Boomslang - Dispholidus typus

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Average Length: 1,2 m. Names in other languages
Afrikaans: Boomslang.
Look for:
  • Large, emerald-green eyes
  • Short, stubby head with round pupils
  • Always in trees
  • Males green, females brown
  • Keeled body scales


Distribution


Venom Type: Haematoxic. Venom is slow-acting (up to 48 hours to symptoms) and causes profuse bleeding from internal organs and mucous surfaces, resulting in extensive lesions under skin


First Aid

Immobilise and reassure victim, who must lie down and be kept as quiet as possible. Apply pressure bandage immediately, see First-aid procedures;  immobilise limb with a splint to reduce spread of venom. Loosen, but do not remove bandage if there is severe swelling. Take victim to hospital as soon  as possible.

General

A quick, alert snake, able to glide through trees, bushes and overland.  If molested, it inflates its neck and body to a considerable size to expose the brightly colored skin. May strike sideways in rapid, jerky action. Vision is excellent. The male boomslang is green and the female a dull grey colour. Juveniles have emerald-coloured eyes.

Habits

A shy snake, spending most of its time in trees, well camouflaged and not easy to detect. When food is spotted, it freezes, moves head from side to side, then swoops down onto prey, holding it firmly in his jaws, fangs moving in chewing motion.

Food

Chameleons, lizards, bird eggs and frogs.

Reproduction

Mates in the spring. Oviparous. Lays 10-27 eggs which hatch after 90 days. Young 290-300 mm.

Enemies

Birds and other snakes.

Habitat

Savanna and open bush.


An aggressive boomslang with laterally flattened neck

 

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