The Boomslang (Dispholidus typus) is a large venomous African colubrid (rear-fanged) snake. Boomslang means tree snake. It is a reptile.
The Boomslang can be various colours; males can be llight-green with black edges on their scales; and females can be brown, and may have tiny white spots. Its underbelly is cream or yellowish, without spots. Its head is egg-shaped and its eyes are very large and round. It has excellent eye sight.
It grows to 100–160 centimetres (39-63 inches) in length.
The Boomslang is native to sub-Saharan Africa in dry savannahs and open areas with low trees, particularly thorny bushes. It is also arboreal, which means that it lives in trees.
It is diurnal, active during the day. It hibernates in winter by curling up inside a log or a bird’s nest.
The Boomslang eats reptiles, such as chameleons and lizards, as well as frogs, toads, birds, and small mammals, which it swallows whole.
It is oviparous – egg laying. Females lay up to 30 eggs in a hollow tree trunk or log. The eggs hatch after about 90 days, and the young (called snakelets) are about 20 centimetres (8 inches) long when born.
Many colubrid snakes are harmless to humans because of their small venom glands and inefficient fangs. However, the Boomslang is very venomous to humans. Its slow-acting venom is in its large fangs located in the back of its jaw. The Boomslang is a timid snake, and generally does not aggressively attack humans.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM