Brown House Snake Scientific name: Lamprophis capensis (formerly fuliginosus)
This Brown House snake is harmless to humans. The average length of adults is 60cm to 90cm, but those from KZN can reach 1,5m. The upper parts are a uniform light to reddish brown often with reddish blotches on the anterior half of the body or dark olive to black, especially in old specimens. There are two light stripes on either side of the head one running from the tip of the snout across the upper half of the eye and sometimes running along the anterior third of the body, while the other runs from the lower half of the eye to the angle of the mouth. This characteristic distinguishes the Brown House Snake from all all other South African snakes. The underside is yellowish to mother-ofpearl white. Juveniles may have distinct spots or mottling dorsally.
Distribution They Brown House Snake occur throughout South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe a,d Mozambique south of the Zambezi River.
Habitat They are found almost everywhere. They are common around human dwellings. They are a common nocturnal constrictor that forages for rodents. They are ofeten found around houses but, due to their nocturnal habits, they are seldom seen, except during clean-up operations when they may be found in rubbish heaps, compost heaps or in tool sheds or outbuildings. They prey on rodents, which are secured with te sharp teeth and are then constricted. They have the ability to devour an entire rodent family in one session. They can bite if threatened. They may sham death when threatened.
Their main diet is rodents and other small vertebrates, including bats, birds, lizards and skinks. Frogs are also sometimes eaten.
They are oviparous, laying 8 to 18 eggs in summer. The young measure 19cm to 26cm. Captive females have produced several batches of eggs per season.
Common names: Brown House Snake; Bruinhuisslang (Afr); Umzingandlu (Zulu)