Snakes of Mount Moreland
Conservancy - By: Jason
Mount Moreland is home to about 20 species of snake. Of
these, 45% (9 species) possess a venom of some sort and the remaining 55% (11 species) are absolutely
harmless ! Of the venomous variety,15% (3 species) have a venom which is
of absolutely no consequence to humans (Including children and small pets). A further 10% (2 species) have a
venom which will require some medical treatment, but is not life threatening, and only 20% (4 species) of all
Mount Moreland’s snakes can deliver a life-threatening bite.
This however, does not mean that a snake in your garden has a 20%
chance of being deadly. The harmless varieties are far more abundant and have adapted to venturing in and
around homes. Many people are able to recognize these and let them be, whereas the same would not
hold true for unidentifiable or positively identified venomous species. These are
often killed on site by the layman through ignorance and fear, or removed by professionals and relocated to a
more suitable area away from homes.
A very good example of a common, harmless species is the Spotted
Bush Snake. This slender Green Snake, which grows to a meter long, feeds exclusively on Gecko’s. It is for
this reason that these snakes are attracted close to homes, where gecko’s are plentiful! This is undoubtedly
the most commonly encountered snake throughout Durban. For every 100 calls I receive from the public for
“Green Snakes” on properties, this snake (or one of it’s close cousins) accounts for at least 95
People have an annoyingly small knowledge-base when it comes to
snakes, and too often completely harmless species are misidentified and killed. In saying this… I must
mention that I DO
NOT condone the killing of snakes, even HIGHLY venomous species
! There are of course always exceptions, but in MOST cases where snakes are killed, nobody’s life was in any
immediate or unavoidable danger, and the snake could’ve been allowed, or coaxed, to disappear on it’s own. Or
alternatively, a professional snake handler could’ve been called on to remove the animal
The sight of a snake unfortunately sends most people into panic mode, where they jump to conclusions
and reach for the nearest weapon !
To the layman, any green snake is a Green Mamba or Boomslang, any
grey or black snake is a Black Mamba, any snake that raises it’s head off the ground is a Cobra, if it hisses
it’s a Puff Adder and if it’s thicker than a human wrist, it must be a Python ! …I guess people always
immediately fear the worst !
Below is a list of the snakes that occur in the
Mount Moreland area.
The confirmation of their occurrence in Mount Moreland is based on
my own first hand experience through responding to calls for snakes in this area over the last 14 odd years.
There are a few species on the list which I have not personally found in Mount Moreland, but I’ve added these
anyway, as it’s very likely that they would either naturally occur in Mount Moreland, judging by distribution
maps and habitat, or they could easily end up in Mount Moreland from surrounding areas. These species have
been underlined on the list.
Click on an image to see more detailed information on the
Snakes that occur within the Mount Moreland Conservancy
Deadly snakes that occur in the Mount Moreland Conservation area
Snakes who's bites will require some medical treatment
Snake species who's bites are considered harmless to man
Harmless snakes that occur within the Mount Moreland Conservancy