Psammophis brevirostris (Short-snouted whip snake,
Short-snouted whip snake)
(animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia >
Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates) > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) >
Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class:
Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) >
(four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota >
Reptilia (reptiles) >
Romeriida > Diapsida > Lepidosauromorpha > Lepidosauria >
Squamata > Serpentes
(snakes) > Family: Colubridae > Subfamily:
Psammophinae > Genus:
The Short-snouted whip snake can be identified by its
aggressive demeanor, its large eyes, dark stripes down its length, its
nervousness and strictly diurnal lifestyle. It grows to an average length of 60
cm and a maximum length of 1.2 meters.
Distribution and habitat
Found in the eastern half of South Africa,
Swaziland, the Zimbabwe / Mozambique border, Botswana and eastern Namibia. It is
found in a variety of habitats ranging from grassland to the Namib Desert.
Eats other snakes,
lizards and birds.
Predators, parasites and disease
Eaten by small carnivorous mammals (e.g.
birds of prey (particularly
secretary birds and
and other snakes.
Oviparous (egg-laying), lays between 4 and 15 eggs and
often two clutches in summer.
Likely to have an average lifespan of
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.