Pest Guides

Boomslangs

Dispholidus typus

Geographical Locale

Image of Boomslang [Dispholidus typus] | Ehrlich Pest Control
  • Boomslangs are tree dwelling snakes native to sub-Saharan Africa.

Appearance

  • Solid teeth in both jaws with venom fangs in rear part of upper jaw.
  • Average length is 4' but can exceed 6'.
  • Has a short, blunt nose & large prominent eyes with a pear shaped pupil.
  • Boomslangs have keeled scales.
  • Females usually retain a brown colour.
  • Males colouring is highly variable ranging from black to bright green.
  • Belly is light green.
  • Often confused with the Green mamba (Dendroaspis augusticeps).

Venom

  • Primarily a haemotoxin – it disables the blood clotting process causes internal and external bleeding.

The Bite

  • Puncture marks at wound site.
  • Actual bite not very painful.
  • Likely to bleed copiously as blood clotting mechanism becomes affected.

Lifecycle

  • Female lays between 8 and 25 eggs in hollows of trees or piles of leaves.
  • Young Boomslangs hatch between 70 and 100 days later.
  • Newly hatched Boomslangs are grey with blue patches and do not achieve their full colouring until several years old.

Habits

  • Generally found in trees and shrubs.
  • Moves with great speed and agility.
  • Diet is mainly chameleons but will also eat birds & their eggs, frogs and lizards all of which are swallowed whole.
  • In cooler months they may hibernate for short periods – often taking over birds nests.
  • Timid and will rarely bite unless caught or cornered.

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