| Scientific classification
- D. angusticeps (eastern green mamba)
- D. jamesoni (Jameson's mamba)
- D. jamesoni jamesoni (Jameson's green mamba)
- D. jamesoni kaimosea (Jameson's black-tail mamba)
- D. polylepis (black-mouthed mamba)
- D. polylepis polylepis (black mamba)
- D. viridis (western green mamba)
Mambas, of the genus Dendroaspis, are fast-moving tree-dwelling snakes of Africa. ("Dendroaspis" is literally "tree snake".) They belong to the family of Elapidae which includes cobras, coral snakes, kraits and, debatably, sea snakes, all of which can be extremely deadly. The black mamba is the largest venomous snake in Africa, with an extremely potent neurotoxic venom that attacks the nervous system; the bite is often fatal to humans without access to proper first aid and subsequent antivenin treatment, because it shuts down the lungs and heart. Prior to the availability of antivenom, envenomations by members of this genus carried a nearly 100% fatality rate. However, with antivenom being much more available today, fatalities have become much more rare. Many people have survived treatment without the use of antivenoms. Mambas will detect and get away from humans as fast as possible.
The Western green mamba (D. viridis) and Eastern green mamba, (D. angusticeps), possess venom that is roughly equal in potency to that of the Black mamba (D. polylepis). However, they are not nearly as aggressive.
They are slightly smaller, and are arboreal, whereas the latter is primarily terrestrial.
The black mamba is not named for the colour of its body (which is usually a shade of grey or charcoal), but for the highly pigmented interior of its mouth, which it will display to the predator in hopes it will leave it alone. Many people believe that the Black Mamba will actually chase and attack humans. This is however an utter myth, fed and urged by the fact that they can slither for a short time at about 8-16 miles per hour. Humans are actually their predators, rather than their prey. For that reason, mambas generally avoid contact with humans. However, if a mamba feels threatened by a human, it may defend itself fiercely.
In contrast to all other species in this genus, which are arboreal, black mambas reside in hollow insect mounds, abandoned burrows, and rock crevices. They are diurnal. During the day they actively hunt their prey of small mammals, birds and lizards. They return to the same lair nightly.
Mambas are related to the cobras (Elapids), as can be seen during their threat display, when they stretch a slightly smaller 'hood' while gaping their mouth. Unlike most other snakes, mambas will strike repeatedly if cornered, and have been reported to bring down a giraffe and a lion with their venom.
- Basketball star Kobe Bryant began referring to himself as "Black Mamba" for his rapid scoring ability and his ability to strike from anywhere.
- Legendary cricket player Jonty Rhodes was nicknamed 'The Martizburg Mamba' for the fast speed with which he reacted in the cricket field.
- The protagonist of the movie Kill Bill, The Bride, is also called "Black Mamba."
- In A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, there is a snake called the Mamba du Mal ("du Mal" means "of evil" in French).
- Bigg Jus, a prolific New York based rapper, released his first solo album under the title "Black Mamba Serums" which features repeated references to venomous snakes, as well as audio samples referencing the Black Mamba.
- The #1 hit song "We Built This City" by Starship (band) features the lyric "Marconi plays the mamba, Listen to the radio", despite the fact that "mamba" is not a style of music, but a snake. It is unknown whether or not Starship were meaning to refer to "mambo", a style of music, or if in actuality their lyric was referring to someone who was playing a snake.
- One of the recurring jokes on the MTV hit Wildboyz has someone with a sock puppet named "Black Mamba" attacking unsuspecting people
- Popular indie rock band "The Academy Is..." has a song on their album Almost Here entitled "Black Mamba". The track is also featured on the "Snakes on a Plane" soundtrack.
Mamba toxin is in fact several components, with different targets. Examples are:
- Mamba toxin 3, which inhibits M4 receptors. 
- Mamba toxin 7, which inhibits M1 receptors.
- ^ a b Rang, H. P. (2003). Pharmacology. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, Page139. ISBN 0-443-07145-4.