Psammophis notostictus (Karoo whip snake, Karoo sand snake)

Karoo-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 Karoo whip snake can be identified by its slender body, large eyes and strictly diurnal lifestyle. It grows to an average length of 90 cm and a maximum length of 1 meter.

Distribution and habitat

Found in western Namibia and the western half of South Africa (as far east as the South Africa / Lesotho border). It occurs in a variety of habitats ranging from fynbos to karoo scrub.

Food

Eats lizards (particularly skinks and lacertids) and rodents.

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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