Colloquial/Common Names: Plain Egg-eater (English); Suidelik Bruin Eiervreter (Afrikaans).

Taxonomy: Class: Reptilia; Order: Squamata; Suborder: Serpentes (Ophidia); Infraorder: Caenophidia; Family: Colubridae.

Identification: A uniform brown snake with a rounded head and keeled scales, giving the snake a rough texture.

Size: Adults average 600-900mm total length.

Distribution: Coastal parts of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Escarpment of Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Swaziland.

Habitat: Indian Ocean Coastal Belt, Savanna and Grassland where it prefers regions of higher rainfall. Shelters under logs, rock slabs and tree hollows.

Activity & Behaviour: Nocturnal, terrestrial and arboreal, these are completely harmless snakes but will coil up and lunge out in a bluff strike hoping to intimidate its aggressor.

Diet & Feeding: Bird eggs, usually freshly laid and undeveloped.

Reproduction: Oviparous, females lay 8-17 eggs which hatch after 2-3 months incubation.

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

References and Recommended Further Reading:

  • Alexander, G. & Marais, J. 2007. A Guide to the Reptiles of Southern Africa. Struik Publishers.
  • Bates, M. F., Branch, W. R., Bauer, A. M., Burger, M., Marais, J., Alexander, G. J., & de Villiers, M. S. (eds). 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
  • Branch, W. R. 1998. Field Guide to Snakes and other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Struik Publishers.
  • Broadley, D. G. 1990. FitzSimons’ Snakes of Southern Africa. Jonathan Ball and Ad. Donker Publishers.

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