Dasypeltis medici (East African egg-eater)
(animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia >
Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates) > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) >
Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class:
Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) >
(four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota >
Reptilia (reptiles) >
Romeriida > Diapsida > Lepidosauromorpha > Lepidosauria >
Squamata > Serpentes
(snakes) > Family: Colubridae > Subfamily:
Colubrinae > Genus:
The East African Egg-eater can be identified by its Rhombic
(diamond shaped) markings, 1 or more V-shaped markings on the neck, its keeled
scales and its strictly nocturnal lifestyle. This snake averages 60 cm in length
but may reach up to 90 cm.
Distribution and habitat
Native distribution includes Somalia, southern Kenya,
Tanzania, Malawi, and four localised populations in the northeastern regions of
southern Africa. These four populations include one in the North East corner of KwaZulu-Natal,
two populations in
Mozambique and a fourth population on the Zimbabwe/Mozambique border. Favoured habitat is lowland forest and moist savanna.
Feeds exclusively on
bird eggs which are crushed by bony
vertebral projections in the neck area.
Predators, parasites and disease
Eaten by other snakes and
secretary birds and
Oviparous (egg laying), lays between 6 and 28 eggs in
The average lifespan of this snake is unknown.
Non-venomous and not dangerous to people.
Broadley, D.G. 1983. FitzSimons' Snakes of Southern
Africa. Delta Books, Johannesburg.
Marais, J. 2004. A Complete Guide to Snakes of
Southern Africa. Struik Publishing, Cape Town.