Philothamnus angolensis (Angola green snake, Western green snake)

Angolagroenslang [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: Colubridae > Subfamily: Colubrinae > Genus: Philothamnus

Philothamnus angolensis (Angola green snake, Western green snake), Manicaland, Zimbabwe. [G. Diedericks , from SARCA Virtual Museum]


The Angola green snake can be identified by the black skin between its scales, its blue spots, round pupils, an excellent climbing ability and a diurnal lifestyle. It grows to an average length of 1 meter and a maximum length of 1.2 meters.

Distribution and habitat

Found in central Namibia, the Caprivi strip, northern Botswana, eastern Zimbabwe, west Mozambique and the Mozambique / South Africa border. Its favoured habitats are lowland forest and the edges of arid savanna.


Eats birds, lizards (particularly chameleons) and frogs.

Predators, parasites and disease

Eaten by other snakes (particularly vine snakes), birds of prey (particularly secretary birds and snake eagles).


Oviparous (egg-laying), usually lays between 4 and 8 eggs but may lay up to 16 eggs.


Likely to have an average lifespan of 10 years.

Medical importance

Non-venomous and not 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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