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 Post subject: Snake: Mozambique Spitting Cobra
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:21 am 
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Can any member please identify the snake for us.

Image 1
Image
When we met this snake 50% of his body length was on the tar.
He tried to get forward but only moved on the same spot so my first reaction was that he was hit by a car. He was not.
He then returned to the dirt part of the road (image 2),
Image 2
ImageLarge
made a u-turn and made a speedy dash for the tar again.
His initial speed got about 75% of his body on the tar and he started to move forward. (Image 3)
Image 3
Image
This movement on the tar was very slow and he struggled to get forward motion as if he was sailing on a glass top with soap on it.
It took him about 6 minute to cross the tar road but as soon as his head reached the end of the road (image 4) he shot into the undergrowth like an arrow from a bow.
Image 4
Image
This is the first time we saw a snake on the road with his movement hampered by the surface of the tar.


Last edited by JenB on Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:26 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Pic resizing.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 7:48 pm 
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macho mouse wrote:
I looks like it could be Mamba, but I once had a Mamba sighting on the tar and what was amazing was the speed at which it moved.
Lovely sighting though.


A Mamba has a long thick snout and this snake is yellowish and has a almost boomslang pointed short snout with eyes well forward.... could be either female boomslang or some kind of relaxed cobra???? but its not a mamba

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:41 pm 
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macho mouse wrote:
I wondered about Boomslang, PB, also because of the big eyes.
I was also surprised at how "brown" the Boomslang can be.
I know enough about snakes to have done some reading, but enough about myself that I know how little I know.
They are also very "skinny" snakes, are they not?


The Boomslangs Iv'e seen have all been very skinny as well but this one looks a big mother (excuse the pun!) The reason i hinted at Cobra ??? was because of the thicker appearance. Also the Mamba is very shy and FAST and would not have stuck around like that unless it was not well???? We once spent a glorious Sunday afternoon in our bedroom in grahamstown trying to find a female boomslang which woke my wife and then disappeared... its a long story but i'll tell you some time later!!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:59 pm 
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To help you guys a bit more I think we can eliminate boomslang as we have seen lots of them on and off the tar and they moved without changing "speed". My first impression was NOT boomslang.
I can describe the color as a “metallic grey”. The red/brown on the image was more from the sun than from his natural color.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:54 am 
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Arie wrote:
I agree that it should be cobra, but on the enlarged head picture you can also see some darker scales on the throat which makes me think of Moz.Spitting Cobra.
Why Egyptian Cobra, Peter?


I have only seen one Moz Spitting Cobra Years ago when i was on the Olifants Trail with then Trails ranger Don English. He identified the snake and i remember it was quite darkThe few Egyptian ones I have seen have all been lighter and this seems to be more uniformly light with none of that characteristic blackish band where the hood would typically taper into the rest of its body. Wish I had a snake ref book then it would be easy and if only I could see this snake's belly to be sure. I was almost 100% sure before now I'm 75% Eygptian and 25% Moz Spitting Cobra... What do ALL you snake experts out there think. When I'm in the bush I know and look out for Black Mamba and Boomslang which I know well and of course easy IDed snakes like Python and Puffy and I successfully IDed the Spotted Bush Snake which zapped me on the foot at Mopani Camp...Some of the Cobras are hard apart from Rinkals and the yellow Cape variety.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:36 am 
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I have seen 2 Moz Spitting Cobras and both times they were extremely aggresive. The one actually tried to get into our open vehicle and the ranger had to drive off in haste.
On both occasions they were reared to strike, so I did not notice too much about colouring.
Bad tempered little blighters :!:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:29 pm 
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Peter Betts wrote:
They are extremely aggressive unlike The egytian variety which seems much shyer and would rather get lost. the snake in the pics seems docile enough which for me points away from the Moz variety.??


Mozzie aggressive??? :shock:
Never!! They are shy snakes (They just has an enourmous supply of venom to spit) They just create the impression to be agresive. They are shy snakes. Egyptian cobra in SA? You probably thinking of the Snouted cobra Naja anulifera which it is not as the 3/4 th labial scales never enters the eye.
A snouted cobra would stands it ground where as a mozzie would seldom....

This is a Mozambique spitter.. Naja mossambica :D

Arie, you are 100% correct with your ID's on Gwen's pics :D
(Striped skaapsteker, Olive grass snake (Olive whip snake) and Boomslang (F) 8)


Last edited by Pilane on Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:59 pm 
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Peter Betts wrote:
Is Pilane for real or just a joker.... I have seen plenty Eygptian Cobras over the last 50 years in the lowveld (Sabi Sands and Kruger) and they have always been relatively shy and all have looked and pushed off and only seldom have they stood their ground and flared their hoods. I have never heard of a snouted cobra??? so I have just been down to my neighbours and borrowed their Bill Branch's "Snakes of Southern Africa" and I Quote ... Mocambique Spitting Cobra..."IT SPREADS ITS BROAD HOOD AND SPITS READILY" "It Rarely Tames" " BITES ARE FREQUENT IN ZULULAND AND THE TRANSVAAL LOWVELD" All this suggests that this is a mean blighter who doesn't retreat from anything readily and not the shy snake Pilane talks about!!!!

