOMY OF SNAKES
The system uses Greek and Latin
because these languages are dead as
unchanging.
Classification has traditionally been
based on physical characteristics on the
assumption that closely related groups
would show similar body features.
Thus, the snakes are broken into about
ten families approximately.

Snakes are classified


as follows
The following are the snake families and
subfamilies with their characteristics as
mentioned below

I. Super family Boidae (Pythons and


boas)
Family Pythoninae (Pythons)
Family Boidae (Boas or Anaconda)
Common snakes- Python molurus
(Indian Python), Corallus enydris
(Amazon tree boa)

Description

Most of the giant-snakes belong to this


family. They have flexible jaws as well as
pelvic girdle and vestigial hind limbs.
Pythons are egg layers where as boas
are viviparous.

Corallus enydris
(Amazon tree boa)

Python molurus
(Indian Python)

II. Super family- Anilioidea (Pipe snakes)


Family- Aniliidae - burrowing snakes
Family- Loxocenidae loxocemus
Family- Xenopeltidae sunbeam snake
Family- Uropeltidae (sheildsnakes)
Subfamily- cylindropheinae
S.E. Asian burrowing snakes
Subfamily uropeltinae shield tail
burrowing snakes from India
Common snakes cylindrophus neculatus

Description
They are so called as their skull is fused
with the body giving an impression of a
pipe. It retains a non-functional pelvis and
vestigial hind limbs. As they have a fairly
rigid, fused skull they are unable to swallow
large items of food, unlike other snakes. So
they concentrate on slender prey, spending
their large amount of time undergroundsearching through burrows.

Shield snakes are so called due to the


truncated shape of the tail, which serves as
an anchor, permitting the snake to push
forward through the soil.

III. Super family Tropidopheoidea


(Protocolubroids)
-Subfamily Ungaliopheinae
dwarf boas
-Subfamily Tropidopheinae
wood snakes
Common snakes Bolyeria
multocarinata, Casarea dussumieri

Description
Commonly known as wood snakes.
When disturbed twine into a ball, head in the
middle, secreting a strong musk from the anus.
The two most interesting members of the
Tropidophiidae - the Round Island boasBolyeria multocarinata and Casarea dussumieri
have no traces of hind limb bones, and the left
lung is much smaller than in the primitive boas.

Ungaliophis, Continentalis
(dwarf boas)

IV. Super family Bolyeroidea


Family Bolyeriidae

Description

Same as wood snakes

V. Super family Colubroidea. *


Family colubridae
Most modern Snakes few are
venomous with rear fangs that are
grooved.

Description
This family has the largest and most diverge
group of snakes in the world. The vast
majority is harmless. Surprisingly, a number
of them have mildly venomous saliva, and
one group, the opisthoglyphous colubrids,
includes a number of rear-fanged species
like the vine snakes, mussurans and blunt
headed tree snake.

Family Atractaspidibae burrowing


venomous snake.
Family Elipidae venomous with
non-retractable fangs, with canals for
venom injection.
Family Viperidae venomous with
retractable fangs with enclosed canal for
venom injection.

- Subfamily- Azemiopinac-feas viper


azemiops
- Subfamily- Crotalinae Pit vipers
-Subfamily- Viperinae True vipers.
Colubridae and Elapidae have numerous
sub-families.

Carotalus Viridis

Cyclagras gigas

Vipera lebetina

Naja Naja

Azemiops feae
(Feas viper)

Crotalus horridus
(Pit viper)

VI. Super family Scolecophidia


Family Leptotyphlopidae (Thread
snakes, slender blind snakes)
Common snakes- Leptotyphlops
dulcis, Leptotyphlops humilis.

Description

A Slender blind, commonly known as


worm snake, may be mistaken for an
earthworm, alluding to the pinkish colour
and almost non existing eye. They are
burrowers who chiefly feed on insects
and other arthropods.

Leptotyphlops humilis

Family Anomalepidae
(Dawn blind snake)

Description

Typical slender blind snakes, have one


or two teeth in the lower jaw compared
to the untypical blind snakes. They are
burrowers, feeding on tiny invertebrates.

Family Typhlopidae (Typhlops


bromines)

Description
These compromises of the largest family
of blind snakes. They lack teeth in the
lower jaw, have tiny- nearly useless eyes,
specialized rostral shield that form
rounded or beaked snouts and even the
remnants of a pelvis. The tail is usually
blunt, and the body may be quite robust.

