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Slug-eaters and Egg-eaters. A – Common Slug-eater, B – Variegated Slug-eater, C – Rhombic Egg-eater, D – Southern Brown Egg-eater.
There are three slug-eater species and three egg-eater species in southern Africa. Both groups are specialist feeders. Slug-eaters are small snakes, seldom exceeding 40 cm in length and feed exclusively on slugs and snails. They come in a wide variety of colours and are common in gardens.
Egg-eaters are generally rough-looking snakes that may reach or exceed a meter in length. They range from plain brown to grey, brown or red with patterns down the back. They have keeled scales and many are known for forming coils and rubbing the scales together, creating a rasping or hissing sound.
The Rhombic Egg-eater is often confused with the venomous Night Adders. However, Rhombic Egg-eaters are longer and thinner than Night Adders. Rhombic Egg-eaters also have multiple thin Vs on the head compared to the strong V pattern on the head and neck of the Night Adder.
These snakes are completely harmless.