Venomous Snakes: Snakes in the Terrarium by Ludwig Trutnau Book Review

If you know this book, you know the venomous community highly praises it. To veterinary clinics, zookeepers, and horticulturists, this is a classic read for venomous snake husbandry. The author was a practicing herpetologist for over 30 years. The book was initially published in Germany and is considered a classic work in venomous husbandry in German-speaking countries, and now in English.

The Table of Contents

Preface – viii
Acknowledgments – xii
Introduction – 1
General Characteristics of Venomous Snakes – 2
Differentiating Features of Venomous and Nonvenomous Snakes – 2
Comments About the Chemistry and Effects of Snake Venom – 3
My Own Experiences with Snakebites – 9
Immunity to Snake Venom – 11
Venomous Snake Caging and its Special Adaptations – 16
List of Species Presented in this Book – 17
Species Descriptions – 23
Family Elapidae (Cobras and Allies) – 23
Family Viperidae (Adders and True Vipers) – 106
Family Crotalidae (Pitvipers) – 191
Bibliography – 319
Related Periodicals – 329
Index – 330

The Species Covered in the Book

I want to remove all doubt about the species in the book so you can know if the species you are interested in are in the book. The following are the species the book covers. It is grouped by families:

Family: Elapidae

Acanthophis antarcticus, Common Death Adder
Acanthophis laevis, New Guinea Death Adder
Acanthophis praelongus, Northern Death Adder
Acanthophis pyrrhus, Desert Death Adder
Aspidelaps lubricus, South African Coralsnake
Aspidelaps scutatus, Shield-nosed Coralsnake
Austrelaps superbus, Australian Copperhead
Boulengerina annulate, Banded Water Cobra
Bungarus caeruleus, Common Krait
Bungarus candidus, Malayan Krait
Bungarus fasciatus, Banded Krait
Bungarus flaviceps, Red-headed Krait
Bungarus javanicus, Javanese Krait
Bungarus multicinctus, Many-banded Krait
Demansia psammophis, Yellow-faced Whip Snake
Dendroaspis angusticeps, Common Mamba
Dendroaspis jamesoni, Jameson’s Mamba
Dendroaspis polylepis, Black Mamba
Dendroaspis viridis, Green Mamba
Denisonia Suta fasciata, Rosen’s Snake
Elapsoidea sunderwallii, Southern African Garter Snake or Sunder-wall’s Garter Snake
Hemachatus haemachatus, Rinkhals Cobra or Ring-necked Cobra
Maticora bivirgata, Blue Malaysian Coral Snake
Micruroides euryxanthus, Arizona Coral Snake
Micrurus corallinus, Painted Coral Snake
Micrurus frontalis, Southern Coral Snake
Micrurus fulvius, Harlequin Coral Snake
Naja atra, Chinese Cobra
Naja haje, Egyptian Cobra
Naja kaouthia, Monocled Cobra
Naja melanoleuca, Forest Cobra
Naja mossambica, Mozambique Spitting Cobra
Naja naja, Indian Cobra
Naja nigricollis, Black-necked Spitting Cobra
Naja nivea, Cape Cobra
Naja oxiana, Central Asian Cobra
Naja pallida, Red Spitting Cobra
Naja philippinensis, Philippine Cobra
Naja samarensis, Samar Cobra
Naja siamensis, Indochinese Spitting Cobra
Naja sputatrix, Southern Indonesian Spitting Cobra
Naja sumatrana, Golden Spitting Cobra
Notechis scutatus, Mainland Tiger Snake
Ophiophagus hannah, King Cobra
Oxyuranus microlepidotus, Inland Taipan
Oxyuranus scutellatus, Common Taipan
Pseudechis australis, Mulga Snake
Pseudechis colletti, Collett’s Snake
Pseudechis guttatus, Spotted Black Snake
Pseudechis porphyriacus, Red-bellied Black Snake
Pseudohaje goldii, Black Forest Cobra
Pseudonaja nuchalis, Western Brown Snake
Pseudonaja textilis, Eastern Brown Snake
Walterinnesia aegyptia, Black Desert Cobra

Family: Viperidae

Atheris ceratophora, Usambara Bush Viper
Atheris chlorechis, Green Bush Viper
Atheris hispida, Bristly Bush Viper
Athens nitschei, Nitsches Bush Viper
Athens squamigera, Variable Bush Viper
Azemiops feae, Fea’s Viper
Bitis arietans, Puff Adder
Bitis atropos, Berg Adder
Bitis caudalis, Homed Puff Adder
Bitis comuta, Many-horned Adder
Bitis gabonica, Gaboon Viper
Bitis nasicornis, Rhinoceros Viper
Bitis peringueyi, Peringuey’s Adder
Bitis schneideri, Namaqua Dwarf Adder
Causus difilippii, Snouted Night Adder
Causus lichtensteinii, Lichtenstein’s Night Adder
Causus resimus, Green Night Adder
Causus rhombeatus, Common Night Adder
Cerastes cerastes, Sahara Horned Viper
Cerastes vipera, Avicenna’s Viper
Daboia russelii, Russell’s Viper
Echis carmatus, Saw-scaled Viper
Echis coloratus, Carpet Viper or Palestine Saw-scaled Viper
Echis leucogaster, White-bellied Carpet Viper
Echis ocellatus, West African Carpet Viper
Echis pyramidum, Northeast African Carpet Viper
Eristicophis macmahonii, MacMahon’s Viper
Macrovipera deserti, Desert Viper
Macrovipera lebetina, Levant Viper
Macrovipera mauritanica, Moorish Viper
Macrovipera schweizeri, Schweizer’s Viper or Cyclades Blunt-nosed Viper
Montatheris hindii, Hind’s Mountane Viper
Proatheris superciliaris, Swamp Viper or Lowland Viper
Pseudocerastes persicus, Persian Horned Viper
Vipera ammodytes, European Nose-horned Viper
Vipera aspis, Asp Viper
Vipera berus, True Adder (or Common Viper)
Vipera dinniki, Dinnik’s Viper or Caucasus Subalpine Viper
Vipera kaznakovi, Caucasian Viper
Vipera latastei, Lataste’s Viper
Vipera nikolskii, Nikolsky’s Viper
Vipera palaestinae, Palestine Viper
Vipera raddei, Radde’s Mountain Viper
Vipera seoanei, Iberian Viper
Vipera ursinii, Meadow Viper
Vipera wagneri, Wagner’s Viper
Vipera xanthina, Ottoman Viper