In the homoeopathic literature there is


much confusion created by homoeopathic
authors using incorrect and correct
names inter changeably with other
incorrect and correct names.

One of the problems is that even where


the correct scientific name for a snake is
now known from the old name it is
impossible to be certain what species or
subspecies was originally used.

Vipera communis is mentioned by some


authors as different from Vipera aspis but
infact they are the same. Many authors
consider Adders separate from Viperas
but Adders and Vipera are one and the
same eg. Vipera aspis and Vipera berus.
Hence the provings of Vipera, Vipera
aspis, Vipera redi, and Vipera torva
should be studied together.

Vipera Torva (Vipera berus) is incorrectly


described as Russells viper,
(Daoboia russelli) in the Homoeopathic
Pharmacopoeia 14th edition,
Bhattacharya & Co.

Dr. Swan proved Vipera acustica carinata.


This actually is Vipera carinata, now Echis
carinatus or saw-scaled or carpet viper
which is found in Africa.

Clotho arietans and Vipera Lachesis are


both Bitis arietans and so their symptoms
can be combined in the repertory.
Bitis arietans has a number of
subspecies.

Lachesis, Trigonocephalus, Cobra and


Vipera are common but old scientific
names used incorrectly for snakes.
An example of this is the snake that bit
Cleopatra was probably the Egyptian
cobra, Naja haje and not an Adder or
Vipera aspis at all.

Cenchris contortrix (Agkistrodon


contortrix) has a number of subspecies.
Naja tripudians (Naja naja naja), there
have been recent changes to the Naja
Classification, there are a number of
subspecies.

Crotalus cascavella (Crotalus durissus);


some books refer to it as Crotalus
durissus terrificus others Crotalus
durissus cascavella but it may be safer to
say that Crotalus cascavella is one of the
species of Crotalus durissus. There are a
number of other subspecies of Crotalus
durissus; namely durissus, totonacus,
tzabacan.

Crotalus horridus has a number of


subspecies.
Lachesis muta has a number of
subspecies.

There is a reference in the literature but


no proving of Trigonocephalus Piscivorus
(Agkistrodon piscivorus), and since it is
very similar to Toxicophis pugnax
(Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma),
both the snakes can be studied together.

In homoeopathy,
the snakes we use as
remedies can be grouped
as follows:

Family

Old (New) Abbreviations

Part of the World

Elapidae

Bung.(Bung-f)

India & S-E Asia

Elapideae

Dendro-p.

S. Africa

Elapidae

Elaps

S. America

Elapidae

Naja

India

Elapidae

Oxyu-s.

Australia

Elapidae

Oxyu-m.

Australia

Hydrophiidae

Hydroph. (Hydro-c.)

Indo-Pacific

Viperidae

Cloth. (Biti-a.)

C. & S. Africa

Viperidae

Vip-l-f. (Echis-a.)

C. & S. Africa

Viperidae

Vip-a-c. (Echis-c)

Africa, Asia

Family

Old (New) Abbreviations

Part of the World

Viperidae

Vip.

Europe, N. Asia

Viperidae

Vip-a.

S. Europe

Viperidae

Vip-r. (Vip-a.)

Europe

Viperidae

Vip-t. (Vip.)

Europe

Crotalidae

Toxi. (Agki-p.)

N. America

Crotalidae

Both-a.

S. America

Crotalidae

Both. (Both-l.)

C. America

Crotalidae

Lach.

C. & S. America

Crotalidae

Crot-c.

C. & S. America

Crotalidae

Crot-h.

