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The 12 Arab countries of the Middle East are inhabited by 21 species of terrestrial venomous snakes of varying medical importance. This review considers these species, consisting of 16 viperids, 3 elapids and 2 atractaspidines. Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen report the largest numbers of snakebites and envenomings. Accessible literature in English and Arabic on venomous snakes and snakebites and available antivenoms is reviewed. Clinical effects include potentially misleading symptoms attributable to anxiety and traditional pre-hospital treatments.

Original publication




Journal article


Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology

Publication Date





1 - 15


Biology Department, Jordan University for Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan. Electronic address:


Animals, Snakes, Elapidae, Snake Bites, Middle East