Easily confused fossorial snakes found whilst cruising

Easily confused fossorial snakes found whilst cruising

Postby Fooble » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:43 am

Here are some of the snakes we've found whilst road cruising of late.
At night shiny black snakes can be tricky to ID so here are some pictures where you can easily tell the species apart.

Lycophidion capense - Cape Wolf Snake

Image

Image

Macrelaps microlepidotus - Natal Black Snake (two different snakes)

Image

Image

Amblyodipsas concolor - Natal Purple glossed Snake
Image

Atractaspis bibronii -Stiletto Snake.

Image

Image

Image


Moral of the story if you don't know what it is DON'T pick it up.
Out of these snakes some wont even bite others will turn your fingers into Jelly.
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Re: Easily confused fossorial snakes found whilst cruising

Postby Mitton » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:50 am

Great post and great pictures.
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Re: Easily confused fossorial snakes found whilst cruising

Postby John Rees » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:59 am

Very nice and very useful. Thx. I will be showing this to my kids with a serious threat thrown in! Are these quite common down your way?
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Re: Easily confused fossorial snakes found whilst cruising

Postby Fooble » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:01 am

Thanks Mitton.

John with allot of these snakes you hardly see them usually after heavy rains they move about on the roads, rain seems to flush them out.
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Re: Easily confused fossorial snakes found whilst cruising

Postby D@RRYL » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:11 am

Good pictures bud, you are right it is hard to tell them apart at night.
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Re: Easily confused fossorial snakes found whilst cruising

Postby jka » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:35 am

Very informative thanks for sharing.

Its going to help us alot.

Sure as hell helped me out, dont pick up any black snakes, you will have sticky jam fingers
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Re: Easily confused fossorial snakes found whilst cruising

Postby Fooble » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:53 pm

What black snakes do you get down your side besides booms anyway ;)
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Re: Easily confused fossorial snakes found whilst cruising

Postby Westley Price » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:59 pm

On pictures I always thought I would easily distinguish between the lot, but a few weeks back in found a black snake in Namibia which I immediately identified as a Atractaspis.

Upon photographing it (very carefully I might add) I thought something didn't look right so I got out my field guide.

Distribution confirmed it could not be anything else.

I was still not happy so I procedded to do some scale counts.

Turns out I had found the first Ambloydipsas polyleps in Namibia.

Great pictures Fooble.
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Re: Easily confused fossorial snakes found whilst cruising

Postby Fooble » Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:01 pm

That's a great find wes, do you have those pictures available?

I actually have not got around to photographing the Ambloydipsas polyleps we picked up a while back i need to do so and add it to this post.
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Re: Easily confused fossorial snakes found whilst cruising

Postby Westley Price » Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:12 pm

http://www.sareptiles.co.za/forum/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=23999&start=15

Check the bottom of the page. I only posted a few pictures though.
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Re: Easily confused fossorial snakes found whilst cruising

Postby Fooble » Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:29 pm

Great thanks!
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Re: Easily confused fossorial snakes found whilst cruising

Postby froot » Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:01 pm

Epic post Fooble, thanks. I'm sure we'll be using this as a reference in future.

If I find a questionable black snake, I suddenly seem to forget aspects to look out for in all the excitement and the first thing I do is place a stick on it's neck, pin it down and watch how it behaves. A stiletto's behaviour is unmistakeable.
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Re: Easily confused fossorial snakes found whilst cruising

Postby Fooble » Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:46 pm

froot wrote: I suddenly seem to forget aspects to look out for in all the excitement and the first thing I do is place a stick on it's neck, pin it down and watch how it behaves. A stiletto's behaviour is unmistakeable.


For sure, the natal black snakes are incredible docile a few were picked up without any thrashing about, funnily enough the same cant be said for the Wolg snake they go psycho.
It's quite cool watching they arch their necks i tried to capture that in the last pic.

Glad it may be of some help in the future.
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Re: Easily confused fossorial snakes found whilst cruising

Postby Johnny » Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:01 pm

@ froot. I have seen all 3 species aswel as Xenocalamus mimic Atractaspis.
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Re: Easily confused fossorial snakes found whilst cruising

Postby BOOGY » Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:06 pm

Strage ive never found a agresive Wolf snake. They all either dead calm or the usualthrashing to get away. Have they ever take a strike at you Fooble?
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