N. America

Bitis aeritans
(Puff Adder,
Clotho arietans)

Boa Constrictor
(Adeps boae)

Bothrops alternatus

Bothrops atrox

Bothrops jararaca

Bothrops lanceolatus
(fer de lance)

Bungarus fasciatus

Cenchris contortrix
(Agkistrodon
contortrix contortrix)

Agkistrodon contortrix (Copperhead)

Crotalus atrox
(Western diamondback rattlesnake)

Crotalus cascavella

(Crotalus durissus, Crotalus durissus terrificus,


Crotalus durissus cascavella)

Crotalus horridus
(Timber rattlesnake)

Dendroaspis polylepis
(Black Mamba)

Dendroaspis
polylepis
(Black
Mamba)

Echis carinatus
(Saw scaled viper)

Elaps corallinus (Micrurus


corallinus,Brazilian coral
snake)

Micrurus fulvius

fluvius(Eastern
coral snake)

Micrurus fulvius
(Texas coral snake)

Hydrophis cyanocintus

Lachesis mutus
(Bushmaster)

Naja tripudians
(Naja Naja Naja)

Natrix natrix (Grass snake)

Oxyuranus microlepidotus

Oxyuranus scutellatus

Oxyuranus scutellatus
(Taipan)

Toxicophis pugnax
(Agkistrodon piscivorus)

Toxicophis pugnax
(Agkistrodon piscivorus)

Vipera aspis
(Aspis adder,
Vipera redii)

Vipera aspis

Vipera berus
(Common adder, Vipera torva,
Pelias berus, German viper)

Cerastes cornutus
(Horned viper, Sand viper)

GROUP SYMPTOMS
OF
SNAKE VENOMS

Man was born only four million years ago


and to survive he had to fight against
many odds. Reptile fear is one of those
odds, and somehow this constitutes his
abhorrence (repulsion) for snakes. The
following qualities would probably invite
repulsion in an individual.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Fear of Snakes
Dream Snakes
Wounds snakes bites of

There is a frequent mention of snake


worship in various religions, viz.,
Buddhism and Jainism. In Jainism,
the Tirthankars are depicted sitting
in meditation with a seven headed
cobrahood on their heads.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Delusion, superhuman control,


is under.
Religious affections.
Anxiety, salvation.
Delirium, religious.
Delusions, religious.
Religious melancholia.
Insanity, religious.

Among the different groups of reptiles,


snakes lead the most secluded lives.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Hide, desire to.


Forsaken feeling.
Company, aversion to.
Company, aversion to, solitude,
fond of, indulge in her fancy, to.
Fear, people of.
Fear, poisoned, of being.
Misanthropy.
Secretive.

Snakes are of two varieties;


either terrestrial or
living in water.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Fear, water of.


Hydrophobia.
Rage, at sight of water.

Most snakes predominate


the warm climate and the
lush regions
of the tropics.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Warm, ameliorates.
Warm bed, ameliorates.

Snakes avoid direct sunlight and


o
temperatures above 80 F.
They prefer cooler places.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Sunlight aggravates.
Summer aggravates.
Heat, aggravates.
Hide, desire to.

Snakes are nocturnal


reptiles. Most snakes
are active from dusk;
they come out and
catch prey at night.
They are sluggish in
the morning hours.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Can stay up at night without


slightest exhaustion.
Activity, mental, night.
Cheerful, evening.
Excitement, night.
Hurry, night.
Industrious, evening.
Loquacity, evenings.
Memory active, evening.

There are a large number of poisonous


snake varieties in the world.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Fear, poisoned being.


Delusion, poisoned about to be,
that he is.
Delusion, poisoned has been, he.
Kill, poison, impulse to.

After a snake bite, the affected part gets


swollen up with massive
red-blue blotches.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Dropsy.
Swelling, affected parts of.
Swelling, puffy, oedematous.
Skin, discolouration, red.
Skin, discolouration, bluish.
Skin, discolouration, dark spots.
Haemorrhage, non-coagulable.

When attacking their prey, snakes


strike rapidly and many times.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Quick to act.
Quick comprehension.
Memory, active.
Jealousy, strikes his wife.
Striking.

Snake venom is neurotoxic and


haematotoxic.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Haemorrhages.
Coagulation defects.
Delusion, poisoned he is.
Paralysis.

The snake bite produces a


paralytic and hypnotic
state in the prey.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Paralysis, sensation, of.


Dream, as if in a.
Day dreaming.
Meditation.
Sits, wrapped in deep, sad thoughts,
as if, and notices nothing.

In venomous snakes, the poison is


secreted from the modified salivary
glands. In vipers, it is shot through
hollow teeth.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Inflammation, parotid gland.


Inflammation, suppuration, with.

When the snake


strikes, the mandible
rotates from left to
right.
When it swallows,
vertebrae move from
left to right. Most of the
organs of the snakes
are situated on the left
side.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Left sidedness.

