Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Aparallactus Capensis (Black-headed Centipede Eater Snakes)

They Aparallactus Capensis-Black-headed Centipede Eater are mildly venomous. The Aparallactus Capensis venom is thought to have no effect on humans. Adults average 20cm to 30cm in length, but can exceed 40cm. They are yellowish or reddish brown on the upper side of the body. The head is black and is backed by a black collar that narrows on the sides of the neck. The under side is either white or diry-white.


Distribution
The Aparallactus Capensis occur in the Eastern Cape, the whole of KZN, the former Transvaal, Zimbabwe and southern Mozambique.

Habitat
The Aparallactus Capensis are commonly found in old termite mounds in lowland forest, moist savanna and grassland. It is Black-headed Centipede Eate nocturnal and is very active after rains. A single termite mound may house several individuals to which they are attracted by warmth, suitable shelter and food. They bite readily when handled but the teeth are minute and seldom pierce the skin. It is often caught by snake collectors but does not do well in captivity and soon starves to death.




Food
The Aparallactus Capensis feed on centipedes which they seize and then chew along the body until the venom takes effect. If the centipede bites the snake, it will release the prey and start chewing again. The centipede is swallowed headfirst.

Reproduction
The Aparallactus Capensis (Black-headed Centipede Eate) are oviparous, laying 2 to 4 elongate eggs during summer. The young measure 9cm to 12cm long and are replicas of the adults.

Tags: Aparallactus capensis Common names: Black-headed Centipede Eater; Cape Centipede Eater; Swartkop-honderdpootvreter

1 comments:

Victoria Handley said...

I rescued a baby centipede eater from a pile of rubble it's brothers and sisters all having been killed by the workmen who believe the only good snake is a dead one. I have searched in my garden but I can't find any centipedes. Does anyone know if it will eat baby millipedes. I don't want to release him only for him to starve.

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