Dendroaspis angusticeps (Green mamba, Common or Eastern Green mamba, White-mouthed mamba)

Groenmamba [ Afrikaans]; iMamba eluhlaza [Zulu]

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: Elapidae > Genus: Dendroaspis

Green mamba, Kwa-Zulu- Natal. [photo GJ Opperman , from SARCA Virtual Museum]

Identification

Green mambas' can be identified by the following features, a flat coffin shaped head, a completely green body and a long thin tail. This snake has an average length of 1.8 meters but may reach up to 2.5 meters. It also strictly diurnal.

Distribution and habitat

Very narrowly distributed along East Coast of Africa from KwaZulu-Natal up to Kenya. Preferred habitats include lowland forest, moist savanna, bamboo thickets and mango or tea plantations; It is also important to note that it is almost never found on the ground and spends most of its life in a tree or shrub.

Food

Consists almost entirely of birds and birds eggs but occasionally they will feed on rodents (e.g. rats and mice) and juveniles have been known to eat chameleons.

Predators, parasites and disease

Are known to be fed on by other snakes; However their biggest threat is habitat destruction.

Reproduction

The green mamba is Oviparous ( lays eggs) and lays between 6 and 17 eggs during the summer months, the eggs are laid in a hollow tree trunk amongst decaying vegetation. the males of this species will engage in combat in order to be allowed to mate with females.

Longevity

A specimen is known to have lived in captivity for just over 12 years.

Medical importance

This snake has as strong neurotoxic venom which is similar to the Black mamba, however its venom is weaker and not produced in the same amounts. It is however still lethal enough to require serious medical assistance, luckily this snake is not aggressive and seldom bites.

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

 


Contact us if you can contribute information or images to improve this page.

Reptiles home   Biodiversity Explorer home   Iziko home   Search