Full Name: Bibron’s Stiletto Snake (Atractaspis bibronii)
Other Names: Bibron se Sypikslang; Mole Adder; Moladder
After the Mozambique Spitting Cobra and Puff Adder, the Bibron’s Stiletto Snake accounts for most serious snakebites in South Africa. It spends most of its life underground but often emerges on hot humid nights and may be stepped on. With large hinged fangs it cannot be handled safely and also cannot be held behind the head – it merely twists its head sideways and will get a fang to penetrate a fingertip.
It is usually a blackish brown colour and is easily confused for a variety of harmless snakes. This snake averages 30 cm but can exceed 70 cm in length. Its venom is potently cytotoxic causing severe pain, swelling, blistering and necrosis. Antivenom is not available for this snake.