Help me identify this snake

Jason Miller

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So reading about the horrific loss of our friend in Mozambique I have been a little on edge about snakes, Usually I crash through the bush never thinking about snakes as in 25 years of traveling and working in Africa I have honestly never seen one.

Well thank goodness this morning I was paying attention, I am working in Southern Rwanda close to the Burundi border on Lake Miravi and stumbled upon this green snake, it was killed by one of our workers a few feet in front of me, perhaps its a completely harmless little guy but I wanted to try to identify it if possible as I am told these are found regularly.
snake.jpg
snake 2.jpg
 

BeeMaa

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Judging from the anal plate and scales below it, non-venomous...
1663496732814.png


The head would have been crucial for a definitive answer, but I understand your concerns. Possibly an olive snake, also called an olive house snake. The picture on Wiki of the snake in someones hand is a juvenile.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boaedon_olivaceus
 

Jason Miller

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BeeMaa

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Thank you!
Don't take what I said as gospel, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. :ROFLMAO:

I'm certain on non-venomus, as for the actual species of snake...really need the head for a positive ID.

That is the kind of snake that I like - a dead one!

This one was most likely more interested in the rodent population. Understanding conservation and what it means to control a population of any animal (snake, rodent or antelope) is what I believe hunting is all about. Some snakes are a good thing.
 

CJW

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25 years and never seen one? I was 5 days in and had already seen a mamba at maybe 15 feet, a cobra of some sort in the water hole at lunch, and I believe a puff adder that we straddled with the cruiser.
 

Red Leg

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Judging from the anal plate and scales below it, non-venomous...
View attachment 490238

The head would have been crucial for a definitive answer, but I understand your concerns. Possibly an olive snake, also called an olive house snake. The picture on Wiki of the snake in someones hand is a juvenile.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boaedon_olivaceus
This is an incorrect guide to African species. It is only applicable to pit vipers (in the US that is the rattlesnake family, water moccasins, and copperheads). Picking up a seemingly placid African snake like a boomslang and seeing paired subcaudal scales can be singularly unhealthy. Other African species with paired subcaudal scales are the black and green mambas, cobras, puff adders, etc. In the US the coral snake also has divided subcaudal scales and can not be used as a differentiator from the similar scarlet kingsnake.

 
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BeeMaa

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This is an incorrect guide to African species. It is only applicable to pit vipers (in the US that is the rattlesnake family, water moccasins, and copperheads). Picking up a seemingly placid African snake like a boomslang and seeing paired subcaudal scales can be singularly unhealthy. Other African species with paired subcaudal scales are the black and green mambas, cobras, puff adders, etc. In the US the coral snake also has divided subcaudal scales and can not be used as a differentiator from the similar scarlet kingsnake.

Well there you go... I'm always up for learning something new.
 
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WebleyGreene455

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Well it's a um... It's uh...
1663542290700.png


Aside from that, I don't know a whole lot about snakes over there. I've been looking at pictures that might match the scale color and the slight pattern you can see (it's not a uniform color all the way along), and I'm not really having a whole lot of luck. I keep coming back to thinking it's some kind of spitting cobra but that's just a guess.
 

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I have seen three mambas over the years - one was a fairly scary (though probably not particularly dangerous) encounter. But, the single most lethal looking serpent I have ever seen was a gaboon viper in coastal Mozambique. He was about fifteen feet away, probably as long as my leg and seemed as big around as my calf. Would never have known he was there had he not shifted his position a little which caused the tracker - maybe three feet away - to levitate rather abruptly. :oops:

 

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Doesn’t appear to be a boomslang. Too dark and scale edges not colored differently enough unless the picture is shaded.
 

fourfive8

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Looks like a mamba but that's pure guess having only seen a few. With the head smashed no way to check for inside the mouth color to ID a black mamba. Definitely not a viper- those things are scary to me also and remind of big, super fat rattlesnakes. And it does not look like one of the small cobras I've seen in Africa. Sooo- dunno? I'll just call it a dead mamba and call it good. :)
 

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25 years and never seen one? I was 5 days in and had already seen a mamba at maybe 15 feet, a cobra of some sort in the water hole at lunch, and I believe a puff adder that we straddled with the cruiser.
On my first trip to Zimbabwe seen a black mamba the first day after arrival and again on day 4 or 5 (?). One of the trackers almost stepped on it. The tracker was about 4 steps in front of me and my PH the other tracker had passed by it several feet to the right. It was an exciting few minutes break during our hunt.
 

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Being colour blind I can't see the colour too well but it does have smooth scales (not keeled), it has a while/light belly. If it was any of the mambas it would only be a black mamba but as I said I can't tell if the colour brown / greyish or green.

It would be highly unlikely to be a green mamba as they are usually coastal inhabitants with a few exceptions and their distribution is generally along the eastern coast of Africa from KZN up towards Kenya. Furthermore the green is not light enough. Maybe they a have a better tan up north. Dunno...

It is not Jameson's mamba as they are also a lighter green and have black between the scales. So I'd say no to that as well.

The head is the best way to identify snakes unfortunately this one's head seems to be missing for some reason :unsure:

Definitely not an adder/viper.

Don't know the snakes of that region very well at all so can't help further than that.
 

Doug3006

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Can’t tell without a head, but sure looks like a mamba. Some reference pictures.

12A8F563-BB9E-46D7-9422-B458CA3F2235.jpeg
ED9EBD25-6D02-4E7E-8E9B-641E4E09A69E.jpeg
 

Hunt anything

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First blush says black mamba but as others have said hard to say without the head and maybe a little dark for a BM. I’ve only seen a couple of mambas so that’s just a guess. How long was it?
 

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In Africa, it's a poisonous nasty SOB until proven otherwise. Kinda sorta looks like a mamba to me, but I'm no expert. I've had one levitation experience in Namibia where a cape cobra raised up, hood flared, hissing at me from 2 feet away. I had another encounter where a snake and lizard were twisting around in mortal combat between the shower I was in and the door. I've seen three or four puff adders (one swimming) and probably that many cobras in my 6 weeks in Africa. No mambas yet. Fun times.
 

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