Psammophis angolensis (Dwarf whip snake, Dwarf whip snake, Pygmy sand snake)

Dwergsweepslang, Dwergsandslang [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: Psammophinae > Genus: Psammophis


The Dwarf whip snake can be identified by its large eyes, striped body and strictly diurnal lifestyle. It grows to an average length of 30 cm and a maximum length of 50 cm.

Distribution and habitat

Found in Limpopo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, the Caprivi strip and Namibia. Its favoured habitat is moist savanna. 


Eats lizards and frogs.

Predators, parasites and disease

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


Oviparous (egg-laying), lays between 3 and 5 eggs in summer.


Likely to have an average lifespan of 10 years.

Medical importance

Although venomous is 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.


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

Reptiles home   Biodiversity Explorer home   Iziko home   Search