Psammophis leopardinus (Leopard whip snake, Leopard grass snake)

Luiperdsweepslang [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 Leopard 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 80 cm and a maximum length of 1.4 meters.

Distribution and habitat

This snake species is restricted to north west Namibia. Its favours the Namib desert and karoo scrub.


Eats other snakes, rodents, lizards and birds.

Predators, parasites and disease

Eaten by small carnivorous mammals  (e.g. meerkats and mongooses), birds of prey (particularly secretary birds and snake eagles) and other snakes.


Oviparous (egg-laying).


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.


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