|Higher Taxa||Lamprophiidae, Psammophiinae, Serpentes (snakes)|
|General||Very small in length, slender, cylindrical bodied snake
with a moderately long tail. Can grow to a maximum of about 0.49 metres.
Head is flattened and distinct from neck. Supraoculars are slightly
raised. Snout is bluntly rounded. Eyes are moderately small in size with
round to slightly vertically elliptical pupils. Dorsal scales are
smooth. Ventrals are rounded. Dorsal scale count 17 - 17 - 13.
Arboreal or semi-arboreal snake which tends to shelter under loose bark. Feeds with its head hung down from a branch. Not known to bite.
|Common Names||(South-) Eastern Bark Snake, Mopane Snake; Oostelike basslang; Mopanieslang [Afrikaans]|
|Synonym||Coronella nototaenia GÜNTHER 1864: 309
Tachymenis nototaenia — PETERS 1882: 118 (part.)
Amphiophis nototaenia — BOULENGER 1891: 307
Hemirhagerrhis nototaenia — STEJNEGER 1893: 730
Psammophylax nototaenia — BOCAGE 1895: 109
Amplorhinus nototaenia — BOULENGER 1896 (part.)
Amplorhinus güntheri MOCQUARD 1906: 251
Amplorhinus nototaenia — LOVERIDGE 1936: 36
Hemirhagerrhis nototaenia nototaenia — BOGERT 1940
Hemirhagerrhis nototaenia nototaenia — AUERBACH 1987: 161
Hemirhagerrhis nototaenia nototaenia — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 27
Hemirhagerrhis nototaenia — BROADLEY 1997
Hemirhagerrhis nototaenia — CHIRIO & INEICH 2006
|Description||Broadley 1959: "Variation.
(6 specimens.) Midbody scale rows 17; ventrals 164-168; anal
divided; subcaudals 72-83; upper labials 7 or 8, the third and fourth or
fourth and fifth entering the orbit; lower labials 9, the first four in
contact with the anterior sublinguals; preocular 1; postoculars 2;
temporals 1+2, rarely 1+3. Tail length .23 to .27 of the total."
Ìdem: "Colouration. Dark ash grey or grey-brown above; top of head black, continuing as a vertebral stripe about three scales in width, which is black on the neck, but less well defined on the rest of the body. A row of black spots nierges with the vertebral stripe on either side. These raay be opposed to form cross-bars or alternated to form a zigzag. A dark streak on either side of the head passes through the eye and fades out 011 the neck. Below, mottled in ash grey or grey-brown and dirty white."
Idem: "Size. Largest (UM/R.332) 370 (280+90) mm. from Mount
|Distribution||Namibia, N Botswana, NE Republic of South Africa (Transvaal, Natal),
Zimbabwe, S/C Mozambique, S Angola, S Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania,
Malawi, Zambia, N/S Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), Central
African Republic, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Benin ? (not reported from Benin according to ULLENBRUCH
et al. 2010), Burkina Faso
Type locality: “Kitui (Ukamba)” [Kenya]
Type locality: Rios de Sena, Mozambique [fide BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991]
Broadley 1959: "Distribution. Found in the low-lying river
valleys of Southern Rhodesia. The species seems to be closely
assoeiated with dry Mopani bush.
Facebook, East African Snakes & other reptiles, 28 May 2016:
|Types||Holotype: ZMB 9282|
|Habitat||Lowland dry savanna grassland and woodland, semi-desert
up to about 1500 metres.
Broadley 1959: "Habitat. A Bark-Snake
was taken at 11 a.m. as it was crawling on the ground under Mopani trees
with no undergrowth. This was in the Wedza Reserve, between the Macheke
and Sabi rivers (W. Armitage)."
|Comment||Hemirhagerrhis nototaenia viperinus has been elevated to species
status by BROADLEY 1997. Hemirhagerrhis hildebrandtii has been removed
from synonymy of H. nototaenia by BROADLEY & HUGHES 2000.
|Reproduction||Oviparous (egg-laying), lays between 2 and 8 eggs in summer.|
|Habitat||"Broadley (1983) recorded this species in the vicinity
of the Banhine Swamps. It is likely to occur in the
extensive belts of mopane woodland Colophospermum mopane, a habitat that was not extensively covered during either of the survey periods"(Pietersen 2013). 'Sandveld' is land, characterized by dry, sandy soil. Origin: Afrikaans, from Dutch zand 'sand' + veld 'terrain'.
|Medical importance||The venom of this snake is weak and unlikely to be harmful to man.|
|Food||Eats small lizards (particularly skinks and day geckos - see photo above) and rarely frogs. Possibly reptile eggs.|
|Scalation||See Sean Thomas|
André Coetzer posted this picture in Reptiles of Southern Africa in
May 2015. "I always say that you can't go and look for bark snakes...
they look for you.
I got this one, the biggest one I've seen last weekend in Klaserie Game reserve, Limpopo Province."
About 30-35 cm.
|Kloppers: "Hemirhagerrhis nototaenia - Bark/Mopane
Snake. This little beaut just had breakfast by the looks of it. Kalama
Concervancy, Central Kenya."
A nice video by Lindsey Jones, published in the Facebook group Snakes of South Africa, taken in Umbabat Nature Reserve.