List and description of deadly snakes that occur in the Mount Moreland
Click on an image and find out more about the listed
The 5 Deadly species are:
Black Mamba - Relatively common. The mere size of these snakes makes them easily identifiable, as
they AVERAGE 2.1 metres in length! Black Mambas are very nervous and alert and are very quick to get away from
potential threats. They are diurnal and are as happy in trees as they are on the ground. Prey includes any
small mammal species, including kittens and young Vervet Monkeys. Black Mambas DO NOT attack or chase people,
despite reports by people of this having occurred. If they did, I'm sure I would've been dead a long time ago
as I've caught well over 70 over the last 14 years. Most of them in very tricky situations like in a small
shed, ceilings, under houses, in vehicles and a couple high up in trees, where the only possible escape route
for the snake was down towards me…
They are highly strung and nervous creatures, but they are not that aggressive.
Don't believe the “stories” you hear, but rather the facts written by professionals that you read! These animals do
not deserve or need to be killed. Leave them alone and they will leave you alone! Undoubtedly my personal
favorite Durban species!!!
Green Mamba - The green mamba is highly
arboreal and seldom ventures to the ground unless following prey or basking. Green mambas are diurnal. Unlike the black mamba, it is a shy and nonaggressive
snake, and does not often gape and strike if threatened but usually makes a swift and elegant escape.
Continued provocation will cause the snake to strike, and bites, although serious, are uncommon.
Green mambas make their homes near trees, often in evergreen forest, coastal scrub, or moist savannah. Bamboo
thickets and mango plantations are also known to be mamba habitat.
The green mamba's venom is highly neurotoxic.
Mozambique Spitting Cobra - Mozambique Spitting Cobras are undoubtedly the most common and widespread of all
the deadly species in Durban. They are found in most areas
bordering natural bush/nature reserves/rivers/dams/streams etc. Particularly where frogs and toads are
abundant. They are particularly active shortly before summer and again between late summer and early autumn.
This is Durban's only Cobra species and also our only “Spitting” snake. These snakes will often bask in the sun near a retreat during the day, but they are mainly
nocturnal, going in search for frogs and toads which are their favourite prey items. Other prey items include
rodents and smaller snakes. They employ a very effective Spit-and-flee tactic when approached, therefore bites
on humans and animals are uncommon. Dogs however often receive venom in the eyes when venturing too close.
Theses snakes are able to spit their venom up to three metres ! This
cobra can grow to 1.5 metres in length and are very robustly built. They are most active in the early
Boomslang/African Tree-Snake - There are only a few areas around Durban where Boomslang still occur. Mount Moreland is
one such area. There are a very limited amount of sightings of these snakes, most of
which occur during their breeding season in October/November. And often there will be more than one within a
few metres of each other during this time. Birds are usually the “Whistle-Blowers” when this species is
noticed. Boomslang are diurnal and arboreal. They are a very shy and gentle species and as with the Green
Mamba, will also very seldomly venture onto the ground. Boomslang feed on birds, particularly fledgelings, as
well as Chameleons. Boomslang average about 1,6 metres and are the only African snakes who's sex can be
determined simply by looking at their colour. Males are green and females are brown. This is known as sexual
Vine/Twig or Bird
Snake - Due to this snakes amazing camouflage and ability to
remain motionless for long periods of time, there are very few sightings of this species. People have
often almost picked up the “Stick on the driveway” to toss it aside, until it moved or stuck it's bright
orange tongue out ! They feed on fledgling birds, chameleons, frogs and geckos and are believed to use their
bright orange and black tipped tongue as a lure.
They are an extremely shy, non aggressive, diurnal species, living in trees and dense bush. The Vine snake is our
only deadly species for which there is no anti-venom available, but bite victims can be treated symptomatically or
by undergoing blood transfusions.
Click on an image to see more detailed information on the
Snakes that occur within the Mount Moreland Conservancy