Anal - refers to a scale in
the region of the cloaca in squamates. The terminal plate in the ventral series.
It can be divided or entire and is normally larger than the ventrals.
Anterior - near the front
Antivenom - serum extracted from animals hyperimmunised
with snake venom. Used to negate the effects of snake venom.
Aquatic - living in water, mainly.
Arboreal - living in trees, mainly.
Cardiotoxin - a poison that can cause the heart muscles
to cease functioning.
Caudal - pertaining to the tail.
Cloaca - the chamber from which urinary and digestive
waste is passed. It is under the anal plate. The organs of reproduction are also
Clutch - the batch of eggs laid by a female at a given
Crepuscular - active mainly at dawn and dusk.
Cytotoxic - a poison capable of destroying body tissue
and cell formation.
Diurnal - active mainly during the daytime.
Dorsal - the upper part of a snake's body. All the
scales except the ventrals.
Elapid - rigidly front-fanged snakes. In SA the cobras,
mambas, rinkhals coral snakes and sea snake.
Endemic - species peculiar to a particular area. Not
Envenomation - a snake bite where venom has actually
Haemotoxic - a poison that destroys red blood cells.
Hatchling - a newborn snake.
Hemipenis - on of a pair of copulatory organs present
in male snakes.
Herpetology - the study of reptiles
Herpetoculture - the keeping and husbandry of reptiles.
Incubation - keeping eggs warm so that they will hatch.
Jacobson's organ - the organ providing the snake with
its sense of smell and taste. Located in the roof of the mouth the snake presses
its forked tongue into it to smell and taste. The tongue has gathered the aromas
Keel - a prominent ridge on the scale, running
longitudinally. Found in some snakes.
Labial - pertaining to the lips.
Lateral - pertaining to the sides of the body.
Loreal - a scale on the head between the nasals and
Montane - living in mountain areas, mainly.
Nasal - pertaining to the nose.
Necrosis - death of cells and body tissue in a
Neurotoxic - a poison that affects the nervous system.
Especially neuro-muscular activity.
Nocturnal - mainly active at night.
Oviduct - the tube which carries eggs from the ovary.
Oviparous - egg-laying.
Ovoviviparous - giving live birth to eggs hatched
within the uterus.
Parietal - scales located on the head, immediately
behind the frontals. Usually the last scales separate from the body scales.
Posterior - the back part.
Postocular - bordering the eye, posteriorly.
Prefrontal - a scale on the head.
Preocular - bordering the eye, anteriorly.
Recurved - a tooth that bends backwards.
Rhombic - having diamond shaped patterns.
Riverine - living mainly near rivers.
Rostral - the scale at the front of the nose of a
Scale - a thin horny plate that covers the body of
reptiles and fish.
Sloughing - the casting or shedding of the outer skin.
Subcaudal - the ventral scales from the anal plate to
the tip of the tail.
Terrestrial - living mainly on the ground.
Ventral - the bottom part of the snake.