Psammophis leightoni (Cape whip snake, Cape sand snake)

Kaapse sweepslang [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

Identification

The Cape whip snake can be identified by its slender body, large eyes and strictly diurnal lifestyle. It grows to an average length of 75 cm and a maximum length of 1 meter.

Distribution and habitat

This snake species is restricted to the Western Cape. Its favoured habitats are renosterveld and fynbos.

Food

Eats lizards (particularly skinks and lacertids) and rodents and other snakes.

Predators, parasites and disease

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

Reproduction

Oviparous (egg-laying).

Longevity

Likely to have an average lifespan of 10 years.

Medical importance

Although venomous is 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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