|Subspecies||Psammophylax tritaeniatus tritaeniatus (GÜNTHER,
Psammophylax tritaeniatus subniger LAURENT 1956
Psammophylax tritaeniatus vanoyei LAURENT 1956
Psammophylax tritaeniatus fitgeraldi (colour variant)? (see Uetz et al. 2006)
P. t. festivus, subniger, vanoyei fide Jirka Schmidt (pers. comm.). The status of the subspecies seems unclear.
|IUCN||Category: least concern. Motivation: "Psammophylax tritaeniatus has been assessed as Least Concern due to its wide distribution throughout eastern and southern Africa with the absence of any major threats. Furthermore, this species has been described as common. No conservation measures are required."|
|Common Names||E: Striped Skaapsteker, Three-lined grass snake,
Thite-bellied grass snake
G: Gestreifter Shaapsteker.
Broadley 1959: "Native name of Three-lined Grass-Snake. N'shwazi (Sinde-bele), but also applied to Psammophis s. subtaeniatus."
|Synonym||Rhagerrhis tritaeniatus GÜNTHER 1868: 423
Rhagerhis tritaeniata — BOCAGE 1896: 112
Psammophylax tritaeniatus — AUERBACH 1987: 163
Psammophylax tritaeniatus — BROADLEY 1998
Psammophylax tritaeniatus tritaeniatus (GÜNTHER 1868)
Rhagerrhis tritaeniatus GÜNTHER 1868: 423
Psammophylax tritaeniatus — PETERS 1869: 661
Coronella tritaeniata GÜNTHER 1881: 329
Trimerorhinus tritaeniatus — BOULENGER 1896: 139 (part.)
Cerastes tritaeniatus tritaeniatus — MERTENS 1930: 14
Psammophylax tritaeniatus tritaeniatus — BROADLEY 1959
Psammophylax tritaeniatus tritaeniatus — FITZSIMONS 1966
Synonymy partly after FITZSIMONS 1966.
"Variation. (56 specimens.) Midbody scale rows 17; ventrals 150-168; anal divided; subcaudals 54-67; upper labials 8, the fourth and fifth entering the orbit; lower labials 9-11, the first five, rarely four or six, in contact with the anterior sublinguals; preocular 1; postoculars 2; temporals 2+3, rarely 2+21. Tail length .19 to .22 of the total."
|Distribution||NE Namibia, N Botswana, Zimbabwe, NE Republic of
South Africa, Angola, S Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, S Democratic
Republic of the Congo (Zaire), Zambia, Mozambique
Type locality: Southern Africa.
subniger: SE Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), Burundi, Rwanda; Type locality: “Kipiri, 2000 m [elevation], plateau des Marungu, Terr. de Baudouinville, Tanganika”
vanoyei: NE Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire); Type locality: “Blukwa, Terr. de Djugu, Ituri”
Region according to the TDWG
standard, not a precise distribution map:
On S.A. Reptiles, Mitton states: "This is the snake I have found the most of in the areas I used to go looking for snakes, have found up to 6 in 1 day." And Snake-5: "I have caught 17 in one day at the sand pan in Benoni before they started developing it."
rats and mice) and occasionally nestling
Young specimens feed on
frogs and lizards (particularly skinks).
On S.A. Reptiles,
Bushviper states about hatchlings: "I would not even try to
raise these guys. Far easy to wait till they have shed and then
release them back where the parents came from.
In captivity: a P. t. t. was reported to feed entirely on fish (minnows and barbel). They were not taken in the water, but when they had jumped out of the water and died. They were even eaten when dried out. Eating of fish was also observed in the wild, with a P. t. variabilis. See Newman, 'Some African Folk-lore regarding snakes'
|Habitat||"This snake inhabits open grassland and savanna (Branch 1998, Spawls et al. 2002). Marais (1992) also reports that it favours vleis (seasonal water bodies) and is commonly found under building rubble and other debris near towns. In grassland areas, it is found in moribund termitaria and under rocks (De Waal 1978)."(IUCN)|
Oviparous (egg laying), lays between 5 and 18
eggs in summer.
|Venom||The venom of this snake is weak and unlikely to
have any effect on maN.
Broadley 1959: "This species rarely attempts to bite when captured."
|Behaviour||Broadley 1959: "When basking, this snake's body
becomes kinked in a most unnatural manner. The first time I observed
this phenomenon was when I found a 20" specimen basking on a
sand-bank of the Himyani River at Sinoia. I thought that the snake
was dead and it made 110 movement until I picked it up, appear-ing
to be completely oblivious of its surroundings. I have since
observed the same behaviour in many snakes both in captivity and in
the wild state. This habit may account for many of the Striped
Grass-Snakes killed on the roads and must make the species very
vulnerable to the numerous birds of prey."
|Picture by Marlize Engelbrecht Brickhill, in the Facebook group Snakes of Namibia, March 2015.||Picture by Marlize Engelbrecht Brickhill, in the Facebook group Snakes of Namibia, March 2015.|
|"Striped skaapsteker i removed from sesriem street kleine kuppe a few minuts ago." Francois Theart in the Facebook group Snakes of Namibia, April 2015.||Photo by Ethne Engelking, Namibia.|
|Photo by Ethne Engelking, Namibia.||Photo by Ethne Engelking, Namibia.|
|Picture by Jürgen Cronje in the FB group Snakes of Namibia, 4 May 2015. Namibia. Windhoek.|