Parent gripping black snake (5)
I believe the answer is:
'snake' is the definition.
(I know that Mamba is a type of elapid)
'parent gripping black' is the wordplay.
'parent' becomes 'mama' (mama is a kind of parent).
'gripping' means one lot of letters goes inside another (inserted letters are gripped).
'black' becomes 'b' (as in pencil classifications).
'mama' placed around 'b' is 'MAMBA'.
(Other definitions for mamba that I've seen before include "Deadly African snake" , "Deadly creature" , "Death-dealing African" , "Venomous African tree snake" , "venomous crawler" .)