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Changes to our understanding of venomous snake systematics, and the consequent changes in the nomenclature of these animals, have traditionally been a great source of confusion among biomedical researchers. This paper aims to facilitate access to the taxonomic literature by presenting a synopsis of the changes in venomous snake systematics that have taken place recently (primarily since 1992), together with some comments on the implications of these changes for toxinologists and clinicians. Some long-standing problems in venomous snake taxonomy receive special attention. This includes Asiatic Naja, Asiatic Agkistrodon/Gloydius, Bothrops and related genera, Trimeresurus, Echis, Daboia (including Daboia russellii) and Vipera. It is hoped that this synopsis will result in the use of a more up-to-date and interpretable nomenclature for venomous snakes in the toxinological literature.


Journal article



Publication Date





319 - 340


Animals, Snakes