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About Snakes

Cape Cobra

Snakes These are legless reptiles with a left lung that is either reduced or absent. Hearing: they lack external ears. F1 they pick up ground and air-borne vibrations A ligament joins the two halves of the lower jaw and each can move independently. The ribs are loosely attached to the vertebrae allowing for the abnormal swelling of the body cavity …

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Rufous-beaked snake

Rufous-beaked Snake

Rufous-beaked snake is a medium to large non-venomous snake most often found in mopane and broad-leafed woodland in Botswana. They hunt primarily by entering burrows and disused termitaria where they feed on a wide range of vertibrates including other snakes. Juveniles frequently take invertibrates. They are pale brownish on the back with an almost hooked appearance to the pointed head. …

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Shield-nosed snake

Shield-nosed Snake

Shield-nosed snake Family: Elapidae Aspidelaps scutatus is a short cobra reaching 75cm and is brown to reddish brown on the back. The throat is white with black bands across it. The head is brown to black with white blotches. Nocturnal. Food: reptiles, frogs and rodents. Habitat: savanna and arid areas of Namibia and Botswana. Reproduction: Oviparous. Lays up to 14 eggs Venom: …

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Spotted bush snake

Spotted Bush Snake

Spotted Bush Snake Philothamnus semivarigatus is a very common species in the Okavango but seldom seen due to its arboreal habits and excellent camouflage. It is a mildly venomous back-fanged member of the Colubridae family. The diet consists mostly of lizards, geckos, hatchling birds and frogs.

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Rhombic egg eater

Rhombic Egg-Eater

Rhombic Egg Eater Dasypeltis scabra is a common but easily overlooked snake in northern Botswana. The colouration mimics the venomous night adder and the rough scales when rubbed together in the special coiling motion make a hiss similar to the highly venomous adders. To add to the display the inside of the mouth is pitch-black (a trait it shares with …

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Angolan garter snake

Angolan Garter Snake

Angolan Garter Snake is a small mildly venomous snake. The juvenile has black and white bands of a similar width. With age the white bands turn black from the middle outward leaving 2 pale bands along the edge of what was 1 broad white band. It has a more rounded snout than the Sunevall’s Garter Snake which also occurs in …

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Eastern tiger snake

Eastern Tiger Snake

Eastern Tiger Snake is a mildly venomous snake belonging to the family colubridae. It feeds primarily on geckos, lizards, small rodents and birds. It is nocturnal. The pale orange body with black blotches down the spine make this snake unmistakeable. Common but seldom seen in northern Botswana.

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Southern African python

South African Python

Southern African python  Family boidae Python natalensis  This heavily built snake grows to 4-5m in southern Africa but can get to 6m further north. Cryptic markings in brown, grey and black throughout the back whilst the belly is a dirty white. There is a spear-shaped brown marking on the head. Nocturnal but sometimes moves around during the day. Food: They eat …

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Puff adder

Puff Adder

Puff adder. Family: Viperidae Bitis arietans This thick set snake can grow to 1.4m in length and even longer in central and east Africa. Cryptic colours on the back ranging from tan, brown or grey with black/dark brown. The head is distinctly triangular. Diurnal. Food: they eat small mammals, reptiles and frogs. Habitat: found throughout southern Africa and often found sunning themselves …

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Boomslang

Boomslang

Boomslang  Family: Colubridae Dispholidus typus can grow to 2m long. These snakes are dimorphic: in Botswana the female is a dull brown on the back and dirty cream speckled underbelly. The male is green. The eyes of this snake are noticeably larger than other snakes. They are one of the very few snakes worldwide able to see stationary prey/predators. Diurnal. Food: they eat …

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