Tag Archives: Philothamnus natalensis

Natal Green Snake

Philothamnus natalensis

The Natal Green Snake occurs only in southern Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa (from the Garden Route, along the coast through the Eastern Cape into Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Gauteng) with two subspecies – Eastern and Western – being recognized. It inhabits forests and woodland habitats, often near houses, where they feed mainly on frogs, small reptiles, chicks and large insects. This is an alert, active and agile snake that is entirely lacking in venom and thus harmless to humans. They breed in early summer, with females laying small clutches of 3-8 eggs (occasionally as many as 14). Adults grow to a length of about a meter.

The IUCN considers the species to be of least concern.

While visiting Umlalazi Nature Reserve in December 2018, Marilize was first to notice this Eastern Natal Green Snake one afternoon while enjoying the early evening hours on the patio of our accommodation unit. It was remarkably relaxed and unperturbed by our presence, and allowed us a few photographs before sneaking off while we weren’t watching.