Re: Snakes - Pics & Descriptions

Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:44 am

Boomslang Dispholidus typus
Family: Colubridae. Subfamily: Colubrinae

Image © Bushcraft
Around the Kruger Tablets in the Kruger National Park.

Image © aat
Kruger National Park

Image © Michele Nel
Kirstenbosch

Image © Bushcraft

Characteristics
• Strongly keeled dorsal scales
• Very large eyes and a short stubby head
• May inflate the neck and most of the body when provoked
• Spends most of its life in shrubs and trees
• Diurnal

Description
Can be identified by its large eye (the largest of any snake in Africa), a small head, its ability to inflate its neck when threatened, its keeled (rough) scales, and a two tone colour body (normally), males are often black and yellow while females are brown or olive coloured; there are even some specimens that are red. The Boomslang has the reputation of having more colour variations than any other snake in South Africa. This snake has an average length of 1.3 meters but may reach 2 meters.

Scalation
Midbody scales are in 19 rows (rarely 17 or 21), with 164-201 ventrals and 104-142paired subcaudals. The anal shield is divided. There are 7 (rarely 6 or 8) upper labials with the 3rd and 4th entering the eye, and 8-13 lower labials, as well as 1 preocular (somestimes 2) and 3 (sometimes 2 or 4) postoculars. Temporals are variable, usually 1+2.

Geographical distribution
The Boomslang has a wide distribution: within southern Africa it is present in almost all provinces except the Northern Cape, it is however absent from the northern part of the Western Cape and part of the Free State. It is also found in Swaziland, southern Mozambique, most of Botswana and northern Namibia.

Habitat
It has a wide habitat range including lowland forest, savanna, grassland, fynbos and Karoo scrub. It is very rarely seen on the ground, being usually found in trees or small shrubs.

Behaviour
A notably unobtrusive, shy and diurnal snake that spends most of its time in trees and shrubs. It may also descend to the ground to hunt or bask.
With its superior vision, the Boomslang has no difficulty in locating prey. When it does, it freezes with its head cocked, the only movement being lateral waves that sweep the neck. It then swoops onto its prey, which is held firmly in its jaw.
If provoked, the Boomslang will inflate the neck region to more than twice the normal size, displaying the vividly marked skin. Eventually, the entire body is inflated, at which stage the snake will strike sideways and forward with a jerky motion.

Diet
Consists primarily of chameleons but also consists of lizards, birds, birds eggs and frogs.

Predators
This snake is preyed on by birds of prey and other snakes (including its own species).

Reproduction
Oviparous (egg laying) and generally lays between 8 and 14 eggs in late spring or early summer, The Boomslang mates in a tree unlike most other snakes which mate on the ground, It is able to lay its eggs either in disused birds nests or on the ground near a tree.

Venom
This snake has a lethal haemotoxic venom which although dangerous is very slow acting (it may take 24 hours for the symptoms to become apparent). It requires a unique antivenom which is luckily available from all major provincial capital hospitals in its range. However it is rarely required because the Boomslang is a non-aggressive snake and is seldom seen.

Links: Marais, J. 2004. A Complete Guide to Snakes of Southern Africa.

Image © Sprocky
Grietjie Private Reserve (Balule)

Re: Africa Wild Reptile Book: Snakes - Photos & Descriptions

Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:30 pm

Anchieta's Cobra, Angolan Cobra Naja anchietae (Anchieta se Kobra)
Family: Elapidae. Subfamily: Elapinae

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Characteristics
• Often basking near its retreat
• Found along wooded river banks
• Broad head
• Non-spitting, but spreads its hood when cornered
• Active at dusk

Description
This is a large, slightly depressed, tapered and moderately slender-bodied species with a medium-length tail. It has a large and impressive hood, with a distinctive brown neck band in juveniles. Anchieta's Cobra has a broad head, flattened and slightly distinct from the neck. The canthus is distinct. The snout is rounded and the eyes are medium in size with round pupils. Adults average around 1m in length.
Colouration varies from yellowish-brown to dark brown or almost black for the plain phase. Prominent dark bands occur on juveniles's necks but fade as they age. The venter is usually yellow, heavily blotched with dark brown, and the throat band, covering ca. ventrals 12-23, becomes purple-brown in mature snakes.
There is also a banded phase which usually has 7 yellowish bands on the body and 2 on the tail. The banded phase is more common in males.
Similar species: Regarded as conspecific until recently, the Anchieta’s Cobra Naja anchietae is restricted to south-western Africa whereas the Snouted Cobra Naja annulifera occurs in the south-east (also distinguised by scalation: it has 19 midbody dorsal scale rows, 19 dorsal scale rows around neck). Both are large mainly crepuscular snakes.

