The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Natal Green Snake

Afrikaans name: Natalse groenslang

Natal Green Snake

Natal Green Snake

Photo © EcoView - Fotolia.com

Philothamnus natalensis

The Natal Green Snake is endemic to Southern Africa. It is only found in South Africa and Mozambique. In South Africa it is found along the coast from the Western Cape through to KwzZulu-Natal as well as Mpumalanga.

This snake normally grows to a length of 70 to 90 cm but may sometimes reach 120 cm. The Natal Green Snake is bright green above and paler underneath. It doesn't have black marks on top although some juveniles do show blackish barring. Some people confuse this harmless snake with the deadly Green Mamba but the mamba is far more robust and doesn't have black markings along its back.

This reptile can be found in a variety of habitats including wet and dry forest and woodland.

Natal Green Snakes hunt during the day. Their food includes frogs, young birds, insects, chameleons and geckos. While hunting they have the ability to anchor themselves in a tree and sway in the wind as a branch may do.

The female may lay between 3 and 16 eggs.

References and further reading

Snakes & Snakebite in Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Johan Marais - Published: 2014 - Page: 110

Snakes of Africa - Author: R.M. Isemonger - Published: 1983 - Page: 124

The Reptiles of the Kruger National Park - Author: U. de V. Pienaar, WD Haacke and NHG Jacobsen - Published: 1983 - Page: 189

Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Rod Patterson and Anothony Bannister - Published: 1987 - Page: 81

Bill Branchs Field Guide to the Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Bill Branch - Published: 1988 - Page: 83

A Field Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa - Author: V.F.M. Fitzsimmons - Published: 1970 - Page: 102

A Guide to the Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Graham Alexander and Johan Marais - Published: 2007 - Page: 128


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