Spotted Skaapsteker - Psammophylax rhombeatus

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Average Length: 70 cm Names in other languages
Afrikaans: Gevlekte Skaapsteker
Look for:
  • Smallish head with rounded snout
  • 3 Rows of dark-edged blotches down back which may form a zig-zag pattern or irregular stripes
  • Dark spots on upper lip
  • Yellowish belly with dark blotches
  • Moves into grass and freezes, usually coiled around a tuft of grass


Distribution


 Venom Type: Neurotoxic. So little venom is introduced that it's effects usually result in no more than mild local symptoms.


First Aid

Not necessary

Habits

Alert and quick moving, apt to bite when confronted. An active hunter, it is nervous and will disappear into grass when disturbed where it freezes and coils around a tuft of grass; it is well camouflaged and difficult to find.

Food

Rodents, lizards, birds and frogs.

Reproduction

Oviparous. Lays 8-30 eggs which hatch in 40 days. Young measure 180-220mm.

Enemies

Predatory birds and other snakes.

Habitat

Found from coast to mountain tops where it inhabits fynbos, grassland and moist savanna.

 

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Safari Media Africa / C. Mitchell 2002/2003

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