Family: Crotalidae (Now a Sub-family Called: Crotalinae)

Agkistrodon bilineatus, Cantil or Tropical Moccasin
Agkistrodon blomhoffii, Mamushi
Agkistrodon contortrix, Copperhead
Agkistrodon halys, Halys Pitviper
Agkistrodon himalayanus, Himalayan Pitviper
Agkistrodon intermedius, Central Asian Pitviper
Agkistrodon monticola, Likiang Pitviper
Agkistrodon piscivorus, Water Moccasin or Cottonmouth
Bothriechis aurifer, Yellow-blotched Palm Pitviper
Bothriechis lateralis, Side-striped Palm Pitviper
Bothriechis marchi, March’s Palm Pitviper
Bothriechis schlegelii, Eyelash Palm Pitviper
Bothriopsis bilineata, Green Forest-pitviper
Bothriopsis taeniata, Speckled Forest-pitviper
Bothrops altematus, Half-moon Lance-headed Viper or Urutu
Bothrops asper, Terciopelo
Bothrops atrox, Common Lancehead
Bothrops brazili, Brazil’s Lancehead
Bothrops erythromelas, Caatinga Lancehead
Bothrops insularis, Golden Lancehead
Bothrops itapetiningae, Cotiarinha or Sao Paulo Lancehead
Bothrops jararaca, Jararaca
Bothrops jararacussu, Jararacussu
Bothrops moojeni, Brazilian Lancehead
Bothrops neuwiedi, Neuwied’s Lancehead
Calloselasma rhodostoma, Malayan Pitviper
Cerrophidion godmani, Godman’s Montane Pitviper
Crotalus adamanteus, Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
Crotalus atrox, Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Crotalus basiliscus, Mexican West-coast Rattlesnake
Crotalus catalinensis, Santa Catalina Island Rattlesnake or Rattleless Rattlesnake
Crotalus cerastes, Sidewinder
Crotalus durissus, Neotropical Rattlesnake
Crotalus enyo, Lower California Rattlesnake
Crotalus horridus, Timber Rattlesnake
Crotalus lepidus, Rock Rattlesnake
Crotalus mitchellii, Speckled Rattlesnake
Crotalus molossus, Blacktail Rattlesnake
Crotalus polystictus, Mexican Lance-headed Rattlesnake
Crotalus pricei, Twin-spotted Rattlesnake
Crotalus pusillus, Tancitaran Dusky Rattlesnake
Crotalus ruber, Red Diamond Rattlesnake
Crotalus scutulatus, Mojave Rattlesnake
Crotalus tigris, Tiger Rattlesnake
Crotalus triseriatus, Mexican Dusky Rattlesnake
Crotalus vegrandis, Uracoan Rattlesnake
Crotalus viridis, Western Rattlesnake or Prairie Rattlesnake
Crotalus willardi, Ridgenosed Rattlesnake
Deinagkistrodon acutus, Hundred-pace Viper
Hypnale hypnale, Hump-nosed Pitviper
Lachesis muta, Bushmaster
Ophryacus undulatus, Mexican Homed Pitviper
Ovophis monticola, Mountain Pitviper
Ovophis okinavensis, Okinawa Pitviper or Hime-habu
Porthidium nasutum, Hognosed Pitviper
Porthidium nummifer, Jumping Viper
Porthidium ophryomegas, Slender Hognosed Pitviper
Protobothrops flavoviridis, Habu
Protobothrops mucrosquamatus, Taiwanese Habu
Protobothrops tokarensis, Tokara Habu
Sistrurus catenatus, Massasauga
Sistrurus miliarius, Pygmy Rattlesnake
Sistrurus ravus, Mexican Pygmy Rattlesnake
Trimeresurus albolabris, White-lipped Pitviper
Trimeresurus bomeensis, Borneo Bamboo Viper
Trimeresurus erythrurus, Red-tailed Bamboo Pitviper
Trimeresurus flavomaculatus, Philippine Pitviper
Trimeresurus gramineus, Bamboo Pitviper
Trimeresurus macrops, Large-eyed Bamboo Pitviper
Trimeresurus popeiorum, Pope’s Bamboo Pitviper
Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus, Purple-spotted Pitviper
Trimeresurus stejnegeri, Chinese Bamboo Pitviper
Trimeresurus trigonocephalus, Sri Lankan Green Pitviper
Trimeresurus venustus, Vogel’s Pitviper
Tropidolaemus, Wagler’s Pitvipers
Tropidlaemus wagleri, Wagler’s Pitviper

I know of no other book that covers so many species in such great detail. Truly a great book.


Sadly, as I understand, they no longer print the book. If anyone can change that, please do, it would make the book much cheaper. The last few copies go for around $200. But it is worth it if you want to have a lot of specific information for specific species. We highly recommend this book.

“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” ― Mahatma Gandhi