Do you want to learn about the types of snakes found in South Sudan?

Types of snakes in South Sudan

If so, you have come to the right place. In the article below, I have listed the MOST COMMON snakes you can expect to see. Unfortunately, there are so many snakes that live in South Sudan that it would be impossible to list each one. 🙂

 

You’ll see that the snakes in South Sudan are very different from each other. They range from venomous species to snakes that use constriction to immobilize their prey. In addition, certain snakes are common to find living around people. For each species, you will find out how to identify that snake correctly, along with pictures, interesting facts, and RANGE MAPS!

 

Here are 4 types of snakes that live in South Sudan:

 


#1. Puff Adder

  • Bitis arietans

Also known as the African Puff Adder and Common Puff Adder

Common South Sudan snakes

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 100-150 cm (39-59 in) long.
  • They are commonly gray to dusty brown, with yellow chevrons on their backs.
  • There are two dark bands on the head, one on the crown and one between the eyes.
  • Male Puff Adders are usually larger than females.

 

Puff Adders are one of the most dangerous snakes in South Sudan.

 

This ill-tempered native snake roams savannas, grasslands, and – to the great misfortune of inhabitants – densely populated areas. The Puff Adder gets its name from how it inflates itself when threatened. Instead of moving away, it will hiss a warning to intruders before inflating and striking.

 

Its distinctive chevron pattern in yellow, white, and brown colors allows the Puff Adder to blend into its surroundings. This camouflage is particularly useful for its lifestyle as an ambush predator. Be careful where you wander because this highly-venomous, fast-striking snake seems to come out of nowhere.

The Puff Adder’s venom contains a cytotoxin that can kill a healthy adult human within a day. Their potent venom and tendency to loiter around footpaths make this snake one to avoid. Watch your step!

 


#2. Cape House Snake

  • Boaedon capensis

Also known as the Brown House Snake and Common House Snake

Common snakes found in South Sudan

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 60 cm (24 in) on average, but they can grow up to 120 cm (47 in).
  • They are various shades of yellow and brown, but some individuals are brick red.
  • You will notice two white lines on the head: one from the back of the eye to the tip of the mouth and the other from the nose to the back of the head.
  • The belly is creamy white, with stripes running along the body.

 

The Cape House Snake is frequently seen in grassy and suburban areas, but it doesn’t stop there. As its name suggests, it has a habit of appearing in houses unannounced, especially at night!

Luckily, these snakes are harmless to humans. They slowly drag themselves around at night to catch unsuspecting rodents, lizards, and birds. Without venom to paralyze their prey, Cape House Snakes constrict their prey with strong muscles along their bodies.

 

The Cape House Snake is popular among exotic pet owners due to being low-maintenance. However, owners should be careful to keep these snakes separated. In captivity, they breed up to six times per year as opposed to two times in the wild.

 


#3. Central African Rock Python

  • Python sebae

Also known as Northern African Rock Python

Snakes of South Sudan

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults reach impressive lengths of 350-750 cm (138-295 in).
  • It has two noticeable lines from the nose to the back of the head.
  • Striped blotches decorate the body, colored olive, brown, or yellow.
  • There is a distinct yellow inverted “V” marking under the eyes.

 

The Central African Rock Python is the longest snake in South Sudan!

 

Found near bodies of water, this heavyweight python enjoys environments such as forests, savannas, swamps, and semi-deserts.

Central African Rock Pythons may be non-venomous, but don’t let that give you a false sense of security. This species is strong enough to kill a human with its powerful constriction. Additionally, they routinely swallow antelopes, monkeys, and monitor lizards whole.

 

Unlike most snakes, Central African Rock Pythons are protective mothers. They fiercely guard their nest after laying eggs, protecting their young from predators and lashing out at unsuspecting passersby. They’re even known to be territorial of a nest after the eggs have hatched!

 


#4. Olive Whip Snake

  • Psammophis mossambicus

Also known as Olive Grass Snake, Olive Sand Snake

Types of snakes in South Sudan

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 100-180 cm long (39-71 in) on average.
  • It’s mostly olive-brown, but some specimens are black.
  • There are dark-edged scales along the neck and body. The underside is yellow.

 

This snake in South Sudan is a common resident of grasslands and swamplands.

You might find the Olive Whip Snake prowling near water sources during the day, so keep a keen eye out! Be alert around trees and shrubs, too, because it’s an adept climber.

The Olive Grass Snake is not nearly as venomous as the Black Mamba, but it often gets mistaken for one. This is due to its size and tendency to lift its forebody off the ground to an impressive height. Its food sources are also similar to the Black Mamba: lizards, rodents, frogs, and fellow venomous snakes.

 

Despite its weight, the Olive Grass Snake moves incredibly fast. And while it prefers a speedy retreat when sensing danger, it may choose to lunge and bite. Fortunately, its venom is mild for humans.

 


Do you need more help identifying a snake you saw in Africa?

 

If so, check out this field guide, which is full of great information!


Learn more about animals found in South Sudan in these ID Guides:


Which of these snakes have you seen before in South Sudan?

 

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