Philothamnus hoplogaster (Green water snake, South eastern green snake)

Groenwaterslang; Suidoostelike groenslang [Afrikaans]; Umhlwazi [Xhosa]

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 hoplogaster (Green water snake, South eastern green snake), KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. [P. Havemann ©, from SARCA Virtual Museum]

Philothamnus hoplogaster (Green water snake, South eastern green snake), Mpumalanga, South Africa. [M Douglas ©, from SARCA Virtual Museum]

Philothamnus hoplogaster (Green water snake, South eastern green snake), Mpumalanga, South Africa. [M. Douglas, KwaZulu-Natal ©, from SARCA Virtual Museum]

Identification

The Green water snake can be identified by its round pupils, a white or yellow underside, a particularly good swimming and tree climbing ability and a diurnal lifestyle. It grows to an average length of 60 cm and a maximum length of 1 meter.

Distribution and habitat

Found throughout Zimbabwe, central and southern Mozambique, eastern South Africa and the Eastern Cape coast. It is found in a variety of habitats but is particularly common in moist savanna.

Food

Eats frogs, fish, lizards and possibly grasshoppers.

Predators, parasites and disease

Reproduction

Oviparous (egg-laying), lays between 3 and 8 eggs in summer.

Longevity

Likely to have an average lifespan of 10 years.

Medical importance

Non-venomous and not dangerous to man.

Links

References

  • 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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