Telescopus semiannulatus semiannulatus (Eastern tiger snake)

Oostlelike tierslang [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: Colubrinae > Genus: Telescopus

Telescopus semiannulatus semiannulatus (Eastern tiger snake), North West, South Africa. [J. Coleman , from SARCA Virtual Museum]

Telescopus semiannulatus semiannulatus (Eastern tiger snake): from Limpopo [T. and L. Honiball , from SARCA Virtual Museum] (top); and from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa [A. Coetzer , from SARCA Virtual Museum] (bottom.


The Eastern Tiger snake can be identified by the following features and behaviors; a head which is distinct from the body, large eyes (with vertical pupils), an orange-yellow colouration, its highly aggressive nature when threatened, between 20 and 50 dark blotches down its length and its strictly nocturnal lifestyle. This snake has an average length of 80 cm but can reach a length of 1 meter.

Distribution and habitat

Found in the following areas; Southern and Central Mozambique, Zimbabwe, most of Botswana and North Eastern Namibia. Its favoured habitats include lowland forest and moist and arid savanna.


Feeds on lizards (particularly geckos), fledgling birds, bats and small rodents (e.g. mice).

Predators, parasites and disease

Fed on by other snakes.


Oviparous (egg laying), lays between 3 and 20 eggs in summer.


Uncertain but this snakes lifespan is likely to be 10 years or more.

Medical importance

The venom of this snake is very weak and has little or no effect on 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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