Now to sort out some Eygptian Cobra Myths.
Distribution map = ALL OVER LOWVELD (ENTIRE KRUGER + Swaziland) and is found exactly where the Moz Cobra is found. 2 sub species in Southern Africa... The one found in the whole of the Old Transvaal (Includes Kruger) name is Naja Haje Annulifera which is an Egyptian Cobra and NOT a Snouted Cobra or whatever!!... The Eastern Race (The one found in Kruger) "IS LESS AGRESSIVE" I rest my case and suggest Pilane get himself/herself a proper reference book as the one he/she has now reminds me of Grimms Fairy Tales. The snake in the Picture on the thread is a docile Cobra N.h. Annulifera commonly known as the Egyptian Cobra..now I must return this book


Your friends book's Date of publishing? Still the Transvaal?

The Snouted cobra was previously known as the Egyptian cobra but DNA studies proved that the (Gypo) as we as herptologists calls them is indeed a seperate species and thefore the name change to Snouted Cobra (Naja annulifera) The Egyptian Cobra (Naja h. heja) can only be found in north Africa.

In the past we recognized 5 subspecies of the Egyptian cobra, two of those subspecies are now divided and placed as a new species with one subspecies. The subspecies of the Egyptian cobra were named as Naja haje annulifera and Naja haje anchietae in the new taxonomic way are they renamed to Naja annulifera (Snouted cobra) and Naja anchietae. (Anchieta's Cobra) .Both found in Southern Africa..

The tree other subspecies are still recognized as subspecies of the Egyptian cobra, they are:

Naja haje haje – South of the Sahara , from Senegal to East and North- east Africa

Naja haje legionis – Morocco

Naja haje arabica – South- west Arabia east wards to South- west Oman

Yes they, (Snouted cobras) are shy and not agrressive.... but they are more 'aggressive' than a Mozzie... Spitting venom
not a form of agrression but a form of defence.
:wink:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 1:15 pm 
Peter Betts wrote:
Is Pilane for real or just a joker....


:roll: :roll:
In THIS thread you can find photos of two Moz Cobras I encountered at my house in Marloth…might help you.

BTW, a book I found very helpful, apart from the great info I got from Pilane, is “A complete guide to the snakes of Southern Africa, Johan Marias”. Worth buying I think. :wink:


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 Post subject: Snakes: Mozambique Spitting Cobra
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:34 pm 
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We came acrosse this snake on our recent trip to Kruger.
First time I have ever seen one of these before.
It certainly wasn't a very "happy chappie" as can be seen. :shock:

ImageImage

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:20 am 
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Jumbo wrote:
It looks like it was spitting?
I also like the photo where it makes a hood….really great shot! We have not once had a sighting in Kruger….so to me this is an awesome sighting!!

Thanks Jumbo, I don't remember it actually spitting, but I don't think it would have taken much provocation to let rip. :shock:
We were actually on our game drive from Tinga and the ranger didn't see it at first as it was lying curled up on the road, we came pretty close to it, hence its aggression. :?
It did eventually calm down and flatten its hood.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:34 pm 
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Awesome pics Elsa. Luckily it never spat, for it can eject it's venom to a distance of more than two metres.

I tend to agree with Jumbo when it comes to M'fezi's agression. We have some around here and it took us four hours one morning to get one to move away from our backdoor area!!! Using sticks and flushing with the hosepipe, it never once raised a hood. It was quite a big one, judged it to be about 1.2m. It frightens me tho' that it doesn't need to spread a hood in order to spit, it is fully capable of doing so from a concealed position!!!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:42 pm 
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Quote:
On both Elsa’s photos and mine you can see the distinctive marking (scales) underneath the eye that I personally use to ID these snakes….again the snake experts are probably going to laugh, but this has up to now worked for me to make a quick ID.


Nothing wrong with that Jumbo :dance:
Yip they are easy to ID this way .. almost like you would id a king cobra :wink:


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:15 am 
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Thanks for the superb photos Elsa and Jumbo.

I have certainly seen more Moz cobras than any other snake in the Park. Jumbo, maybe it is that they don't know what's good for them.
Kobie Kruger writes about the Moz Cobra that inhabited their garden ben without doing any harm to man or beast. (other than the little rodents it probably ate for sustanence)

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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:34 pm 
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WOW!!!! Great shots of my favourite snake. Thanks Elsa, I enjoyed looking at them.

I was fortunate to have seen one in May 1999 just south of Lower Sabie on the main road towards Crocodile bridge. I manage to get quite close to it and in a very relaxed way it eventually turned around and slithered off into the bush.

I hope that I will see one during my visit to the Kruger towards the end of April.


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