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Snake: Stiletto

Find, identify & discuss the marine species of SANParks
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Dan
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Unread postby Dan » Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:51 pm

And for all who want to know what a Stiletto snake is, here is some of the attributes: :shock:

From wikipedia



Name
Bibron's burrowing snake or Atractaspis bibronii

Description
Adults average 30-50 cm in length with a maximum of 70 cm. The color pattern consists of a purplish-brown, gray or black ground color, often with a purplish sheen. The belly can be brownish, white or pale in color, with a series of dark blotches. In specimens with a lighter belly coloration, this may also include two or three scale rows on the flanks.

Geographic range
Found in southern Africa, from central Namibia, east to northern South Africa, north to southeastern DR Congo and Uganda, eastern Tanzania, coastal Kenya, and extreme southern coastal Somalia

Habitat
Semi-desert, savannah and woodland.

Venom
The venom is highly toxic, although it is produced in very small amounts. Bites are common in some areas. And this is very interresting: Often, snake handlers are bitten who are unaware that this species is able to bite while being held by the neck. Bite symptoms usually include mild to intense pain, local swelling with occasional blistering and necrosis and regional lymphadenopathy. :shock: :shock: No fatalities have been recorded.





And here is a beautiful picture of the little critter that had a problem of being removed from the luxurious accomodation at B&D. Think most of us feel like that when we are told to leave Kruger to go back home. In short not something you will give your kids to play with. I have serious sympothy with you Lourens! :(

Monne, do not feel too bad, it is what they call an occupational hazzard, and I am sure if you should ask Lourens to do the same again tomorrow, he will! He might just use a pair of long pliers this time! :twisted: There is also another variety that is resident in SA that is called the beaked stiletto (deurden's stiletto or "A.duerdeni"), with some similar characteristics, just lighter in colour and with a slightly scale difference around the head. Strangely, it is unlikely to find these two varieties near each other, they do not like to share their habitat. :? Wonder why?

BTW there is no safe way to pick these up; they can erect the fangs withour opening the mouth - evolved through catching prey in confines spaces, i.e. burrows. :shock: Another nasty little surprise added to the previous I mentioned concerning the twisting of the head.

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Mfezi
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Snake: Stiletto

Unread postby Mfezi » Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:31 pm

I am wondering :hmz: how many people have seen this snake in the parks? I have read a couple of years ago I think in a trip report of a ranger in the KNP that got bitten by one in Olifants camp I think. Then I also know of another guide that got bitten by one in Talamati camp. But I stand corrected about the camp!

This snake is dangerous since you cannot hold it safely behind its head. In 1996 on a night drive from Letaba, we saw two of them on the road. :dance:

Image

Mods, may I post of photo of one that was not taken in one of the SANPARKS?

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Elsa
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Re: Snake: Stiletto

Unread postby Elsa » Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:00 pm

Yes you may Mfezi as long as you just name the place and not give any links etc. to it. :thumbs_up:
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

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Mfezi
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Re: Snake: Stiletto

Unread postby Mfezi » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:27 am

Thanks Elsa, will do :thumbs_up:

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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Snake: Stiletto

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:50 am

Interesting picture. 8)

I also remember the ranger story... and I thought it was Berg n Dal :wink:
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Elsa
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Re: Snake: Stiletto

Unread postby Elsa » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:54 pm

Yes, think you are right MM, think it was Lourens who was bitten.
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Mfezi
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Re: Snake: Stiletto

Unread postby Mfezi » Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:39 pm

Thanks for helping out with the correct info, Elsa and MM :thumbs_up:

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Re: Snake: Stiletto

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:21 am

Elsa wrote:Yes, think you are right MM, think it was Lourens who was bitten.


Didn't he need hospital admission?

Mfesi, good reminder to never take any snake for granted. If my memory serves me, Lourens thought it was a more harmless snake when he had to remove it from some bungalow. I believe it delivers a very painful bite.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Mfezi
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Re: Snake: Stiletto

Unread postby Mfezi » Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:09 pm

MM, that is exactly the reason why I posted this info and why I was quite eager to post a photo of this type of snake. :thumbs_up: Although the colour variation in the KNP might be different from the one in the photo, at least there is now a photo so that other forumites can see it! Nobody can hold this snake safely behind the head like any other venomous snake. :naughty: :naughty: You are right, it does deliver a very painful bite :cry: :cry:


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