Macrelaps microlepidotus (Natal black snake)
Natalse swartslang [Afrikaans]
(animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia >
Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates) > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) >
Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class:
Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) >
(four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota >
Reptilia (reptiles) >
Romeriida > Diapsida > Lepidosauromorpha > Lepidosauria >
Squamata > Serpentes
(snakes) > Family: Atractaspididae
The Natal Black snake can be identified by the following
features and behavior; its muscular body structure, eyes with round pupils, a
uniform black colour and slow purposeful movements. This snake grows to an
average length of 90 cm but may reach up to 1.2 meters in length.
Distribution and habitat
Only found on the KwaZulu-Natal East Coast. Its
Favored habitat is lowland forest and Coastal bush (its also often found in
rats and mice) and other snakes.
Predators, parasites and disease
Fed on by other snakes.
Oviparous (egg laying), lays between 3 and 10 eggs in
Most likely has an average lifespan of 10 years.
The effects of this snake's venom are unknown but have
caused at least one person to lose consciousness, no antivenom is required and
none has been produced.
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.