Thursday, February 16, 2012

Common Egg Eater Snake (Dasypeltis Scabra)

Adult Common Egg Eaters have an average length of 45cm to 75cm, with a maximum length of 1,16m. They are light brown to grey-brown above, with a series of dark squarish blotches down the back and narrow dark bars down either side of the body. A Vshaped marking on nape is usually preceded by two similar, but narrower, markings on the head. The underside is white, sometimes with darker spots or flecks. The inside of the mouth is black. Uniform brown specimens with no markings have also been recorded.

They occur throughout South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

They are a common Egg Eater snake throughout their distribution region except for the true desert and close-canopy forest areas. They are most abundant in dry thornveld and grassland, where they may be found in almost any situation. They are nocturnal, spending most of the day hiding beneath rocks or under loose bark. They frequent termite mounds, especially in winter when they hibernate. When they are agitated, they will coil and uncoil, allowing the rough side scales to rub against one another, causing a rasping sound that is similar to the hiss of some adders. It will also strike out with its mouth agape, exposing the dark lining of the mouth.

Common Egg Eater Snakes Food
They feed on birds' eggs. The egg is taken into the virtually toothless mouth and passed to the neck region. There it is cracked lengthwise by a series of bony projections that are part of the vertebrae. Muscular contractions then crush the egg and its contents are swallowed. The crushed shell is regurgitated in a neat boat-shaped package, the pieces of the shell being held together by the underlying membrane.

Common Egg Eater Snakes Reproduction
They are oviparous, laying 6 to 12 eggs in summer. The newly-hatched young measure 21cm to 26cm.


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