Photo added by Peter Slak
(Found in Port Elizabeth)
SPOTTED HARLEQUIN SNAKE (Eng)
GEVLEKTE KOUSBANDJIE (Afr)
A brightly coloured snake. This beautiful species may be found in a variety of different colours, but all of them with the yellow or orange dorsal stripe that streches from the head to tail. (Therefore it is sometimes confused with the Aurora House Snake) The ventral side of the snake is usually a lighter colour with black or brown blotches. This snake can reach lengths of 65cm, so is fairly small.
This snake may be found in a few of South Africa's biomes: Grassland, fynbos, lowland forest, and moist savanna. This species may be found in most of the Western and Eastern Cape, KZN, Lesotho, Freestate, Gauteng and streches into Limpopo Province.
This is a diurnal and nocturnal species. It is terrestrial, and may be found in old termite mounds or under logs and rocks. It enjoys spending most of its time underground, but does not burrow itself. It likes to feed on other reptiles such as skinks, lizards and snakes that are small enough to swallow.
A bite from this mildly venomous snake may result in some undesired effects. Although it is not considered to be dangerous to humans.
Scale count at midbody are in 15 rows with 160 to 209 ventral scales and 24 to 43 paired subcaudals. The anal shield is devided.
Louis van Niekerk
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