Amblyodipsas microphthalma (Eastern purple glossed snake, White lipped snake)

Oostelike persglansslang; Oostelike purpergrondslang [Afrikaans]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Lepidosauromorpha > Lepidosauria > Squamata > Serpentes (snakes) > Family: Atractaspididae > Genus: Amblyodipsas


The Eastern Purple-glossed snake can be identified by its short thick body, a blunt head, a purple colouration (with a white or yellow coloured upper lip and throat area) small eyes and habit of burrowing beneath the surface. It grows to an average length of 30 cm and a maximum length of 33 cm.

Distribution and habitat

Found in north eastern KwaZulu-Natal and southern Mozambique. It most commonly occurs in lowland forest and moist savanna.


Eats amphisbaenids and legless skinks.

Predators, parasites and disease

Eaten by other snakes.


Uncertain, but thought to be oviparous (egg-laying).


Medical importance

Although venomous is not thought to be dangerous to man.



  • Broadley, D.G. 1983. FitzSimons' Snakes of Southern Africa. Delta Books, Johannesburg.

  • Marais, J. 2004. A Complete Guide to Snakes of Southern Africa. Struik Publishing, Cape Town.


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