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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Lepidosauromorpha
Superordo: Lepidosauria
Ordo: Squamata
Subordo: Serpentes
Infraordo: Caenophidia
Superfamilia: Colubroidea

Familia: Colubridae
Subfamilia: Natricinae
Genera (39): AdelophisAfronatrixAmphiesmaAmphiesmoidesAnoplohydrusAspiduraAtretiumClonophisElapoidisFowleaHaldeaHebiusHelophisHerpetoreasHydrablabesHydraethiopsIguanognathusIsanophisLimnophisLiodytesLycognathophisNatriciteresNatrixNerodiaOpisthotropisParatapinophisPseudagkistrodonReginaRhabdophisRhabdopsSmithophisStoreriaThamnophisTrachischiumTrimerodytesTropidoclonionTropidonophisVirginiaXenochrophis


Natricinae Bonaparte, 1838
Primary references

Bonaparte, C.L. 1838. Synopsis vertebratorum systematis. Amphibiorum Tabula Analytica. Nuovi Annali delle Scienze Naturali 1: 391–397.

Additional references

Malnate, E.V. 1960. Systematic Division and Evolution of the Colubrid Snake Genus Natrix, with Comments on the Subfamily Natricinae. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 112: 41–71. JSTOR Hybrid open access journal Reference page.
David, P., Pauwels, O.S.G., Nguyen, T.Q. & Vogel, G. 2015. On the taxonomic status of the Thai endemic freshwater snake Parahelicops boonsongi, with the erection of a new genus (Squamata: Natricidae). Zootaxa 3948(2): 203–217. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3948.2.3. Preview (PDF). Reference page.
Takeuchi, H., Savitzky, A.H., Ding, L., Silva, A. de, Das, I., Nguyen, T.T., Tsai, T.-S., Jono, T., Zhu, G.-X., Mahaulpatha, D., Tang, Y.-Z. & Mori, A. 2018. Evolution of nuchal glands, unusual defensive organs of Asian natricine snakes (Serpentes: Colubridae), inferred from a molecular phylogeny. Ecology and Evolution 8(20): 10219–10232. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.4497 Open access. Reference page.
Giri, V.B., Gower, D.J., Das, A., Lalremsanga, H.T., Lalronunga, S., Captain, A. & Deepak, V. 2019. A new genus and species of natricine snake from northeast India. Zootaxa 4603(2): 241–264. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4603.2.2 Open access Reference page.
Ren, J.-L., Wang, K., Guo, P., Wang, Y.-Y., Nguyen, T.T. & Li, J.-T. 2019. On the generic taxonomy of Opisthotropis balteata (Cope, 1895) (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae): Taxonomic revision of two natricine genera. Asian Herpetological Research 10(2): 105–128. DOI: 10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.180091 Paywall Reference page.
Zaher, H., Murphy, R.W., Arredondo, J.C., Graboski, R., Machado-Filho, P.R., Mahlow, K., Montingelli, G.G., Quadros, A.B., Orlov, N.L., Wilkinson, M., Zhang, Y.-P. & Grazziotin, F.G. 2019. Large-scale molecular phylogeny, morphology, divergence-time estimation, and the fossil record of advanced caenophidian snakes (Squamata: Serpentes). PLoS ONE 14(5): e0216148. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0216148 Open access Reference page.
Burbrink, F.T., Grazziotin, F.G., Pyron, R.A., Cundall, D., Donnellan, S., Irish, F., Keogh, J.S., Kraus, F., Murphy, R.W., Noonan, B., Raxworthy, C.J., Ruane, S., Lemmon, A.R., Lemmon, E.M. & Zaher, H. 2020. Interrogating Genomic-Scale Data for Squamata (Lizards, Snakes, and Amphisbaenians) Shows no Support for Key Traditional Morphological Relationships. Systematic Biology 69(3): 502–520. DOI: 10.1093/sysbio/syz062 Open access Reference page.
Deepak, V., Maddock, S.T., Williams, R., Nagy, Z.T., Conradie, W., Rocha, S., Harris, S.J., Perera, A., Gvozdík, V., Doherty-Bone, T.M., Kamei, R.G., Menegon, M., Labisko, J., Morel, C., Cooper, N., Day, J.J. & Gower, D.J. 2021. Molecular phylogenetics of sub-Saharan African natricine snakes, and the biogeographic origins of the Seychelles endemic Lycognathophis seychellensis. Molecular Phylogenetic and Evolution 161: 107152. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2021.107152 Paywall PDF Reference page.


