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Snake: Stripe-bellied Sand

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Jumbo

Snake: Stripe-bellied Sand

Unread postby Jumbo » Wed May 27, 2009 9:39 am

During a recent visit to Tshugulu Lodge (Mapungubwe) we had the privilege to watch a life and death struggle between a Common Flat Lizard (platysaurus intermedius cf. rhodesianus) and a Western Stripe-bellied Sand Snake (psammophis subtaeniatus)….for me this was such a unique sighting, something I will never forget…. 8)

Incidentally, we already met up with this Western Stripe-bellied Sand Snake the previous day…I almost stepped on it where it was basking in the sun on the paved walkway….initially it fled, but later returned to the same spot and were not at all bother with us coming close and taking photos….and later on, with us walking up and down…it was actually quite tame and stayed around for about 2 hrs….

The next day I heard a splash in the swimming pool and upon investigation found the following on the top step of the swimming pool. I presume that during their struggle both the lizard and snake ended up in the swimming pool.

The lizard appeared to be dead. At some stage the snake was actually holding the lizard under water…I’m not sure if this was intentional, trying to drown the lizard?

After a while the snake tried to lift the lizard out of the pool…but the lizard was to heavy for this.


At one side, the first step of the pool slopes against a rock that was build into the pool….and the snake tried to get the lizard out on this side. This should have been easy for the snake but for some reason it appeared that it did not really want to use this option.


The snake again tried to lift the lizard over the edge….


This was turning into quite a struggle with the snake trying to lift the lizard….and the snake took a few seconds to rest.


Eventually the snake again went to the side of the rock, but still did not get itself and the lizard out.

After this the snake suddenly let go of the lizard and sped out of the pool….the water in the pool was very cold and I suppose the snake’s body temperature was getting too low and thus it had to get out.
But there is a twist in the tail…. We were all staring at the poor dead lizard drifting around when suddenly it came to life and also shot out of the pool at the speed of light :shock: …..I’m however not sure if the lizard made it after this, the poison of the snake probably took its toll later.
Last edited by Jumbo on Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jumbo

Re: Stripe-bellied Sand Snake vs Common Flat Lizard

Unread postby Jumbo » Wed May 27, 2009 10:22 am

Below, a link to the video that my dad took:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/woodwise/3544554887/

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Re: Stripe-bellied Sand Snake vs Common Flat Lizard

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Wed May 27, 2009 1:28 pm

Great sighting & sequence Jumbo. :dance:

Like I have said many times. It is not just about the so called 'big 5'.

We watched for 45 minutes as a Burchell's coucal made a meal of a chameleon at the Mantambeni hide in Kruger a few years ago.
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Re: Stripe-bellied Sand Snake vs Common Flat Lizard

Unread postby Jumbo » Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:41 pm

Happy you all enjoyed it 8) ….this was for sure my best wildlife sighting for this year (well, so far :wink: ).
Ones chances of seeing a leopard killing an impala or a lion catching something is much higher than seeing something like this….and many people do not realize this when they have such a sighting

I also posted these photos on Flickr and a guy (Wim Botha) made a very interesting comment on it….he pointed out that the lizard is biting its tail to prevent the snake from swallowing it head-first. That makes perfect sense!!! 8) If one look at the photos you will see that it will not at all be possible for the snake to swallow the lizard while it is in that position!

Just for a laugh: I thought the lizard mistaken its own tail as part of the snake and tried to bite the snake back…. :doh: :lol:

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Re: Stripe-bellied Sand Snake vs Common Flat Lizard

Unread postby Imberbe » Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:21 pm

Wim is quite correct. That is a well know defense mechanism.

Excellent sighting Jumbo! 8)
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Re: Stripe-bellied Sand Snake vs Common Flat Lizard

Unread postby Sprocky » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:39 am

Jumbo, here are a few of the shots from my sequence.

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Re: Stripe-bellied Sand Snake vs Common Flat Lizard

Unread postby Imberbe » Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:35 pm

8) Very nice indeed! A real special sighting!
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Re: Identification help: Snakes

Unread postby Pjw » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:59 pm

Can any one ID this snake seen at Sable dam hide on 6 Jan. It was camera shy and disappeared into the long grass before I could a photo of its head

Image

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Re: Identification help: Snakes

Unread postby Boorgatspook » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:08 pm

I would go with the Stripe-Bellied Sand Snake (Psammophis subtaeniatus) They have cream and brown stripes on sides, bright yellow belly, bordered by black and white stripes.

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Re: Identification help: Snakes

Unread postby Mgulube » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:41 am

Spot on! That defenitly looks like the Striped belly sandsnake. We have lots of them up here :thumbs_up:
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who is that

Unread postby JoachimLouis » Wed May 12, 2010 10:08 am

Hello everybody, that thin and long snake, we saw at Kubu Island.
First i thought it´s a sandsnake but i can not verify that.

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Re: Identification help: Snakes

Unread postby pietpetoors » Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:58 pm

This baby did not want to pose for a photograph so I had to catch it in order to photograph.
It is only about 5mm thick and 20cm long.
Any ideas what it is?
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Re: Identification help: Snakes

Unread postby Bobbi Jane » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:47 pm

Pietpetoors, I would guess it is a Sand Snake Striped Bellied - juvenile? But the fundies might differ?
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Re: Identification help: Snakes

Unread postby roaneric » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:23 pm

Hi everyone

Can someone please help me with the identification of this snake. Thanks


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Re: Identification help: Snakes

Unread postby ross hawkins » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:59 pm

Hey roaneric

This is a Stripe Bellied Sand Snake n he's just finished his Three striped Skink lunch.
He's one very fast n trusting little chap, they totally harmless to us even though they have fangs in the back o the jaw their venom is of no consequence to humans.

A very nice specimen you got here.


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