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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I just thought it would be nice for a change to categorise snakes not by Genus, species or sub species, but rather location and range for once. The idea is that each poster puts down one of their favourite African snakes - it doesn't matter if its a Boid, Colubrid, Viperid, Elapid - what ever - the aim being it will draw us out of our niches, we've had the Retic thread, Burm thread, Morelia thread and they are great, but they only focus on one species, it would be very educational for us all to see how many different species reside in each continent and what their function is within each ecosystem...

The Rules:

1. Each species can only be represented once. You may post more than once, but each post MUST be a different species.

2. You must provide a picture of the species. These can be your own animals if you wish.

3. You must provide the scientific and common name for the species.

4. You must provide facts and interesting information about the species. You could also provide captive care info.

5. Keep off topic banter to a minimum, I don't want this to become another chat thread.


Hopefully we will come up with a rich tapestry of African species for all to enjoy. Once this has been done, we could then move on to America (should this be divided into North and South, or just do the whole thing in one thread?), or Europe etc - if you have any preferance let me know!

I think this thread has a lot of potential, so please enter into the spirit of it

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One of my favourite snakes

Black Mamba - Dendroaspis Polylepis



Range: Southern and Eastern Africa, favouring savannah, forests and rocky outcrops. Can also be found in humid swamp land.

Characterised by their coffin shaped head, they are not named black mambas after the colour of their skin, but the interior of the mouth, which is jet black - you know if you're facing a gaping black mouth that you are in fact, in deep doo doo!



These guys are the longest venomous snake in Africa, Reaching up to 14 ft in length. Add to this an incredibly agile arboreal body that can accelerate up to 20 km/h, making them the fastest land snake, and you should begin to see why this snake is so feared and respected across the African continent - they are formidable predators and easily capable of killing a man within a 30 minute period - to most, a bite is certain death, taking into account that many areas are remote and have limited medical supplies. The venom causes the victim to fit before muscle paralysis and eventual death takes place.



Sooo Cute! :lol2:
 

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African rock python - Python sebae sebae

The African rock python is the 3rd largest snake species in the world, commonly growing to 16ft, and is thought to have the potential to grow over 20ft weighing more than 200lbs.It lives in sub-Saharan Africa, often found near water and the edges of forests, and like all pythons it is a constrictor.Two subspecies have been recognised.

Can lay up to 100 eggs, which they guard for 2-3months till they hatch.Babies vary in size from 18-24" and are more colourful than adults.

Has been known to live for 30 years.
Sometimes known for having a bit of a bad temperament in captivity.
It is listed as CITES App ll and vulnerable - It is still hunted for its skin and meat.
 

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Now a little off subject but my favourite african species are the great nile crocs, crocodylus niloticus.



Im not sure if any of you have met any of these but they are tremendous and make the biggest snakes around look like matchsticks.

I was over in Portugal a few years ago at a sanctuary where there were literally 100s of females and just one male that got to do the rounds for breeding purposes. Even when just a few months old these crocs were and handful to catch and handle. We wrapped the end of the snout in elastic band and could move the littles ones around safely after that, though they were still a bit scratchy with the feet.

The largest of the crocs I saw was a male. The only male at this particular place. It was around 12 or so feet long and half its tail was missing due to it fighting a few years ago, so it would have been more like 4 or 5 feet longer than that with the whole tail on. Massive head, and we triggered the snap of the jaw with a wooden pole tapped just to the side of the head, behind the eye and it was immense. The place had a measured reading of the jaws in action at 14 tonnes per sq in. Be like having loads of mini coopers dropped on you when all the teeth hit down.

Proper monsters in real life, especially the big ones, I dont think the photo above is a real hand, Im not sure, just thought it was funnier than the others I could find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gaboon Viper - Bitis Gabonica



Range: Mostly Western Africa, although can be found dotted around Sub Saharan Africa

These large fat vipers are the heaviest bodied Viperid. They grow to 4-6 ft although some grow bigger. Think of them in size and build as a venomous Blood python...