Uetz, P. & Hallermann, J. 2021. Natricinae . The Reptile Database. Accessed on 9 October 2019.

Vernacular names
Deutsch: Wassernattern
English: Keelbacks
suomi: Rantakäärmeet
lietuvių: Žalčiai
Nederlands: Waterslangen
polski: Zaskrońcowate
русский: Ужовые
中文: 游蛇亞科

The Natricinae are a subfamily of colubroid snakes, sometimes referred to as a family (Natricidae).[1] The subfamily comprises 37 genera. Members include many very common snake species, such as the European grass snakes, and the North American water snakes and garter snakes. Some Old World members of the subfamily are known as keelbacks, because their dorsal scales exhibit strong keeling.

Natricine snakes are found in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and Central America as far south as Costa Rica. A single species, Tropidonophis mairii, reaches Australia. Although the highest diversity is in North America, the oldest members are in Asia and Africa, suggesting an Old World origin for the group. Most species are semiaquatic and feed on fish and amphibians, although a few are semifossorial or leaf-litter snakes that feed on invertebrates. Most species are harmless to humans, but a few (e.g., Thamnophis sirtalis, Thamnophis elegans) are capable of inflicting bites that can result in local, nonlife-threatening symptoms, and at least two members of the genus Rhabdophis (R. tigrinus and R. subminiatus) are capable of inflicting life-threatening bites to humans, though they have only enlarged, ungrooved fangs in the back of the mouth.[2]


They are recognised as a sister group of the Dipsadinae plus the Pseudoxenodontinae.[3]

Adelophis Dugès, 1879
Afronatrix Rossman & Eberle, 1977
Amphiesma A.M.C. Duméril, Bibron & A.H.A. Duméril, 1854
Amphiesmoides Malnate, 1961
Anoplohydrus F. Werner, 1909
Aspidura Wagler, 1830
Atretium Cope, 1861
Blythia Theobald, 1868 [4]
Clonophis Cope, 1889
Fowlea Theobald, 1868
Haldea Baird & Girard, 1853
Hebius Thompson, 1913
Helophis de Witte & Laurent, 1942
Herpetoreas Günther, 1860
Hydrablabes Boulenger, 1891
Hydraethiops Günther, 1872
Iguanognathus Boulenger, 1898
Isanophis David, Pauwels, Nguyen & G. Vogel, 2015
Limnophis Günther, 1865
Liodytes Cope, 1885
Natriciteres Loveridge, 1953
Natrix Laurenti, 1768
Nerodia Baird & Girard, 1853
Opisthotropis Günther, 1872
Paratapinophis Angel, 1929
Pseudagkistrodon Van Denburgh, 1909
Regina Baird & Girard, 1853
Rhabdophis Fitzinger, 1843
Rhabdops Boulenger, 1893
Smithophis Giri, Gower, Das, Lalremsanga, Lalronunga, Captain & Deepak, 2019
Storeria Baird & Girard, 1853
Thamnophis Fitzinger, 1843
Trachischium Günther, 1858
Trimerodytes Cope, 1895
Tropidoclonion Cope, 1860
Tropidonophis Jan, 1863
Virginia Baird & Girard, 1853
Xenochrophis Günther, 1864


Dowling, Herndon G.; Jenner, Janann V. (1988). Snakes of Burma: Checklist of reported species and bibliography. Smithsonian Herpetological Information Service #76. Washington, D.C.: Division of Amphibians and Reptiles, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. OCLC 23345387.
Weinstein, Scott A.; Warrell, David A.; White, Julian; Keyler, Daniel E. (2011). Venomous Bites from Non-Venomous Snakes: A Critical Analysis of Risk and Management of "Colubrid" Snake Bites. London: Elsevier. 364 pp. ISBN 978-0123877321.
Pyron, R. Alexander; et al. (2011). "The phylogeny of advanced snakes (Colubroidea), with discovery of a new subfamily and comparison of support methods for likelihood trees" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 58 (2): 329–342. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2010.11.006. PMID 21074626. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 October 2013.

Further reading

Goin, Coleman J.; Goin, Olive B.; Zug, George R. (1978). Introduction to Herpetology, Third Edition. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company. xi + 378 pp. ISBN 0-7167-0020-4. (Natricinae, p. 326).


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