Scalation
Midbody scales are in 17 rows, with 179-200 ventrals and 51-S6 paired subcaudals. The anal shield is entire. There are 7 (sometimes 8) upper labials that do not enter the eye and 8 or 9 (rarely 10) lower labials, as well as 1 preocular and 2 postoculars. Temporals are variable, 1 + 2 or 1 + 3.
The non-spitting cobra sare characterised by the possession of a row of subocular scales separating the eye from the supralabials, which distinguishes it from all other cobras except N. nivea, which lacks this distinguishing feature.

Geographical distribution
This species is found in northern Botswana and northern Namibia and further north into Angola and Zambia.

Taxonomy
Historically, the distribution of the Egyptian Cobra Naja haje was thought to extend from Morocco to Egypt along the northern edge of the Sahara, along the Nile valley, and then in the savannas of tropical Africa from Sudan to Senegal and South Africa. Several subspecies have been recognised, amongst them N. h. annulifera Peters, 1854, in eastern parts of southern Africa, and N. h. anchietae Bocage, 1879, from western parts of southern Africa. Based on morphological character analysis, Broadley (1995) raised N. annulifera to species level, with N. a. anchietae as a subspecies, thus including all the southern populations of N. haje sensu lato. This was later confirmed through mtDNA sequence analysis by Broadley & Wüster (2004), who also found evidence to recognise N. anchietae as a separate species from N. annulifera.

Habitat
This cobra is usually found in arid savanna (often along rivers) or grassland, never forest or desert regions.

Behaviour
This is a terrestrial and nocturnal species, emerging at dusk to forage. It is often seen basking under the sun near its home base during the day. It usually has a preferred home base in abandoned termite mounds, rock holes, or burrows to which it returns. It is not generally aggressive, but if confronted, it will rear up the front of its body and spread an impressive 10-12-cm-wide hood, hiss and may strike. It may also feign death.

Diet
It feeds on a wide variety of prey, including toads, rodents, birds (including poultry), bird eggs, lizards and other snakes.

Predators
This species is preyed upon by birds of prey, especially snake eagles and secretary birds. It is also prey to some mongoose species and other snakes.

Reproduction
This species is oviparous. The female lays between 47 and 60 eggs in summer. The hatchlings measure 22-34 cm.

Venom
This cobra will bite readily when confronted.
Venom of this species is primarily neurotoxic and cardiotoxic. As a large species, it can inject relatively large quantities of venom in a single bite. It has been known to have caused human fatalities.

Links: Johan Marais: What's that Snake?: A Starter's Guide to Snakes of Southern Africa; Johan Marais: A Complete Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa
Last edited by aat on Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Re: AW Reptile Book: Snakes - Pics & Descriptions

Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:34 am

Snouted Night Adder Causus defilippi (Wipneusnagadder)
Family: Viperidae. Subfamily: Causinae

Image © Heksie

Image © Heksie

Image © Heksie

Image © Heksie
Kruger National Park

Characteristics
• Amost smooth scales
• Head barely distinct from the rest of the body
• Dark V-marking from between the eyes to the back of the head
• Eyes medium-sized with round pupils
• Nocturnal
• Found on the ground in damp areas

Description
The color pattern consists of a light brown, pinkish brown to gray or grayish green ground color, overlaid with a series of 20–30 triangular blotches that run down the back. However, these marking may be indistinct. The head has a characteristic V-shaped marking with the apex on the frontal plate. There is also an oblique dark streak present behind the eye. The belly is yellowish or white, uniformly colored or with scattered small grayish brown spots. Juvenile specimens are commonly a glossy black or gray.
The snout is upturned and pointed.
It has an average length of 35 cm but may reach 43 cm in length.
Similar species: The Snouted Night Adder is easily confused with the Common Night Adder as it is very similar in appearance but is much smaller.

