Chilorhinophis gerardi (Gerard's black and yellow burrowing snake)

Gerard se swart en geel grondslangetjie [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


Gerard's black and yellow burrowing snake can be identified by its small slender body, the round pupils of its eyes, the 3 black stripes on a yellow background that are distinctive and it strictly nocturnal lifestyle. It grows to an average length of 40 cm and a maximum length of 50 cm.

Distribution and habitat

Restricted to northern Zimbabwe. Its favoured habitat is moist savanna.


Eats other small snakes (including its own species), amphisbaenids and other burrowing reptiles.

Predators, parasites and disease



Oviparous (egg-laying), lays up to six eggs in summer.



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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