Next Gen Herpetologist

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Cape Girdled Lizard (Cordylus cordylus)  Family: Cordylidae Size: 13-19cm Life span: Up to 15 years in captivity Diet: Most insects, snails, millipedes and occasionally small amounts of vegetation Description: Mottled brown, often with pale dorsal stripe, they also have a spiny tail, are strongly keeled and have a yellow to dull red-brown belly Number of young: 1-3 per year Conservation status: Least concern Enemies: Many small carnivores, including: Snakes and  birds of prey (especially… Read More

So now that winter is coming to an end, snakes and other reptiles are starting to become far more abundant. One species that has become particularly abundant in the last few weeks, is the puff adder (Bitis arietans). To give context, in the last week, I have come across three puff adders. Two of them were average-sized adult males and the the third was a very large, very pregnant, female puff adder, which… Read More

Augrabies, Northern Cape Grahamstown, Eastern Cape Umhlanga, Kwazulu Natal

Short-legged Seps Family: Gerrhosauridae Scientific name: Tetradactylus seps (Linnaeus, 1758) Size: 13-18cm Diet: Mainly bees and grasshoppers Description: Possesses a dark bronze head, body and tail with slightly fainter flanks. The belly is olive to bluish grey with irregular bands on the neck. There are whitish spots on the lip and the lower eyelids are scaly. The tail is twice the length of the body and the limbs are vastly reduced but… Read More

Puff Adder Family: Viperidae. Scientific name: Bitis arietans arietans (Merrem, 1820). Size: 70-100cm (can exceed 150cm). Diet: Mainly rodents (Vlei arts, Striped field mice, Multimamate mice) but will readily take toads, lizard, birds and small tortoises. Description: Large, thick bodied snake with a triangular head covered in small scales. It has relatively small eyes with vertical pupils. Body colour varies depending on locality with most snakes taking on a yellow-brown to light… Read More

   

Augrabies, Northern Cape Aggeneys, Northern Cape Grahamstown, Eastern Cape Ndumo, Northern Kwazulu Natal

 

 

In an attempt to revive a bygone era of mystery and exploration, Luke and I ventured into the unknown in search of the elusive yet locally abundant berg adder Bitis atropos in Barberton (Mpumulanga). Barberton, a hop, a skip and a jump away from civilisation, is one of a few locations famous for berg adders. The trip began on the 13th of July 2016 and was marked by many a sighting. Whilst… Read More

Common Brown Water Snake Family: Colubridae. Scientific name: Lycodonomorphus rufulus (Lichtenstein, 1823). Other name: Common water snake, brown water snake. Size: 45-60cm, but can grow as long as 85cm. Diet: mainly frogs, tadpoles and small fish but may eat nestlings and small rodents. Description: The snake is relatively small with smooth scales and elliptical pupils. It is dark brown to olive or light brown on top and its belly is pale to yellow-pink…. Read More

Grahamstown, Eastern Cape Kimberley, Northern Cape Witsands, Northern Cape