Common Slug Eater, Scientific name: Duberria lutrix
Adults Common Slug Eater average 30cm to 35cm in length, but can reach a length of 43cm. A broad, distinct reddish brow band runs along the centre of the back, flanked by a greyish band on either side of body. They may also be broken black dorsolateral lines. These markings are unclear in specimens that are about to shed their skins. The underside is usually cream to yellowish white, edged with black or dark grey dotted lines, so there is a light band down the centre of the belly.
DistributionThey Common Slug Eater occur throughout the wetter, eastern parts of South Africa where there is a plentiful supply of slugs.
HabitatsThey Common Slug Eater are mainly a grassland inhabitant but also occur moist savanna, lowland forest and fynbos. They are a common, harmless species that favours damp localities where they prey on snails and slugs. They are terrestrial and diurnal. They can be found beneath any form of cover, including rocks, logs, grass tufts and vegetation. They are a useful snake in that they keep down the slug and snail populations in gardens. They seldom attempt to bite, preferring instead to roll up tightly into a spiral with its head concealed. It has powerful scent glands which may be used in self-defence.
FoodThey only prey on slugs and snails, which they locate by following the slime trail. When consuming a snail, they will grasp the fore part of the prey and pull the body out of its shell.
ReproductionThey are viviparous (giving live birth), giving birth in late summer to 6 to 22 young, depending on the size of the female. The young measure 8cm to 11cm.
Common names: Common Slug Eater; Brown Slug Eater; Gewone Slakvreter (Afr); Tabakrolletjie (Afr)