Next Gen Herpetologist

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Death-shamming, death-feigning, playing dead, and thanatosis are all words that describe the process whereby animals pretend to be dead in the hope of being left alone by a perceived threat. When encountered, the Rinkhals (Hemachatus haemechatus) will often take every opportunity to escape. When cornered they will lift nearly half of their body off the ground and spread a large hood in an attempt to intimidate the perceived threat. Once hooded, the… Read More

This list is in no particular order and is based on what I have seen inside or very close to Grahamstown. Boomslang (Dispholidus typus typus) Size: 1.2-1.5m. Habits: Diurnal snakes which are found in a large variety of habitats, most commonly in trees and shrubs, but may descend to the floor to bask or find food. Diet: Chameleons, frogs, tree-living lizards, birds and occasionally rodents. Danger to man: The boomslang possesses a very dangerous haemotoxic venom… Read More

Namaqua Dwarf Adder (Bitis schneideri) Family: Viperidae. Size: 18-24cm. Distribution: They are distributed along the western coast of southern Africa, from the mouth of the Olifants river to Luderitz Bay in south-west Namibia. The species is endemic to Southern Africa. Description: Small stocky adder with a distinct head and a pale to dark-brown colouration. Habits: Inhabits semi-vegetated sand dunes close to the coast where it ambushes unsuspecting prey from low-lying bushes. It is alos known… Read More

May

Cape Cobra (Naja Nivea) Family: Elapidae. Size: 1.2- 2.4m. Distribution: They are distributed throughout much of the western parts of Southern Africa with higher densities along the southern coast. They are found in all provinces except for Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Kwazulu Natal. Although present in both Namibia and Botswana, they are absent from the northern parts of both countries. Description: Medium-sized, slender-bodied, broad-headed cobra with medium-sized eyes and rounded pupils. Colour is extremely variable… Read More

The Herp Files was created by myself and Luke Kemp. It was created with the intention of showing off the reptiles and frogs of Southern Africa. The videos include general information about each species with interesting facts thrown in between. It is our attempt to expose the beauty of South Africa’s enormous herpetological diversity while having just a ‘bit’ of fun. This video focuses on the puff adder (Bitis arietans), one of… Read More

Boomslang (Dispholidus typus) Family: Colubridae. Size: 1.2-1.5m. Distribution: Widespread African species that has been found in every province in South Africa. The snake is particularly abundant along the southern coast from the tip of the Western Cape through the Eastern Cape and Kwazulu Natal and  into Mpumalanga, where it spreads northwards and westwards into Limpopo, Gauteng and the North West. Although present in every province, the snake is absent from the drier… Read More

The Herp Files was created by myself and Luke Kemp. It was created with the intention of showing off the reptiles and frogs of Southern Africa. The videos include general information about each species with interesting facts thrown in between. It is our attempt to expose the beauty of South Africa’s enormous herpetological diversity while having just a ‘bit’ of fun. This video focuses on the the cape cobra (Naja nivea), one… 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

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

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