Amblyodipsas ventrimaculata (Kalahari purple-glossed snake)

Kalahari purpergrondslang; Kalahari persglansslang [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 glossy purple and yellow colouration, small eyes and habit of burrowing beneath the surface. It grows to an average length of 30 cm but may reach a maximum length of 48 cm.

Distribution and habitat

Found in eastern Namibia and northern and central Botswana. Its favoured habitat is arid savanna.


Eats burrowing reptiles including legless skinks, garter snakes and amphisbaenids.

Predators, parasites and disease

Eaten by other snakes.


Oviparous (egg-laying), lays at least three eggs.


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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