Psammophis mossambicus (Olive whip snake, Olive grass
(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 Olive whip snake can be identified by its large size,
speckled upper lip, stripes down its length, its highly aggressive nature and a
strictly diurnal lifestyle. It grows to an average length of 1 meter and a
maximum length of 1.8 meters.
Distribution and habitat
Found in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Swaziland,
Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia. Its favoured habitats are moist
savanna and lowland forest where it is often found in marshes.
Eats other snakes (including black mambas and puff adders)
but also eats
Predators, parasites and disease
Eaten by small carnivorous
birds of prey (particularly
secretary birds and
and other snakes.
Oviparous (egg-laying), lays between 10 and 30 eggs in
Likely to have an average lifespan of
Although venomous is not dangerous to man but cause pain,
swelling and nausea.
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.