Coral Snake - Aspidelaps lubricus

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Average Length: 40 cm. Names in other languages
Afrikaans: Koraalslang.

Look for:

  • A short, solid snake

  • Large shield on nose

  • Black crossbar between eyes

  • Arrow shape at back of head

  • Black crossbars across body

  • Buries body just below sand

  • Lifts head and spreads narrow hood



Distribution


Venom Type: Neurotoxic. Little else is known. Although venom is regarded as being of moderate potency, bites are rare and no 2 children were reportedly killed in Namibia.


First Aid

Immobilise and reassure victim, who must lie down and be kept as quiet as possible. Appl
y pressure bandage immediately, see First-aid procedure;  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.

Habits

A slow moving, semi-burrowing snake. When molested, it may raise the forepart of the body, flatten the neck and hiss noisily, always ready to bite.  It often buries its body just beneath the surface of the sand. Very active after rains when many of them are killed by vehicles on the roads. Very bad-tempered and spreads a narrow hood when cornered. It will strike repeatedly while hissing and lunging forward.

Food

Lizards, small snakes and rodents.

Reproduction

Oviparous. Lays 3-11 eggs in summer which hatch in 60-70 days. Young 170-180 mm.

Enemies

Other snakes and birds of prey.

Habitat

Rocky outcrops, stony dry sandy regions in Namib Desert, arid savanna, Karoo and fynbos.

 

 

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