Lamprophis aurora (Aurora house snake)

Auroraslang [Afrikaans]; Tlatametsi [South Sotho]

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: Colubridae > Subfamily: Boodontinae > Genus: Lamprophis

Lamprophis aurora (Aurora house snake), Western Cape [G. van Zyl , from SARCA Virtual Museum]



The Aurora house snake can be identified by uniformly olive colour, an orange stripe down its back and its strictly nocturnal and terrestrial (ground dwelling) lifestyle. It grows to an average length of 60 cm but can reach 90 cm.

Distribution and habitat

Found on the Cape Peninsula, the Eastern Cape and in the Free State and Gauteng. Its preferred habitat is damp grassland.


This snake eats rodents (e.g. rats and mice), lizards and frogs.

Predators, parasites and disease

This snake species is eaten by other snakes and birds of prey (particularly secretary birds and snake eagles).


Oviparous (egg-laying), lays between 8 and 12 eggs in summer.


Has been known to live for 20 years in captivity.

Medical importance

Non-venomous and not dangerous to man and not likely to bite.



  • 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.


Contact us if you can contribute information or images to improve this page.

Reptiles home   Biodiversity Explorer home   Iziko home   Search