Scalation
The circumorbital ring consists of 1–2 preocular scales, 1–2 postoculars and 1–2 suboculars that separate the eye from the supralabials. There are a total of 6–7 supralabials and 7–10 sublabials. The first 3–4 sublabials are in contact with the anterior chin shields. The posterior chin shields are very small and indistinguishable from other posterior scales. The temporal scales number 2+3, sometimes 2+4, and rarely 1+2.
Midbody there are 16–18 rows of weakly keeled dorsal scales that have a velvety appearance. There are 108–128 ventral scales: rarely more than 117 in males, or less than 118 in females. The anal scale is single. The divided subcaudals number 10–19: seldom less than 14 in males, or more than 15 in females.

Geographical Distribution
Found in coastal Kenya and Tanzania through eastern Africa (Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique) to South Africa (Northern, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal Provinces) as far south as Durban. Common in the Lowveld and in the more arid savanna of Zimbabwe.

Habitat
Occurs in moist and dry savanna, coastal thickets, it favors moist surroundings.

Behaviour
Generally nocturnal, but not entirely. They are mostly terrestrial, but sometimes climb into low vegetation in pursuit of frogs and are also good swimmers. When not basking, they remain hidden in ground cover, brush piles, and in holes. If disturbed, they inflate themselves and hiss. They are slow-moving for the most part, but can strike quickly.

Diet
Specialist feeder of small amphibians.

Reproduction
All Causus species lay eggs (oviparous). The female lays 6 to 8 eggs (approximately 25 x 12 mm) during the summer month. The young measure about 10 cm.

Venom
The venom of this species is mild and can cause only local pain and swelling.

Links: What's that Snake?: A Starter's Guide to Snakes of Southern Africa; William R. Branch: Field Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa

Re: Snakes - Pics & Descriptions

Sat May 10, 2014 3:58 pm

Black Mamba Dendroaspis polylepis (Swartmamba)
Family: Elapidae. Subfamily: Elapinae

Image © Valerie Nxumalo
Kruger National Park

Characteristics
• Long slender black snake
• Coffin shaped head
• Often seen in trees
• Jet black inside of the mouth
• May spread narrow hood and can raise about 30% of its' body off the ground

Description
This snake usually averages 2.3-2.5 m but certain sources also claim rare cases of lengths of 4.3 and even 4.5 m.
Contrary to their common name, black mambas are not actually black. They are normally uniform grey to dark grey or olive brown in colour with a very distinctive coffin shaped head and a black throat lining. Its jaws form a "smile". The ventral scales are grey with a greenish tinge to them and darker blotches may be present. It is the inside mouth colour that gives this species it’s name, being a very intense black. The eyes are dark brown to black, with a silvery-white to yellow edge on the pupils.

Scalation
Midbody scales are in 23-25 (rarely 21) rows, with 248-281 ventrals and 109–132 paired subcaudals. The anal shield is divided. There are 7-10 upper labials with the 3rd and sometimes the 4th entering the eye, and 10-14 (usually 11-13) lower labials, as well as 3-4 preocular and 3 (sometimes 4) postoculars. Temporals are variable, usually 2+3.

Geographical distribution
Endemic to sub-Saharan Africa. Northern parts of subcontinent (absent from desert), extending south along KwaZulu-Natal coast to Port St Johns.

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Habitat
Its preferred habitat includes the following, termite mounds, hollow tree trunks and small hillocks in lowland forest or savanna. It is important to note that it can also climb into trees or shrubs.

Behaviour
This snake is strictly diurnal.
It is able to move with a third of its body of the ground. When threatened they often raise the front part of the body, spreading a narrow hood and opening the mouth, displaying the black inside to the mouth.
It is a species that also doesn’t hold back to bite, and will often inflict multiple bites.
Male combat is a wrestling match with males raising and twining around each other’s body, with the weaker specimen moving off.

Diet
The diet consists of rodents, squirrels, hyraxes (dassies) and fledgling birds. They actively pursue their prey, striking rapidly until it succumbs to the poison.