They are ambush predators, their brightly coloured patterns are in fact excellent camouflage and the snake will sit and wait until an unwitting prey item before striking at lightning pace - the fat body acts like a coiled spring propelling the snakes fangs into its prey, sealing its fate. The venom is Haemotoxic, which means it breaks down blood cells and living tissue, creating massive haemoraging and necrosis (tissue death) - it would be an INCREDIBLY painful way to die.

Other interesting facts include - the Gaboon has the longest fangs of any species, reaching 2+ inches long. This ensures venom is injected deep into the prey. They also posses the largest venom glands, the sheer quantity of venom the snake can produce is staggering.

Deadly and beautiful in equal measure, the Gaboon is generally a placid animal, but not one to take chances with!

 

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Gaboon Viper - Bitis Gabonica

image

Range: Mostly Western Africa, although can be found dotted around Sub Saharan Africa

These large fat vipers are the heaviest bodied Viperid. They grow to 4-6 ft although some grow bigger. Think of them in size and build as a venomous Blood python...

They are ambush predators, their brightly coloured patterns are in fact excellent camouflage and the snake will sit and wait until an unwitting prey item before striking at lightning pace - the fat body acts like a coiled spring propelling the snakes fangs into its prey, sealing its fate. The venom is Haemotoxic, which means it breaks down blood cells and living tissue, creating massive haemoraging and necrosis (tissue death) - it would be an INCREDIBLY painful way to die.

Other interesting facts include - the Gaboon has the longest fangs of any species, reaching 2+ inches long. This ensures venom is injected deep into the prey. They also posses the largest venom glands, the sheer quantity of venom the snake can produce is staggering.

Deadly and beautiful in equal measure, the Gaboon is generally a placid animal, but not one to take chances with!

image
Perfect example of a predator - love them :mf_dribble:
 

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Cape Cobra - Naja nivea

Can grow up to 6ft.
Located throughout Southern Africa on arid land along water ways.Distributed in: Cape Province and adjacent areas of South Africa, Southwest Africa, and parts of Botswan.

Appearance of the cape cobra varies, their colour being anything from shades of yellow to almost black.The lighter coloured ones often have dark specks on some of their scales.
The snake has a fast metabolism and in captivity is often fed 2-3 times per week.

This egg laying snake commonly produces 8-22 eggs per clutch.
In this particular species, envenomation can result in systemic neurologic manifestations and early respiratory paralysis. Drowsiness, neurological and neuromuscular symptoms may develop early; paralysis, ventilatory failure or death could ensue rapidly.
If bitten death can occur as early as 30 minutes - it is known to be the most toxic and dangerous of African species.
 

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Southern African Rock Python/Natal Python (Python natalensis)

Range - Southern Kenya to South Africa and Namibia

Size - 3-5.5 meters

Habitat - Forest, savanna, semi-desert, swamps, lakes and rivers

Prey - Mammals from rat to antelope in size, birds and even proven cases of human predation

Reproduction - 30-50 eggs

General - This snake is named after the KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa. It is distinguished from the Central African Rock (Python sebae) by having smaller scales on the head and a less contrasting pattern. It has been reported to fast for up to 2.5 years in captivity. There have been two confirmed cases of this python preying on humans. The first was in 1979 when a 13-year old goat herder was grabbed and killed by a 4.5 meter python. The snake was prevented from consuming the boy as other herders had run for help. The second case was of a portuguese soldier who disappeared in 1973. His body was later found in the stomach of a large python. Photos of the snake and the soldiers body can be seen in John Murphy and Robert Henderson's book Tales of Giant Snakes.

Husbandry - Most adults will live comfortably in a 6x3 with a large soaking area. Normal python temps apply and most will breed with little prompting. The main area of concern is the fact that this species has a very nervous disposition. In my opinion it is alot less-inclined to bite than the Central Rock, preffering to hiss loudly. All the same this species can do some real damage and should never be trusted! They are also very rare in captivity outside of S.A zoo's.

