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Identification help: Snakes

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Senior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 7:43 pm
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Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:34 pm Unread post
Sadly this snake was hit by another car as we drove up to it and I think death was instantaneous. We saw it in June this year at Tihongonyeni. Can anyone identify it for me?

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Re: Identification help: Snakes

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Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:49 pm Unread post
Salamanda, to me it looks like a "Olive Grass Snake" :hmz:

Sad to see that they die like this. :(


Re: Identification help: Snakes

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Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:09 pm Unread post
Goodness, that was a rapid response, many thanks Philip1!


Re: Identification help: Snakes

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Location: Waar die enigste slang 'n tuinslang is...Joburg
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Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:55 am Unread post
I agree with Philip - an Olive Grass snake


Re: Identification help: Snakes

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Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:49 am Unread post
:thumbs_up: Thanks BushSnake!


Re: Identification help: Snakes

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Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:30 pm Unread post
We saw this snake cross the road on the 11th of August. It’s body still covered more than half of the road whiles it head was already in the bush (so out of sight) Once we hit the break the snake shot of with an amazing speed covering more than 5 meters within a second and sped out of sight. We have asked 2 rangers in the park and they are 90 % certain (so are we) that this snake is a black mamba. We are not sure though because it all went so quick and the picture we managed to take isn’t a very good one considering the head of the snake is not on it. We didn’t see its head at all actually. Hopefully someone can identify this snake for us.
Thank you!

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Last edited by t-bal on Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Re: Identification help: Snakes

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Location: Waar die enigste slang 'n tuinslang is...Joburg
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Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:58 pm Unread post
It's hard to say without the head, but my first reaction was a snouted cobra. The mottled colouration was my reason, as snouted cobras generally have a more greenish-brown mottled pattern while mambas (at least the majority of the ones I've seen) appear more uniformly grey/brown. Both species can reach the long lengths, so that wouldn't be characteristic.


Re: Identification help: Snakes

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Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:20 pm Unread post
Hi Bushsnake and thank you for your quick reply.

We have looked at many snouted cobras pictures straight away and we are so confused know. :lol: My father had a better look at the snake than I did considering I was driving and he was taking the pictures. He has two questions remaining so if we could make some more use of your expertise that would be great.
- How fast do Snouted cobras travel? (It was a clouded day with temperatures reaching a maximum of 25 degrees centigrade the day we saw this snake)
- My father said that the end of the tail ( about the last 30 centimeters) was really thin and no wider than a pinky. This might be of help to identify the snake.


Re: Identification help: Snakes

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Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:27 pm Unread post
I don't think the speed will be characteristic either. It's true that mambas are fast, but don't be fooled by thinking the cobras won't add a little "vooma" when frightened. As for the tail, it could point more towards a mamba, but it's not going to be decisive for me. Males of many snakes tend to have a thinner tapering tale than females. Let's see if someone else can counter argue, but my money is still on a snouted cobra.


Re: Identification help: Snakes

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Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:00 pm Unread post
Thank you very much Bushsnake. :thumbs_up: Your knowledge about snakes seems professional standard. :clap: You have me totally convinced (even though my dad I think still hopes it was a mamba) . We were really happy to see a snake considering we don’t really have them in Holland. We also saw a huge rock python baking in the son which was pretty exciting for us. :D


Re: Identification help: Snakes

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Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:34 pm Unread post
If you are on Facebook you can post the photo to a group called "Snakes of Southern Africa". There are a couple of "true" experts that can help, but beware that there are also a few "rogue guns" :) With a photo like this it's hard to get a perfect answer, but if a couple of people all ID it based on gut feel then you may get a more accurate ID.


Re: Identification help: Snakes

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Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:24 pm Unread post
Hi Bushnake

Just to inform you, we took your advise up and approached an expertof that facebook group. He said he was totally sure it was a black mamba.
Just want to thank you for your advice :D
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