Predators
Has very few animals which feed on it, however it is occasionally eaten by other snakes and birds of prey ( e.g. Secretary birds and Snake eagles). Juveniles can be eaten by a variety of predators such as Red-billed hornbill.

Reproduction
Oviparous, laying between 10 and 25 eggs which are laid approximately 55 days after mating (during which the males will engage in combat) takes place in late spring or early summer. The hatchlings are about 50 cm.

Venom
Produces a powerful neurotoxic venom, which although less powerful than the Cape cobra's is more deadly. This is because of the snake's ability to inject large quantities of venom and because its height enables it to inject venom at chest level. it is for these reasons that the Black mamba has the title of being Africa's most deadly snake, This in spite of an antivenom being available.
The venom yield is large, varying between 100-400 mg on average, but only 10-15 mg is required to cause a human fatality. It is extremely fast acting venom and can cause respiratory failure in 7-15 hours. Hospitalisation must be rapid and large amounts of antivenin will be required.

Links: William R. Branch: Field Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa; Johan Marais: Snakes & snake bite in Southern Africa

Image © Sharifa
Kruger National Park

Re: Africa Wild Reptile Book: Snakes - Photos & Descriptions

Fri May 23, 2014 6:15 pm

The Black Mamba is the second largest venomous snake in the world and reputed to be the fastest moving snake. It is described as one of the most dangerous snakes in the world.

Like in many other species, the male black mamba, has to fight off other males for mating rights.
One would expect this to be a fearsome and aggressive battle. We had the privilege to witness such a battle and it looks more like a dance and has even been confused as mating.

The snakes coil around each other and lift their heads off the ground. The object is to pin the opponent’s head to the ground. The battle can last from a few minutes to an hour until one snake proves to be dominant.

We saw this encounter at Loskop Dam Nature Reserve (near Middleburg, Mpumalanga, South Africa) on 10 May 2014.

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Re: Snakes - Pics & Descriptions

Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:54 am

Common Slug Eater Duberria lutrix (Gewone Slakvreter, Tabakrolletjie)
Family: Colubridae. Subfamily: Boodontinae

Image © steamtrainfan
Rietvlei Nature Reserve, Gauteng

Characteristics
• Has a small head, hardly distinct from the rest of the body.
• Has powerful scent glands, which may be used in self-defence, especially when handled.
• May roll up into a tight spiral.
• Favour damp localities.

Description
Average Length: 25 cm. Max SVL for males 355 mm and 360 mm for females.
A stout-bodied, small brown snake with a head that is not distinct from the body. It may be identified by its habit of rolling into a spiral when threatened. The colours vary, but typically have an olive green to brown or russet back, pale or grey flanks, a yellowish or cream belly. A very fine, neat black line often separates the back and sides. The sides are also separated from the white edges of the belly by a similar thin black line.

Scalation
Smooth cales. Scales at midbody in 15 rows with 116 to 142 ventrals and 24 to 51 paired subcaudals. the anal shield is entire.

Geographical Distribution
This species is widespread from Ethiopia in the north, and as far south as the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Found all along South Africa's East Coast and throughout the Eastern half of the interior.

Habitat
Grasslands, moist savanna, lowland forest and fynbos.

Behaviour
When alarmed, the snake secretes a noxious substance from glands near the base of the tail and rolls up into a defensive spiral with the head in the middle, leading to the Afrikaans common name tabakrolletjie ("tobacco roll").

Diet
As the name implies, the common slug eater is a specialised predator and feeds on snails and slugs, mostly finding its prey through chemoreception, using its tongue. It swallows its prey quickly before too much defensive mucus is produced, extracting snails from their shells through the shell opening, or by smashing the shell against a rock while grasping the soft body in its jaws.

Predators
Predatory birds and other snakes.

Reproduction
Ovoviviparous. The common slug eater usually gives birth to litters of three to twelve young. However, broods from large females may consist of as many as 22 newborns, each measuring 8-11 cm. The total combined weight of the young may exceed the weight of the female after giving birth. Birthing season is January and February (late summer in southern Africa).

Venom
Non-venomous and not dangerous to man and not likely to bite.

