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 Post subject: Two of a kind - Green Mamba and Boomslang
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:11 pm 
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An article from an Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife publication.

TWO OF A KIND

Two tree climbing green snakes share the same habitat. Though they are both venomous, one is fairly aggressive while the other usually avoids confrontation. . How do you identify which is which?

The Green Mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps) is a bit lighter and more slender than the Black Mamba but has the same shaped head. The scales are smooth and not keeled as in the Boomslang. The total length seldom exceeds 2.5 meters making them a slightly bigger snake than the boomslang. The green mamba is highly arboreal and seldom ventures to the ground unless following prey or basking. Green mambas are diurnal.

They are shy and non aggressive snakes and do not often gape and strike if threatened but usually makes a swift and elegant escape.

Their diet consists primarily of adult and juvenile birds, birds' eggs, and small mammals. The green mamba's venom is highly neurotoxic (affecting the nervous system). The venom is similar in composition and action to that of the more famous black mamba but only one-tenth as toxic, and the amount delivered is less due to the snake's smaller size. Despite this, the bites are still potentially fatal and should be treated by professionals immediately.

A boomslang, (Dispholidus typus) is a large, venomous colubrid snake native to sub-Saharan Africa. It is the only species in its genus. Its name means "tree snake" in Afrikaans.

It’s long and slender build makes it well adapted for an arboreal life style. The boomslang is also unique in the colour variations within the species. A boomslang may be brown, green, grey or any colour in between depending on sex and age. This snake can be distinguished from the Green Mamba by the big eyes in relation to its egg shaped head and the prominently keeled scales. The juveniles have a very distinct pattern being dark on top and light underneath leaving them looking completely different to the parents.

A length of 1.5 meters is about the average for a male but 2 meters has been recorded.

Boomslang are largely arboreal, are very fast moving, and are oviparous. Their diet includes chameleons and other arboreal lizards, frogs, and occasionally small mammals, birds and eggs from nesting birds, which they swallow whole.

The venom of the boomslang is primarily a haemotoxin (affects the blood). It disables the blood clotting process and the victim often dies due to internal and external bleeding. Other symptoms include: headache, nausea, sleepiness and mental disorders. Being a relatively slow-acting venom, the symptoms may occur many hours after the bite.

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 Post subject: Re: Two of a kind - Green Mamba and Boomslang
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:20 pm 
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Thank you gmlSmit for this information :thumbs_up:
I now feel qualified to tell the difference :D

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 Post subject: Re: Two of a kind - Green Mamba and Boomslang
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:34 pm 
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Thanks for your thanks - my pleasure. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Two of a kind - Green Mamba and Boomslang
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:24 pm 
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Txs
for me a eye-opener .
Always throught the mamba is the more dangerous to man.
but will try to avoid both :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Two of a kind - Green Mamba and Boomslang
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:43 am 
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Thank you gmlsmit for the interesting information, I have learned something new :thumbs_up:. I assume they do not generally occur in Kruger but I have read somewhere some time ago that someone saw a green mamba in Kruger near an entrance gate I think?

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 Post subject: Re: Two of a kind - Green Mamba and Boomslang
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:09 am 
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Green Mambas are more indigenous to the evergreen coastal areas, finding one in the KNP would be exremely rare, however Boomslangs (funny word) should be reasonably well represented.

Another snake that could be confused with a Green Mamba is the harmless Green Water Snake which is an excellent swimmer but also quite at home on river banks, shrubs and bushes and even rocky regions in the savannah and open forests and even more arid regions.

The spotted or Variegated Bush Snake again can be confused with the Boomslang, this snake is also green bright to olive with black spots or crossbars and the anterior part of the body with a big eye in the stubby head, and then also with the Green Mamba due to the shape of its head which may resemble that of the feared Dendrospis angustipus which has smaller eyes.

My advise - if you cannot positively identify the different species - keep your distance and do not start collecting sticks and stones, offer them their escape route.

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 Post subject: Re: Two of a kind - Green Mamba and Boomslang
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:05 pm 
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And then you get Natal Green Snake as well just to add to the confusion. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Two of a kind - Green Mamba and Boomslang
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:54 pm 
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Grantmissy wrote:
Thank you gmlsmit for the interesting information, I have learned something new :thumbs_up:. I assume they do not generally occur in Kruger but I have read somewhere some time ago that someone saw a green mamba in Kruger near an entrance gate I think?

Hi Grantmissy, I plead guilty.
We came accross a big green snake in the road, about 1km from Malelane Gate early one morning. It had its head chewed off (rapture?). I posted the photo somewhere on the forum and the snake was indeed identified, after a lenghty debate, as a green mamba. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Two of a kind - Green Mamba and Boomslang
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:20 pm 
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Thank you Bennievis for confirming/clarifying what I have read :thumbs_up: . But I think a person like me will struggle to identify the different green snakes described above and will most probably get it wrong. We once saw a green snake (juvenile) in the bushes in front of the Orpen shop and the staff said that it was a green mamba. We thought is to be a boomslang but they insisted that it was a green mamba. Whether it was or not either a boomslang or green mamba I don’t know but as said above they are very rarely seen in Kruger so I doubt that it was. Very interesting and informative topic though :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Two of a kind - Green Mamba and Boomslang
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:34 pm 
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Hi Gmlsmit,

Can you help how to ID other snakes in SA...

Though I am interested in snakes but have a zero iq about them.

Many thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Two of a kind - Green Mamba and Boomslang
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:56 pm 
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Boomslang photos.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: Two of a kind - Green Mamba and Boomslang
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:06 pm 
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Green Mamba photos:

Image

Image

Green water snake photos:

Image

Image

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No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


Last edited by gmlsmit on Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Two of a kind - Green Mamba and Boomslang
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:15 pm 
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Spotted Bush Snake photo:

Image

Natal green Snake photos:

Image

Image

Image

Now all will realize why I have posted earlier:

If you cannot positively identify the snake, keep your distance and let it escape.
The possibility of the reptile harming you is very slight.
If possible get someone who can to remove and relocate it.

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No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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