Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Olive Grass Snake or Whip Snake (Psammophis mossambicus)

The Olive Grass or Whip Snake average adult length is 1m, but they can reach 1,8m. The Olive Grass or Whip Snake upper part of the body is a uniform olive brown or with black-edged scales on the back which form longitudinal dark lines. They often have scattered black scales on the neck and chin. The lips are pale with finely black-edged reddish-brown spots or blotches. The underside is white to yellowish, sometimes with darker spots or mottling.

Distribution Olive Grass or Whip Snake They occur in the north-eastern parts of KZN, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and the eastern and northern parts of Botswana and Namibia.

HabitatThey Whip Snake inhabit moist savanna and lowland forest. They are often found in the vicinity of water where they are fond of foraging in marshy areas. They are a robust, active and alert diurnal snake that hastens for cover when disturbed. They will remain hidden until flushed out. Like the Mamba, they lift the front third of the body. Well off the ground. They are nervous and retreats before one can approach closely. Although they are terrestrial, they may climb onto shrubs and bushes to bask in the sun. Many have truncated tails which are the result of encounters with predators.

Whip Snake Food they feed on lizards, small mammals, frogs and snakes (including the Black Mamba and Puff Adder). They also take small birds. Whip Snake Reproduction they are oviparous, laying 10 to 30 eggs in midsummer. The young are 27cm to 30cm.

Common names: Olive Grass Snake; Olive Whip Snake; Olyfsweepslang (Afr)


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