Links: William R. Branch: Field Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa

Re: Snakes - Pics & Descriptions

Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:55 am

Mozambique Spitting Cobra Naja mossambica (Mosambiekse Spoegkobra)
Family: Elapidae

Image © Valerie Nxumalo

Image © Valerie Nxumalo
Limpopo

Characteristics
• Grey to olive-brown with black bars or blotched across the throat
• Each scale on the back is edged in black
• Can spit venom from any position
• Belly is salmon-colored to yellow
• Forms a hood when disturbed, lifting half of the body off the ground
• Typical Cobra - Smooth Shiny scales
• Irregular neck banding - Yellowy or salmon coloured ventral scales

Description
This snake grows to an average length of 1.2 meters but may grow to a length of 1.5 meters.
The characteristic salmon-colored throat identifies this species. The Mozambique Spitting cobra is a fairly small and slender snake with a medium sized eye in a blunt head, the body is cylindrical from shape with a long tail. The colour on the back is usually brownish, pinkish or olive greenish in juveniles. Some larger adult will fade from colour and turn out to be more greyish. The ventral side is mostly pale brown, pinkish or grey. In the neck and throat and a third of the ventral side are black bars, speckles, blotches and spots mixed. Some specimens only have a few black spots while others can be almost black. Juveniles have often a salmon coloured throat. Scales on the side of the head often have black edges. The skin between the scales over the body is black which looks like a sort of net appearance. The lips are black edged. The snout is rounded and the eyes are medium in size with round pupils.

Scalation
Dorsal scales are in 23-25 (rarely 21 or 27) rows at midbody, with 177-205 ventrals and 52-71 paired subcaudals. The anal shield is entire. There are 6 (rarely 7) upper labials with the 3rd (sometimes 3rd and 4th) entering the eye, and 9 (sometimes 8, 10, or 11) lower labials, as well as 2 preoculars (sometimes 1) and 3 (sometimes 2) postoculars. Temporals are variable.

Geographical distribution
This species is found in parts of east and southern Africa. It occurs across the entire northeast of South Africa in the provinces of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo to Gauteng and parts of Free State to the eastern part of the province of North West. Also found throughout Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to much of northeastern Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, northeastern Namibia, southeastern Angola and southern Tanzania including Pemba island.

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Habitat
Found in moist and rocky savanna and lowland forest where it favours broken rocky country and hollow trees or termite mounds close to a water source.

Behaviour
This species is terrestrial and nocturnal, although juveniles often forage during the day. Adults may be seen basking near a retreat or foraging on overcast days. The Mozambique spitting cobra is particularly fond of water.
It is a timid snake species that rarely stands its ground and quickly seeks an escape if disturbed in anyway. If cornered it may spread its hood, but it will not hold the pose for too long. The species' main defense is to "spit" or eject its venom at the eyes of a potential predator or threat. Its fangs are specially modified for spitting venom. The venom canal openings at the tips are directed forwards and at the right angles to the fangs, enabling the snake to eject its venom to a distance greater than 2 m. This species does not always spread a hood before spitting and may only open its mouth slightly before doing so. It can spit effectively from a concealed position within its retreat. It rarely bites and often feigns death.

Diet
Toads, small mammals, birds, lizards, insects.

Predators
Other snakes.

Reproduction
This is an oviparous species that lays 10-22 eggs in midsummer. Hatchlings measure 230 to 250 mmin length and are completely independent from birth.

Venom
This cobra species has a powerful cytotoxic (but also has a weak neurotoxic effect) that causes serious tissue damage requiring skin grafts or blindness if received in the eyes. Slight neurotoxic symptoms. Fatalities are rare.

Links: Bill Branch, William R. Branch: A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa; Johan Marais: 'N volledige gids tot die slange van Suider-Afrika

Re: AW Reptile Book: Snakes - Pics & Descriptions

Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:05 pm

Olive Whip Snake, Olive Grass Snake Psammophis mossambicus (Olyfgrasslang)
Family: Colubridae. Subfamily: Psammophinae

Image © Bushcraft

Image © Bushcraft
Kruger National Park, Lower Sabie

Characteristics
• Fairly large and robust
• Bites readily
• Olive-brown back, paler towards tail
• White-yellow belly, sometimes with black lines
• Dark speckling of upper lip
• Diurnal
• Eye has a round pupil

Taxonomic note
Snakes in the subfamily Psammophine are sometimes classed as being within the family Colubridae, or alternatively within the Lamprophiidae, with Colubroidea being a superfamily.

