Southern Vine Snake, Twig Snake, Bird Snake [Thelotornis capensis capensis]
3 races are recognized
1 062 mm
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.
Found in Eastern and Southern Africa, replaced in the rain forests of Central and Western Africa by T.kirtlandii.
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.
Prey is killed by envenomation, and is swallowed while the snake hangs downwards.
The diet is very varied, and includes lizards, frogs, small birds and even other snakes.
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.