Snake identification

South African snakes with venoms that are considered to be medically important.

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Snake identification

Postby glenroberts » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:10 pm

Can anyone identify this snake for me? Cabra family, possibly a juvenile Rinkhals? Has just been caught in Bonnievale, Western Cape.

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Re: Snake identification

Postby wadekilian » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:11 pm

That's a Coral Snake. They're part of the Aspidelaps genus, not Naja. Very nice find :-)
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Re: Snake identification

Postby glenroberts » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:18 pm

Thanks, I had that suspicion but didn't know that you get them here (Western Cape). I was also not aware that they made a hood like a Cobra.
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Re: Snake identification

Postby Kennyakagera » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:22 pm

Definitely a Coral snake, Aspidelaps lubricus to be precise. Relative to cobras and mambas as they are in the Elapidae family (fixed front fangs).
Beautiful snake, one of my favorite for sure !
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Re: Snake identification

Postby TonyK » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:32 pm

I have seen 2 from the Worcester area ,not to far from where you are so I would think they around your area too.Very interesting post ,thanks for posting the pic.
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Re: Snake identification

Postby Mamba no 5 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:33 pm

You are so lucky to have found this beauty.
(insert inspiring quote here)
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Re: Snake identification

Postby najarw » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:54 am

Donald G. Broadley

In Africa, Aspidelaps scutatus has always been
called the Shield Snake or Shield-Nosed Snake,
whereas A. lubricus is known as the Coral Snake
(F.W. FitzSimons 1912; V. FitzSimons 1962; Spawls
and Branch 1995; Visser and Chapman 1978). Frank
and Ramus (1995) introduced the names Shieldnose
Cobra and South African Coral Snake respectively,
whereas Greene (1997) used Shield-Nosed Cobra
and Coral Cobra. In a study of the phylogenetic relationships
of elapid snakes, Slowinski and Keogh
(2000) found significant bootstrap support for a core
cobra group consisting of Naja, Boulengerina,
Paranaja, Aspidelaps, Hemachatus, and
Walterinnesia, but excluding Elapsoidea and
Dendroaspis. Thus, in an attempt to stabilize common
names for these snakes, we propose to use
Shield Cobras for the genus, a direct translation of
the scientific name. Aspidelaps l. lubricus then
becomes the Coral Shield Cobra, A. l. cowlesi
(including A. l. infuscatus) is the Namibian Shield
Cobra, A. s. scutatus is the Kalahari Shield Cobra, A.
s. intermedius is the Lowveld Shield Cobra, and A.
s. fulafula is the Eastern Shield Cobra.
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