Xenocalamus mechowii (Elongate quill-snouted snake)

Westelike spitsneusslang; Westelike skerpneusslang [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: Xenocalamus


The Elongate Quill-snouted snake can be identified by the following; a quill-shaped head, small eyes, two rows of dark blotches down its length and its nocturnal lifestyle. It grows to an average length of 50 cm and a maximum length of 85 cm.

Distribution and habitat

This snakes distribution includes north east Namibia, the Caprivi strip, northern Botswana and eastern Zimbabwe. Its favoured habitat is Kalahari sand in arid savanna.


Predominately eats amphisbaenids.

Predators, parasites and disease

Eaten by other snakes.


Oviparous (egg-laying), lays 4 eggs in summer.


Medical importance

Although venomous is no threat 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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