First of all, an introduction to this snake by Daniel Louw:
|Subspecies||In the past P. s. subtaeniatus and P. s. sudanensis were considered as subspecies, but the former appeared to be problematic. Broadley (1977) renamed it to Psammophis s. orientalis. At the moment this orientalis is considered a separate species.|
|Derivatio nominis||Latin: sub = under; taeniatus = lined, striped. 'With a line/stripe along the underside'.|
|Common Names|| Brandstätter discusses
the names in the various references. Some are: Gestreifte
Sandrennatter, Rotgestreifte Sandrennatter, (Southern)
Gelbbauch-Sandrennnatter. Afrikaans: Geelpens
sandslang, Gestreepte grasslang, Gestreepte zand(ren)slang.
Native names: "Abu sa aifa", "Dowa", "Hlamadani", "Inimaro", "Iruwassi", "Kalingi", "Lubis", "Maserwe", "Mosenene", "Mosilin-yane", "Msalulu", "Msvema", "Narangi", "Nemoviri", Njammarumba", "nl hani", Noga ya phohu", "Nsalulu", "Nshwazi", "Nyamzalumba", "Nyangwazwa", "Peritoro","rungu", "Sangaraza", "Simisi", "Tsan-gazvi", "Turik", "umHlwazi" (CORKILL 1935, LOVERIDGE 1940, BROADLEY & COCK 1975, AÜERBACH 1987)
In scientific litterature this species is refered to with different names, depending on the actual taxonomic status and/or the opinion of the author. For instance: Psammophis moniliger, Psammophis sibilans var. bilineatus, Psammophis moniliger var. bilineatus, Psammophis brevirostris, Psammophis sibilans var. subtaeniata, Psammophis sibilans, Psammophis bocagii, Psammophis subtaeniatus, Psammophis subtaeniatus subtaeniatus, Psammophis transvaalensis, Psammophis bocagei, Psammophis subtaeniatus f. typica, Psammophis notostictus
Broadley 2002: Southern Angola
and northern Namibia, east through Botswana to
southern Zambia, Zimbabwe, parts of western
Mozambique, the northeastern provinces of
South Africa and eastern Swaziland. Sympatric
with P. orientalis in parts of southern
Click for a distribution map according to Broadley 2002.
Photographs by the
Photographs of other origine.
(595 specimens examined) Nostril pierced
between 2 nasals; preocular 1 (very rarely 2), in short contact with or
separated from frontal; postoculars 2; temporals basically 2+2+3, but
with frequent fusions; supralabials 9, the fourth, fifth & sixth
entering orbit, rarely 8 (4 & 5), 8 (3,4,5), 9 (5 & 6), 10 (5,6,7) or 10
(4,5,6,7); infralabials usually 10 (rarely 9 or 11), the first 4 (rarely
5) in contact with anterior sublinguals; dorsal scales in 17-17-13 rows;
ventrals 155-181; cloacal shield divided; subcaudals 106-132.
Head brown above, uniform, or more often with largely transverse grey markings which may be present only posteriorly, continuing onto the neck as a series of faint crossbars; supralabials, chin and throat white, yellow or vermillion, usually heavily speckled with black; 7 mid-dorsal scale rows brown, sometimes each scale bordered with black; a yellow or white dorsolateral stripe on scale rows 4 and 5 is black-edged above and below and followed by a chestnut to brown lateral band, the lower half of outer scale row (scale row 1) and ends of ventrals white, separated by a pair of black ventral hair lines from a yellow mid-ventral band. A more or less uniform colour morph, with both dorsal and ventral stripes vestigial or completely absent, is not uncommon in the Middle Zambezi Valley, these specimens have previously been considered hybrids between P. subtaeniatus and P. phillipsii (Broadley 1977, 1983, 2002).
Corkill 1935: "It is a typical sand snake like the foregoing species. There may be a dark line running down the middle of the back and a thin one each side of the belly. The scale terminating the snout is broader than deep. The anal is paired. The ventrals number 151 to 168, the subcaudals 100 to 108 pairs and the dorsals 17 in the row. The limit of recorded length is 1030 mm."
Isemonger (1968 ) gave as a maximum size of 185 cm on Psammophis sibilans, with an average of 120 cm. For Psammophis subtaeniatus subtaeniatus Isemonger gives an average length of 90 cm , with a maximum of 120 cm . The maximum for Psammophis subtaeniatus sudanensis is according to him at 135 cm, which would make this subspecies slightly larger than the nominate.
|Habitat & food||"Commonly encountered in sandveld around Pio Cabral Headquarters and Fish-Eagle Research Camp. One individual examined had 8 UL and 120 subcaudals. Although the UL count may be indicative of P. orientalis, the high subcaudal count and coloration confirm that it is P. subtaeniatus. Although these records are c. 100 km southeast of the distribution range indicated in Branch (1998), Broadley (1983) recorded this species in the vicinity of the Banhine swamps."(Pietersen 2013)|
|Captivity||Elaborate details are given in the articles that Hans van der Rijst and I wrote in the eighties and nineties. These animals were mainly imported from Kenya and did not seem to know a definite breeding season.|
|Volker Hajen, Snakes of Namibia, found at Toko
Lodge Himba Village, Namibia
|Picture by Daniel Steyl|