When the snake attacks its prey, it


protrudes its tongue out which is
usually trembling.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Bite, desire to.


Tongue, protruded.
Tongue, trembling.
Motion, tongue, difficult.
Motion, tongue, hanging out.
Motion tongue, lapping to and fro.
Motion, tongue, side to side.

The snake does not chew its prey,


it gulps it down.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Problems while swallowing,


especially bread.
Empty swallowing aggravates.
Swallowing liquids is more painful
than swallowing solids.
Appetite ravenous.
Appetite, increased.
Appetite, canine.
Appetite, excessive.

The digestive force in snakes is so


strong that practically only pure uric
acid is eliminated. Snakes often pass
considerable quantities of unpleasant
smelling faeces.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Flatus loud.
Flatus offensive.
Stool, odour, putrid.
Stool, odour, offensive.
Stool, forcible, sudden, gushing.
Stool, copious.
Stool, shooting out.

Some snakes have sensory pits between


the eyes and nostrils which sense
anything in the vicinity of around 200
meters and helps them to know the
direction in which to move or bite exactly.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Clairvoyant.
Prophesying.
Dreams, clairvoyant,
drunkenness during.
Magnetic quality.

The ear in snakes is scarcely


developed. Hearing has become a
sense for mere vibration extended
through the length of the creature.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Ear numbness.
Air open, sensitive to, about ears.
Hearing impaired.
Hearing lost.

The most vulnerable area of the


snake is the jaw-neck area, since the
rest of the body has strong
musculature.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Throat and neck symptoms.


Cannot tolerate even bed covers
around the neck.
Throat pain, constricting.
Throat, choking, in.
Throat, choking, sleep on going to.

Throat, lump, painful.


Throat, lump, swallowing, returns after.
Throat, paralysis.
Throat, spasms, spasmodic constriction.
Throat swallowing, impossible.
Larynx and trachea, oedema glottis.

Snakes usually have one lung, the left is


greatly reduced or practically absent.
LEFT LUNG

TRACHEAL LUNG

HEART

TONGUE

TRACHEA

RIGHT LUNG

AORTA
ESOPHAGUS
LIVER

STOMACH
SPLEEN
HEMIPENES

GALLBLADDER
PANCREAS
SMALL INTESTINE

ANAL VENT

RIGHT TESTIS

VENTRAL SCALES

URETER
LARGE INTESTINE
RECTUM
LEFT TESTIS
ADRENAL GLAND
LEFT KIDNEY

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Emphysema.
Hepatisation of lungs.
Inflammation of lungs.
Oedema pulmonary.
Phthisis pulmonalis.
Phthisis incipient.

Snakes do not have feet, shoulder-girdle


or sternum. They have a series of almost
non-ending vertebrae numbering upto
four hundred. They move by crawling
movements.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Insanity, crawls on the floor.


Delusion, half body is alive.
Delusion, body disintegrating.
Delusion, body is lighter than air.
Awkwardness, lower limbs,
stumbling when walking.

Trembling, lower limbs.


Numbness of extremities.
Pain, dorsal spine.
Spina bifida.

Snakes are able to move quickly, not just


on level ground, but most of them are
agile climbers of trees and shrubs as well.
An extremely flexible skeletal structure
gives the snakes an
amazing ability to pass
through narrow
cracks and small
openings.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Delusions, body, lighter than air.


Delusions, floating in air.
Wander, desire to.
Travel, desire to.
Crawling on floor.
Chorea.
Tottering.

The penis of the male snake


is bifid; however they are
unable to know the sex of
their mating partner till they
attempt coition. Once they
realize it is one of their own
sex, they become
aggressive and quarrel.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Jealousy, between men.


Love, own sex, with one of her,
homosexuality, tribadism,
loquacity with.
Kill, desire to.
Rage.
Erections, continued.
Erections, frequent.
Erections, strong.

Snake skin is cold to touch.


They are cold blooded animals.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Extremities cold.
Coldness of affected parts.
Skin coldness.

Snakes shed their skin periodically in


spring. This could be interpreted also
as a periodic restlessness and desire
for change.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Spring aggravates.
Skin, itching, spring in.
Desire to travel.
Disobedience (taken as a dislike of
restrictions).

