The upcoming discussion will update you about the differences between poisonous and non-poisonous snakes.

Difference # Poisonous Snakes:

1. Body colour generally bright.

2. Neck constricted.

3. Head long, triangular, and wide due to the presence of poison glands on two sides of the head.


4. In majority, a hood is present.

5. Tail abruptly tapering except in sea snakes.

6. Head shield very large.

7. The scales on the top of the head are small.


8. The scales on the dorsal surface of the trunk are smaller but spinal scales are large and hexagonal.

9. The ventral surface is covered with large transverse plates. No small scales are usually visible from below. All poisonous snakes must have broad plates on the belly but snakes having broad plates are not always poisonous.

10. Teeth are not uniform (Fig 37.31A). The maxillary teeth are large and called ‘fangs.’ Fangs are grooved or with a canal.

11. Two poison glands are present.

Difference # Non-poisonous Snakes:


1. Body colour not so bright.

2. Neck un-constricted.

3. Head usually narrow and elongated.

4. Hood usually absent.

5. Tail gradually tapering.

6. Head shield small.

7. The scales are large and usually nine in number.

8. The dorsal scales are large but spinals are smaller and not hexagonal.

9. Ventral surface is covered either with small scales or small scales are visible on both sides of the transverse plate below.


10. The teeth are uniform and solid (Fig. 37.31B)

11. Poison glands absent.

Snakes, Skull and Mandible