Shield-nose Snake - Aspedilaps scutatus

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Average Length: 40 cm Names in other languages
Afrikaans: Skildneusslang
Look for:
  • A short, solid snake

  • Brown blotches on back

  • Large shield on nose

  • Head usually mostly black

  • White eye stripe

  • White throat band

  • White belly

  • Can play dead



Distribution


Venom Type: Neurotoxic. Bites of this snake seldom has serious symptoms (slurred speech, drooping eyelids and partial paralysis) and soon clears up after 2-3 days. At least one death has been reported


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 swelling is severe. Take victim to hospital as soon as possible.

Habits

This snake has a large rostral scale which is used as a bull-dozer to push through sandy soil. If molested it may raise the forepart of body, flatten the neck and hiss noisily. It does not spread a hood. It may play dead but when molested will raise its head and strike repeatedly.

Food

Small mammals, amphibians, lizards and snakes.

Reproduction

Oviparous. Lays 4-14 eggs and may coil around them to protect them.

Enemies

Other snakes.

Habitat

Sandy and stony regions in Namib Desert, moist and arid savanna.

 

 

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