Red-lipped herald (Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia)IMG_0114

Family: Colubridae.

Length: 60-75cm.

Description: The snakes has an olive body with white flecks. The snake is most easily recognized by its red lip which is absent from some individuals. It has large eyes and vertical pupils.

Distribution:  The species is present in every province except the Northern cape where it is only found along the outskirts of the province.

Habitat:Found in damp areas where it can be found under rocks and logs. It can also be found in termite mounds.

Reproduction: Oviparous, lays 6-19 eggs in early summer.

Diet: Mainly frogs and toads but can take lizards. Nocturnal hunter.

Conservation concern: Least concern, common.

Threat to humans: None, venom is incredibly mild.

Interesting facts: Along with the brown house snake, the red-lipped herald is the most commonly encountered snake in South Africa. The snake also flattens its head and flairs its red lips when threatened.



Alexander, G. & Marais, J. 2007. A Guide to the Reptiles of Southern Africa. Cape Town. STRUIK Nature.

Branch, B. 2016. Snakes and other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Cape Town. STRUIK Nature.

Bates, M.F., Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M., Burger, M., Marais, J., Alexander, G.J. & de Villiers, M.S. (eds). 2014. (CD set). Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Marais, J. 2014. Snakes and Snakebite in Southern Africa. Cape Town. STRUIK Nature.


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