Snakes exhibit a multiple, excessive,


aggressive sexual behaviour.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Voluptuousness.
Nymphomania.
Lewdness, obscene.
Lasciviousness.
Delirium, erotic.
Fancies, lascivious.
Masturbation, disposition to.
Seminal emission ameliorates.
Sexual passion increased.
Sexual passion violent.

Many varieties of snakes are greedy and


jealous of one anothers food.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Jealousy, animals and objects, of.


Jealousy, crime, to a.
Kill, desire, to.
Kill, poison, impulse to.
Delusion, surrounded, by enemies.
Quarrelsomeness, jealousy, from.

Snakes often eat each other and there


is a famous symbol of the uroborus,
the snake eating its own tail.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Fear, animals, snakes of.


Kill, desire to.
Jealousy.
Rage.
Love, with one of her own sex.

Snakes are very revengeful to those who


disturb their younger snakes.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Hatred.
Deceitful, sly.
Cruelty, brutality, inhumanity.
Destructiveness.
Malicious, spiteful, vindictive.
Play dirty tricks on others or their
teachers, school boys.

Snake is a symbol
of drunkenness.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Alcohol desires.
Alcohol aggravates.
Alcoholism, hereditary.
Ailments from, alcoholism,
dipsomania.
Delirium tremens, mania-a-potu.
Confusion, intoxicated, as if.
Dreams, clairvoyant,
drunkenness during.

Snakes get
attracted to fire.

Homoeopathic Interpretation:

Dreams, fire.
Fire, desires to be, near to.
Delusions, fire sees.

Mind:

Even though the snakes appear


dangerous from the look,
however most of the snake
remedies are timid individuals.

Tendency to shriek among


children
Very restless children.
Hence snakes are many times
mistaken for spiders.

Snakes usually have a forsaken


feeling.
After giving birth they usually
leave or eat their young ones.

A/f: Anticipation
Alcoholism, tendency strong
Death, thoughts of
Delirium, sepsis from
Delusion, hears voices
Dreams of journey

Generalities:

Food and drinks:


Desire sour ( Lach.,
Crot-h., Elaps)
Desire sweet (Lach.,
Crot-h., Elaps)

Flushes of heat.
Tendency to hemorrhage
from anus, nose, menorrhagia,
metrorrhagia, from all orifices;
Blood black, clots, dark,
non- coagulable.
Great sensitivity to touch.

Discharge ameliorates,
normal as well as abnormal.
Tendency to faint.
Wet weather aggravates
Spring season aggravates
Sleeps into aggravation.
Sensation of constriction
and tight feeling everywhere

Morning aggravates, esp.


6 a.m. 11 a.m.
Night aggravates, esp.
11 p.m. 6 a.m.
Blackness of external parts.
Tendency to produce
various types of cancer, e.g.
Ca uterus.

Marked affinity for elbow and


tibia.
Strong syphillitic and tubercular
miasm with tendency to produce
ulcers, gangrene, cancers and
hemorrhages.
Wound, reopening of old.
Wound, reopening of old,
cicatrices.

Chief Editor
Dr. Farokh Master M.D.(Hom.)
Associate Editor
Dr. Pinky Bilimoria B.H.M.S.
Dr. Farhad Adajania B.H.M.S.
Dr. Jayesh Dhingreja B.H.M.S.
Dr. Pooja Bagri B.H.M.S.
Dr. Saba Khan B.H.M.S.
Dr. Benaifer Calagopi B.H.M.S.
Dr. Saudamini Suryavanshi B.H.M.S.

Technical support
Radar 8.1 ver.
Synthesis Edition 8.1
Archibel SA Belgium
Under the guidance of
Dr. Frederik Schroyens M.D.
RENE OTTER

Thanks to
Dr. Firuzi Dabu
Dr. Jawahar Shah
Mr. R. Ramesh
Dr. Binaifer Mistry
Miss Sandhya
Dr. Vanmala Shah
Dr. Jeenal Shah
Dr. Almut Thornbury (Australia)
Dr. Girish Soni

Thanks to
Dr. Varsha Vora
Dr. Naini Shah
Dr. Ameet Panchal
Dr. Ronak Shah
Dr. Ajay Jain

And above all thanks to my family


Mahaziver, Dilnavaz & Rukshin
who represent my future.

Thanks