This is my male. He's around 5-years old and 9ft





 

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Species : Royal Python (Python Regius)


Range - Found in Africa from Senegal, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin, Niger and Nigeria through Cameroon, Chad and the Central African Republic to Sudan and Uganda. No type locality was given in the original description.

Size - Adults reach 3-6 feet on average.

Habitat - Forest, savanna, semi-desert, lakes and rivers

Prey - Small Mammals, rats mice chicks hamsters etc...

Reproduction - Average clutch contains around 8 eggs.
 

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Latin Name - (Bitis arietans)
Common Names - common puff adder, puff adder, african puff adder

Range - Most of Sub Saharan Africa, southern morocco, mauritania, senegal, mali and more...

Size - average of 1m with large specimens being up to 1.9m



Puff Adders are ambush predators, feeding on mammals, birds, lizards and amphibians.

They like to spend a lot of their time coiled up waiting for prey, their camouflage is extremely effective meaning that most human bites come from the adder being accidentally stepped on. Most human deaths occur due to incorrect treatment of the venom.



Reproduction - Puff Adders give birth to large numbers of offspring: litters of over 80 have been reported, while 50–60 is not unusual
 

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Species : Royal Python (Python Regius)
image

Range - Found in Africa from Senegal, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin, Niger and Nigeria through Cameroon, Chad and the Central African Republic to Sudan and Uganda. No type locality was given in the original description.

Size - Adults reach 3-6 feet on average.

Habitat - Forest, savanna, semi-desert, lakes and rivers

Prey - Small Mammals, rats mice chicks hamsters etc...

Reproduction - Average clutch contains around 8 eggs.
Awwwww, yay! :flrt:
 

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African cape house snake. Lamprophis capensis

normal


t- Albino



House snakes are found throughout all of sub-Saharan Africa in a wide variety of habitats, some species are well adapted to living in underground burrows. They are named "house" snakes as they are frequently found around human dwellings, feeding on the rodents that congregate around human waste. They are extremely adaptable snakes, which are found in scrubland, woodland, savannah, and montane regions.

They are often very nervous, but are not prone to biting. Their first defensive reaction is to flee. They are frequently found in & around human dwellings, where they are avid consumers of rodents, small lizards and even birds. House snakes are prolific breeders and lay clutches averaging 8-12 eggs that hatch after around two months of incubation. Hatchlings are typically around 20 cm long.


African house snakes are common in the exotic pet trade, the primary species available is L. capensis, others are harder to come by. They are easy to care for and breed readily. Their popularity has declined in recent years due to more interestingly colored snakes, like the corn snake. Despite this, captive breeding of house snakes for color and pattern continues. Few are exported from Africa due to their low market value and the ease of breeding them in captivity.

They can live up to 20 years with proper care. Males are smaller than females and seldom grow longer than 2½ feet. Females can attain lengths of 3½ feet and specimens from the eastern region of Southern Africa (KwaZulu-Natal) are reported to reach lengths of 5 feet or more. These snakes are nocturnal. The female lays one clutch of 9 to 16 eggs in early spring, they are known to store sperm and lay up to 6 clutches per annum in captivity but it rarely happens in nature. Hatchlings are 5 to 7 inches upon hatching.

The main diet consists of rodents, smaller snakes take pinkie mice, large females are known to occasionally eat weaner rats. Adult snakes get fed weekly. Hatchlings may eat small lizards, skinks and newborn mice. In captivity they can successfully be fed on gecko tails. Larger specimens are also known to take lizards, and in rare cases they will catch small bats. House snakes should be fed alone, their often violent feeding response may cause cannibalism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just to re-iterate:

The Rules:

1. Each species can only be represented once. You may post more than once, but each post MUST be a different species.

2. You must provide a picture of the species. These can be your own animals if you wish.

3. You must provide the scientific and common name for the species.

4. You must provide facts and interesting information about the species. You could also provide captive care info.


5. Keep off topic banter to a minimum, I don't want this to become another chat thread.


Ed
 
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