Cape cobra?

Cape cobra?

Postby Southernprints » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:44 pm

Am I right this time in ID'ing this as a Cape cobra!? Gorgeous black/dark brown and shiny with a beautiful dark pinkish orange underbelly. This snake scared me, one of my closest encounters yet for someone that is happier to keep at a distance and just observe. This snake slipped into my house at about 11:00am this morning. It is a typical 'snake day' in the Southern Cape with a hot sun and no wind. I had left the front door open for 20 minutes (I usually close up to avoid these sort of encounters as we have no-one to help remove snakes in this area). It hooded a good few times when my dogs alerted me to it by barking and I got them outside and waited the snake out till it moved out the door that I closed after it. I took these photos as it was moving out my garden. Beautiful and I do appreciate their role but lesson learnt - keep the blooming doors closed at all times on these sort of days!
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Re: Cape cobra?

Postby Ales » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:50 pm

I'd agree on cape cobra. The pointy face makes it look like a mole snake, but you said it was making a hood which means it can only be a cobra, for a snake that size.
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Re: Cape cobra?

Postby nehima » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:51 pm

If you found that in the Western Cape chances are it's not a Cape Cobra. The Black phase of the Cape Cobra are restricted to the North Western areas around the Northern Cape only. I'm going to go with a Mole Snake on this one. I could be wrong but I doubt it. It is often confused with a Cape Cobra also. But you said it had a hood? Are you sure about that?
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Re: Cape cobra?

Postby michael » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:02 am

Nehima
Your assumption about where the black phase of the cape cobra occurs is based on old literature and incorrect, I have collected numerous copper brown and speckled specimens in the North Western Northern Cape before. I have also collected black specimens in some localities in the Western Cape and have heard reports that black (dark brown) specimens have been found in the Eastern Cape.

Cape cobras are very common in the Western Cape and occur in many colour variations throughout that Province.
That being said it is difficult to give an accurate ID from the photos as they are not very clear. The writer of the post however did say that the snake hooded numerous times, so I certainly would not argue with the assumption that it is a Cape Cobra.
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Re: Cape cobra?

Postby Jamster » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:43 am

Were there any markings on the neck area? The head profile in the second picture, the fact that the head area is glossy black and you mentioned pink or orange on the belly all makes me think that it what a big dark rinkhals. The body does look a little off for a rinkhals though.
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Re: Cape cobra?

Postby nehima » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:35 am

Thank you for clearing that up.
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Re: Cape cobra?

Postby Shaun » Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:46 am

That is a Cape Cobra. Dark Red colour Id guess from the photo. Reasonably common in and around Cape Town City.
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Re: Cape cobra?

Postby Southernprints » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:09 pm

We are not situated in Cape town but right down on the Southernmost point. I really feel strongly that it was a Cape Cobra comparing it to the interlude I had last year with a very large and black one. Granted it may have been very dark brown to look almost black. I have chatted to the bush cutters in the area who enter the bush on a daily basis and they have never seen rinkhals but as one guy says it does not mean that it is not here, you just see what there is more of. Some fly boys at the OTB and Air force base also tend to agree, they come across dark brown to black Cape Cobras often, no one yet believes they have seen a rinkhals in the area. This snake hooded three times, once while trying to move it out the house and twice when it was moving out of the garden when birds were mobbing it. I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination and do not get closer than I need to, I have immense respect for snakes, but having previously mistaken Cape Cobras for mole snakes and now having been shown and explained the differences I still believe this to have been a Cape Cobra. Thanks for the feedback and education though! It is of immense help in coping with living on the doorstep of nature.
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