Thelotornis capensis mossambicanus (Eastern vine snake,
Eastern bird snake)
Oostelike voelslang [Afrikaans}
(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:
Can be identified by its long pointed head, a keyhole
shaped pupil, a brown or grey brown colour, a distinctive y shape marking on its
head and its habit of inflating its neck when threatened. This snake has an
average length of 1.2 meters but can grow up to 1.4 meters in length.
Distribution and habitat
Only found in Eastern Zimbabwe and
Central Mozambique. Its favoured habitats are moist savanna and lowland forest.
Feeds on lizards,
occasionally other snakes.
Predators, parasites and disease
Fed on by
birds of prey (particularly
secretary birds and
snake eagles), and other snakes.
Oviparous (egg laying), laying up to 18 eggs in summer.
Has an average lifespan of 10 years.
This Vine snake species has potentially lethal haemotoxic
venom for which there is no antivenom. It is, however, hardly ever
encountered and is responsible for very few deaths.
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.