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Western Green Snake

Philothamnus angolensis

Description:

The Angola green snake can be identified by the black skin between its scales, its blue spots, round pupils, an excellent climbing ability and a diurnal lifestyle. It grows to an average length of 1 meter and a maximum length of 1.2 meters.

Habitat:

Found in central Namibia, the Caprivi strip, northern Botswana, eastern Zimbabwe, west Mozambique and the Mozambique / South Africa border. Its favoured habitats are lowland forest and the edges of arid savanna.

Notes:

I spotted this at the Wonderview lookout point. There was quite a few people around at times. I was really surprised to see this snake just slither by.

2 Species ID Suggestions

Spotted Bush Snake
Philothamnus semivariegatus Philothamnus semivariegatus
Western Green Snake
Philothamnus angolensis Philothamnus angolensis (Angola green snake)


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22 Comments

WildAdventress
WildAdventress 8 years ago

thanks :)

dandoucette
dandoucette 8 years ago

Done.

WildAdventress
WildAdventress 8 years ago

please add this great spotting to this mission
http://www.projectnoah.org/missions/2273...
thanks

dandoucette
dandoucette 9 years ago

Thanks Smith'sZoo!

Smith'sZoo
Smith'sZoo 9 years ago

Amazing Dan, great spot!

dandoucette
dandoucette 9 years ago

Thanks again Shu and thank Angelo for me for taking the time for this detailed ID.

ChunXingWong
ChunXingWong 9 years ago

I vote for Philothamnus angolensis.

Harsha Singh
Harsha Singh 9 years ago

Love the color.

dungeonmasterShu
dungeonmasterShu 9 years ago

Comment by Angelo: The green snake looks more like Philothamnus angolensis than anything else, though again the photos are not as sharp as one would like, and it just might be P. hoplogaster, which does occur much more frequently in Kruger. Nevertheless, I would be much more inclined to regard it as P. angolensis in that the green colour is far closer to the latter than to the former (the difference in shades is much more easily perceived than described, but once seen is very readily distinguished) and that angolensis sometimes has slight black edges to the dorsal scales anteriorly, and black interstitial skin between the scales (only seen when the neck is distended in the threat posture); the black edging varies from barely visible to clearly visible, but very broken and restricted, to tending to form bars rather like those of P. semivariegatus, though not so bold. P. hoplogaster has very little, if any, black edging to the dorsal scales anteriorly, and with no tendency to form even faint bars; the interstitial skin is also black, but only visible when the neck is distended. I think you can eliminate P. semivariegatus from the list of possibilities – individuals from that area are very boldly marked with broad, well-defined black bars anteriorly, and the posterior half or third of the trunk, and the tail, are either a much lighter, more yellowish green than the anterior half, or tending more or less strongly to a distinct bronze colour (most spectacular in individuals from Zimbabwe!).

dandoucette
dandoucette 9 years ago

Okay, Shu, thanks. I appreciate your dedication to the proper ID.

dungeonmasterShu
dungeonmasterShu 9 years ago

Dan: i was chatting to Dr Angelo Lambiris (one of the top herpetologists in the country) this afternoon, and he made me think i might have made an error on this one, going to mail him the pic for confirmation, but there is a possibility this could be "Philothamnus angolensis"

dandoucette
dandoucette 9 years ago

That's no problem marylou. It was a good suggestion. They do look similar.

marylou.wildlife
marylou.wildlife 9 years ago

Sorry, Dan for leading you astray! Glad to know that you got it for sure figured out. And I agree, more South Africans are always welcome! Such a highly diverse place!

dungeonmasterShu
dungeonmasterShu 9 years ago

Dan: always a pleasure.

dandoucette
dandoucette 9 years ago

Thanks for the comments too, Atul and Longmustache.

dandoucette
dandoucette 9 years ago

Thanks Shu for the correction. It's great to have more South African's on Noah.

windmustache
windmustache 9 years ago

Beautiful green!

Atul
Atul 9 years ago

wow

dungeonmasterShu
dungeonmasterShu 9 years ago

Note on Species Suggestion: see the color of the tongue in the first pic (blue), note and the shape of the head... definitely not a Boomslang.
These are common snakes in southern africa, we catch them all the time here. The larger specimens do not have obvious "spots", the specimen we have in the reptile park at work (for example) has almost non-existent variegations.

marylou.wildlife
marylou.wildlife 9 years ago

No problem! Very cool sighting... I love those snakes. Not that the green mamba isn't cool, but the boomslangs are so interesting!! Glad to be of help to you Dan! :)

dandoucette
dandoucette 9 years ago

Thanks Marylou. I think you're right. Coloration is variable but upon closer inspection I can see the black markings that I see in many online images and judging by the description, it sounds like a Boomslang.

marylou.wildlife
marylou.wildlife 9 years ago

Very pretty... could it be a boomslang?

dandoucette
Spotted by
dandoucette

Thaba Chweu Local Municipality, Mpumalanga, South Africa

Spotted on Mar 18, 2007
Submitted on Oct 18, 2011

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