Snakes of Mount Moreland Conservancy - By: Jason Arnold
 
          
Snakes of Mount Moreland Conservancy area Boomslang   

Mount Moreland is home to about 20 species of snake. Of these, 45% (9 species) possess a venom of some sort and the remaining 55% (11 species) are absolutely harmless ! Of the venomous variety,15% (3 species) have a venom which is of absolutely no consequence to humans (Including children and small pets). A further 10% (2 species) have a venom which will require some medical treatment, but is not life threatening, and only 20% (4 species) of all Mount Moreland’s snakes can deliver a life-threatening bite.

 

This however, does not mean that a snake in your garden has a 20% chance of being deadly. The harmless varieties are far more abundant and have adapted to venturing in and around homes. Many people are able to recognize these and let them be, whereas the same would not Green Mambahold true for unidentifiable or positively identified venomous species. These are often killed on site by the layman through ignorance and fear, or removed by professionals and relocated to a more suitable area away from homes.

 

A very good example of a common, harmless species is the Spotted Bush Snake. This slender Green Snake, which grows to a meter long, feeds exclusively on Gecko’s. It is for this reason that these snakes are attracted close to homes, where gecko’s are plentiful! This is undoubtedly the most commonly encountered snake throughout Durban. For every 100 calls I receive from the public for “Green Snakes” on properties, this snake (or one of it’s close cousins) accounts for at least 95 %.

 

People have an annoyingly small knowledge-base when it comes to snakes, and too often completely harmless species are misidentified and killed. In saying this… I must mention that I DO NOT condone the killing of snakes, even HIGHLY venomous species ! There are of course always exceptions, but in MOST cases where snakes are killed, nobody’s life was in any immediate or unavoidable danger, and the snake could’ve been allowed, or coaxed, to disappear on it’s own. Or alternatively, a professional snake handler could’ve been called on to remove the animal safely.


The sight of a snake unfortunately sends most people into panic mode, where they jump to conclusions Night Adderand reach for the nearest weapon !
  

To the layman, any green snake is a Green Mamba or Boomslang, any grey or black snake is a Black Mamba, any snake that raises it’s head off the ground is a Cobra, if it hisses it’s a Puff Adder and if it’s thicker than a human wrist, it must be a Python ! …I guess people always immediately fear the worst !

 

Below is a list of the snakes that occur in the Mount Moreland area.

The confirmation of their occurrence in Mount Moreland is based on my own first hand experience through responding to calls for snakes in this area over the last 14 odd years. There are a few species on the list which I have not personally found in Mount Moreland, but I’ve added these anyway, as it’s very likely that they would either naturally occur in Mount Moreland, judging by distribution maps and habitat, or they could easily end up in Mount Moreland from surrounding areas. These species have been underlined on the list.

 

Click on an image to see more detailed information on the Snakes that occur within the Mount Moreland Conservancy

 List and description of deadly snakes that occur in the Mount Moreland Conservation area
Deadly snakes that occur in the Mount Moreland Conservation area

Snakes who's bites will require some medical attention 
Snakes who's bites will require some medical treatment

 Snake species who's bites are considered harmless to man
Snake species who's bites are considered harmless to man

 Harmless snakes that occur within the Mount Moreland Conservancy
Harmless snakes that occur within the Mount Moreland Conservancy