The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Spotted Bush Snake

Afrikaans name: Gespikkelde bosslang

Spotted Bush Snake

Spotted Bush Snake

Photo © Steven Herbert

Philothamnus semivariegatus

The Spotted Bush Snake is a slender snake with a flat head. It can reach a length of around 80 cm. It is bright green above with small black spots. Underneath it is a creamy-yellow colour. It is sometimes referred to as the Variegated Bush Snake.

They spend much of their time up in trees and bushes where they hunt for prey. They are also known to be good swimmers.

This snake may bite when threatened but they are not considered to be poisonous. Unfortunately they are confused with the Boomslang and Green Mamba and are often killed by people believing that they are dangerous.

The female Spotted Bush Snake lays between 3 and 12 eggs. The eggs are unusually long and vary in length from 2.8 cm to 4 cm. These reptiles feed on geckos, tree frogs and chameleons. When chasing prey in a tree they are extremely agile and fast. They move through the branches with ease.

They are found over most of Africa including South Africa.

Spotted Bush Snake

Photo © EcoView -

References and further reading

The Reptiles of the Kruger National Park - Author: U. de V. Pienaar, WD Haacke and NHG Jacobsen - Published: 1983 - Page: 191

Snakes of Africa - Author: R.M. Isemonger - Published: 1983 - Page: 122

Snakes & Snakebite in Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Johan Marais - Published: 2014 - Page: 108

Sasol First Field Guide to Snakes & other Reptiles of Southern Africa - 2nd edit - Author: Tracey Hawthorne - Published: 2016 - Page: 26

Game Ranger in your Backpack - Author: Megan Emmett and Sean Pattrick - Published: 2013 - Page: 201

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

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

A Field Guide to the Eastern Cape Coast - Author: R. Lubke, F. Gess & M. Bruton - Published: 1988 - Page: 259

A Field Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa - Author: V.F.M. Fitzsimmons - Published: 1970 - Page: 97


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