Summary details for Dasypeltis scabra


If you are unsure of the identification of a snake you have observed, you can ask an expert for snake identification by uploading a photo to the Snakes of Namibia facebook page.

You can also get help from their amazing album of infographics of the common snake species in Namibia.

The facebook page also has contact details for snake catchers - people who are experienced in catching and removing snakes - throughout the country.

In the case of a snake bite, email "snakebite" to snakebitedoc@gmail.com. Namibia's snakebite expert - Dr Buys - will respond immediately.


 

Rhombic or Plain Egg-eater

Dasypeltis scabra

Light brown to grey above with dark brown rhombic markings on the body. There is a V-shaped marking on the back of the neck with two similar markings on the back of the head. The head is not distinctive from the rest of the body and the mouth is black on the inside.

This snake mainly moves at night and is often found hiding under rocks and logs during the day. When threatened, egg eaters will rub their scales against each other making a rasping sound which mimics a snake hissing.

This snake lives exclusively on bird eggs as its name suggests. They have developed a specialised structure to enable them to deal with their exclusive diet of eggs. To mention a few; the great elasticity of the ligaments joining the halves of the jaws together. The great distensibility of the skin of the neck, and the development of hard tipped neck vertebra which is used to break through egg shells. The broken shell is then compressed allowing the contents to flow down to the stomach. The crumpled shell is regurgitated.

The common egg eater is a master of mimicry. When threatened they will rub their scales against each other making a rasping sound, which mimics the hiss of the venomous adders.

These harmless snakes are often mistaken for the venomous puff adder and horned adder.

Harmless to humans.

Rhombic or Plain Egg-eater
Rhombic or Plain Egg-eater © Photo: Francois Theart
Rhombic or Plain Egg-eater
Rhombic or Plain Egg-eater © Photo: Francois Theart
Rhombic or Plain Egg-eater
Rhombic or Plain Egg-eater © Photo: Francois Theart
Rhombic or Plain Egg-eater
Rhombic or Plain Egg-eater © Photo: Francois Theart
Rhombic or Plain Egg-eater
Rhombic or Plain Egg-eater © Photo: Francois Theart