- Black Mamba, Common or Black-mouthed Mamba [Dendroaspis polylepis]
- 2 530 mm
- 2 330 mm
The Black Mamba is a large, streamlined snake with a narrow, coffin-shaped head and smooth scales. The back is uniform gunmetal to olive-brown, but never really black; the belly is pale grey-green, sometimes with dark blotches, and the mouth lining is black.
Black Mambas are found in the northern parts of the subcontinent (absent from desert), extending south along Kwa-Zulu Natal coast to port St. Johns and elsewhere, to Senegal and Somalia.
12 - 17 eggs are laid in termite nests, etc. These hatch in 80 - 90 days; growth is rapid, a Black Mamba may reach 2 000 mm in length in its first year.
The venom is neurotoxic and cardiotoxic, yielding 100 - 400 mg; 10 -15 mg is fatal in humans.
Black Mambas feed on fledgling birds and small mammals such as rats and dassies.
The black mamba, one of Africa's most feared and respected snakes, inevitably evokes reactions of fear, respect or awe - often merely by being mentioned...more