FAMILY ELAPIDAE (FRONT FANGED VENOMOUS LAND SNAKES).
Found in many parts of the world, the Elapids are the dominant snakes in most parts of Australia and Tasmania; (The only Tasmanian snakes are Elapids). Elapids include some of the world's deadliest snakes, including the American Coral Snakes, African Mambas, Asian Kraits, Cobras from Afro-Asia, and all of Australia's dangerous land snakes.
Only in Australia has this family undergone a most dramatic adaptive radiation and specieation in the absence of the Colubrid and other snakes found elsewhere. About seventy Australian species are currently known.
The larger species are all dangerous, with most but not all smaller species being relatively harmless to humans, due to their small fangs and relatively weak venom.
Elapids are distinguishable by their fangs mounted at the front of their mouth, which are shed and replaced at regular intervals, through which venom is injected into prey by a hypodermic like action. Elapid venom is most dangerous due to its' neurotoxic (nerve killing) effects, although other componants present do cause complications in serious bites.
The biology and forms of different species are highly varied, with species occupying most available habitats. Reproductive modes range from egg laying to viviparous live bearing, and most intermediate modes.
The above was from the book Australian Reptiles and Frogs by Raymond Hoser and now available on a fantastic CD-Rom along with a vast amount of other information, papers and the like on reptiles, frogs and other wildlife.