Size
One of the largest whip snakes. It grows to an average length of 1 meter and a maximum length of 1.8 meters.

Description
Head distinct from the neck, round pupil, long tail and large scales. Above, uniform olive brown or with black-edged scales on the back that may form longitudinal dark lines, and often with scattered black scales on the neck and chin. The lips are pale with finely black-edged reddish brown spots or blotches. The underside is white to yellowish, sometimes with darker spots and mottling.

Scalation
Scale count at midbody would be in 17 rows with 150 to 180 ventral scales and 82 to 121 paired subcaudals. The anal shield is devided. There are 8 (sometimes 6, 7 or 9) upper labials, the fourth and fifth entering the eye. There are 10 (sometimes 9 or 11) lower labials. 1 preocular; 2 postoculars. Temporals are basically 1+3 or 2+3.

Geographical distribution
It occurs in Northern part of the region. Elsewhere to Kenya. KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.

Habitat
This species inhabits moist savanna and lowland forest, sometimes found in vicinity of water often in marshes.

Behaviour
A robustand active snake, dashes for cover when disturbed.It has a strictly diurnal lifestyle like most sand/whip snakes. It lifts the front third of its body well off the ground; is very nervous and retreats with surprising speed before one can approach closely. Stout-bodied and inclined to bite readily when caught. Although they are terrestrial, they may climb onto shrubs and bushes to bask in the sun. Many have truncated tails which are the result of encounters with predators.

Diet
Lizards, small mammals, frogs, snakes and small birds.

Predators
Eaten by birds of prey (particularly Secretary birds and Snake Eagles), other snakes, mongooses.

Reproduction
Oviparous (egg-laying); it lays 10-30 (28-40 x 10-20 mm) eggs in dead leaves in midsummer. Hatches after 65 days and hatchlings are 275-300 mm long.

Venom
Neurotoxic. Not dangerous to man but cause pain, swelling and nausea.

Links: Field Guide; N volledige gids tot die slange van Suider-Afrika

Re: AW Reptile Book: Snakes - Pics & Descriptions

Sat Dec 13, 2014 6:58 pm

Cape Whip Snake, Cape Sand Snake Psammophis leightoni leightoni (Kaapse Sweepslang)
Family: Colubridae. Subfamily: Psammophinae

Image © nan
West Coast National Park

Characteristics
• Very slender snake
• Large eyes with round pupils
• Quick moving
• Diurnal

Taxonomic note
Snakes in the subfamily Psammophine are sometimes classed as being within the family Colubridae, or alternatively within the Lamprophiidae, with Colubroidea being a superfamily.

Size
Average length: 75 cm, max 100 cm.

Description
Dark brown above, top of head with a yellow stripe along the internasal/prefrontal sutures, most of supralabials, pre- and post-oculars yellow, two yellow bars across back of head. Vertebral scale row with a fine yellow line (often broken up), a yellow lateral stripe passes through scale rows 3 & 4 or fourth only, scales in outer row white at base. Chin with a pattern of black streaks, ventrals with a mottled grey median band, widened at the free edge of each ventral and fading posteriorly.

Image
Plate from Boulenger, G. A. 1902. Description of a new snake of the genus Psammophis, from Cape Colony. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1902: 126

Scalation
Nostril pierced between 3 nasals, upper posterior with a posterior prolongation. Scale count at midbody would be in 17 rows with 155 to 161 ventral scales and 92 to 97 paired subcaudals. The anal shield is devided. There are 8 upper labials, the fourth and fifth entering the eye. There are 10 (sometimes 9 or 11) lower labials. 1 preocular; 2 postoculars. Temporals are variable, basically 2+2+3, but with frequent fusions.

Geographical distribution
It is restricted to the Western Cape.

Habitat
This species inhabits renosterveld and sand-plain fynbos.

Behaviour
Mating Season: Spring

Diet
Ground living lizards, skinks, small rodents and small snakes.

Predators
Eaten by birds of prey (particularly Secretary birds and Snake Eagles) and other snakes.

Reproduction
Oviparous (egg-laying).

Venom
The venom is thought to have no affect on man.