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  DANGEROUS SNAKES

Get immediate treatment if bitten. Immobilise limb and wrap with pressure bandage from bite towards heart.

NAME SIZE* BASIC COLOUR VENOM
Puff Adder 90cm Vivid black chevron markings on yellow. Cytotoxic. Slow acting.
Berg Adder 30-50cm Greyish olive. Dark triangles down length with pale stripe running from eyes down each side. Neurotoxic.
Many-horned Adder 30-40cm Grey to reddish-brown with 3-4 rows of darker blotches down back. Frilly horns over eyes. Cytotoxic.
Cape Cobra 1.2-1.6m Very variable: yellow to reddish-brown and darker. Spreads hood if threatened. Neurotoxic. Often fatal.
Rinkhals 1-1.5m Dark grey / black above and belly with 2-3 irregular pale crossbars across throat. NB. Often mocks death. Neurotoxic. "Sprays" venom. Wash eyes if hit.
Cape Coral Snake 30-40cm Orange to red with 20-47 narrow black crossbars running around the body. Possibly neurotoxic. Can be fatal to children.
Yellow-bellied sea snake 40-60cm Usually black above with yellow belly. Distinctive oar shaped tail. Neurotoxic - potentially lethal.
Boomslang 1.2-1.5m up to 2m Most colour variation of all SA snakes. Look for short stubby head and huge eyes. Juvenile's eyes green. Haemotoxic. Symptoms may take 24 hours to show.
 * Size stated is the average size.

  FANGED   But Not Dangerous

Please don't kill snakes .. rather catch and release them in a deserted area.

NAME SIZE* BASIC COLOUR VENOM
Karoo Sand Snake or Whip Snake 75-90+cm Light speckled grey to brown above with pale belly. Possible stripes along the sides. White rimmed eyes and mouth. No effect on man.
Cape Sand Snake 75cm Dark brown with yellow stripes and barring on head. Fine yellow spots down spine. No effect on man.
Cross-marked Sand Snake 60cm Silver grey to olive brown with broad dark-edged stripe down back. Bars or blotches on head with crossbars behind head. Virtually no effect on man.
Spotted or Rhombic Skaapsteker 45-85cm but known at 1.4m Yellowish to silvery with darker zigag blotches or jagged stripes down the length. Belly yellowish with spots and blotches. Neurotoxic but virtually no effect on man.
Many-spotted or Reed Snake 40-60cm Green or olive-brown, sometimes with darker blotches and pale side stripes. Scales often edged in white. Causes swelling but anti-venom not required.
Red-lipped or Herald Snake 45-70cm but known at 1m Common garden snake. Olive green or grey with white speckles. Pale belly. Black patch behind eyes. Often with reddish lip area. Virtually no effect on man.
Spotted Harlequin Snake 30-40+cm Highly variable but look for orange streak down spine and yellow dorsal stripes. Belly never plain but has dark markings on a lighter background. Causes swelling but not considered dangerous to man.
 * Size stated is the average size.

  NON-POISONOUS   or non-fanged

NAME SIZE* BASIC COLOUR
Brown House Snake 60-90cm Uniformly light to reddish-brown above (often with blotches on lower half of body). Two light stripes running from nose, across top of eyes and part-way down body. The other from bottom of eye to end of mouth.
Olive or Black House Snake 45-75cm to 1.3m Uniform olive green, grey or deep brown with lighted belly. No eye stripes.
Aurora House Snake 45-60+cm Shiny olive geen above with bright yellow-orange stripe from tip of head to tip of tail. Belly pale. Juveniles darker and speckled.
Spotted House Snake 30-50cm Yellow-brown to pinky-grey with darker spots or blotches running down the back. Belly pale.
Yellow-bellied House Snake 40-50cm Olive above with yellow sides and belly. Rare.
Common Brown Water Snake 45-60cm Aquatic. Uniform dark colour above with beautiful mother-of-pearl belly.
Mole Snake 1-1.4m Adults uniform light grey, brown or black with yellowish belly. Juveniles very different: colourful zigzag markings with spots and mottling!
Southern Shovel-Snout 25-35cm Yellowish to brown above with dark mottling in rows. Head is dark brown with pale yellowish patch on crown. Belly pale, sometimes blotchy. Top lip juts out to form shovel. Can coil and uncoil violently if disturbed.
Common Slug-Eater 30-35cm Distinct broad red-brown band runs down back with grey bands down sides. Belly pale, edged with dark grey dotted lines.
Rhombic Egg-Eater 45-75+cm Light with dark squarish blotches down the back. V-shaped marking on nape of neck. Belly white, often flecked.
Blind and Worm Snakes 15-30cm These worm-like snakes have rounded heads and tails and small or non-existent eyes.
 * Size stated is the average size.
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