Homoroselaps dorsalis (Striped harlequin snake)

Gestreepte kousbandjie [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: Elapidae > Genus: Homoroselaps


The Striped Harlequin snake can be identified by its distinctive yellow stripe which extends down the length of its body, its black colouration and its small size. This snake grows to an average length of 20 cm but can grow to up to 32 cm in length.

Distribution and habitat

This Harlequin snake species in found in the following provinces; Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. The favoured habitats of this snake are moist savanna and grasslands.


Feeds exclusively on worm snakes.

Predators, parasites and disease

Fed on by other snakes.


Oviparous (lays eggs), lays between 2 and 4 eggs in summer.


The average lifespan of this snake is likely to be 10 years.

Medical importance

The venom of this snake has not been studied and it is unlikely to have any effect on man, no antivenom is required.



  • 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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