Vine Snake




Vital Statistics

Name
Southern Vine Snake, Twig Snake, Bird Snake [Thelotornis capensis capensis]
Class
Reptilia
Order
Squamata
Family
Colubridae
Subspecies
3 races are recognized
Length_F
975 mm
Length_M
1 062 mm

Description

This extremely thin snake has a lance-shaped head and large eyes with keyhole-shaped pupils. The body scales are feebly keeled, in 19 oblique rows at midbody. The tail is very long. The body is twig-coloured.

Distribution

Found in Eastern and Southern Africa, replaced in the rain forests of Central and Western Africa by T.kirtlandii.

Breeding

The female lays 4 - 18 small, elongate eggs in summer; these hatch in March, after 60 - 90 days. The young measure 230 - 331 mm TL and weigh 3 - 4 g. A female lay two clutches per season.

Venom

Prey is killed by envenomation, and is swallowed while the snake hangs downwards.

Diet

The diet is very varied, and includes lizards, frogs, small birds and even other snakes.

Field Notes

The Vine Snake is also known as the Twig Snake for its resemblance to small branches on trees and in places called the Bird Snake for its occasional habit of preying on small birds.



 
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