Full Name: Common Purple-glossed Snake (Amblyodipsas polylepis polylepis)
Other Names: Gewone Persglansslang
Classification: MILDLY VENOMOUS
A large but secretive fossorial snake that averages 75 cm but may reach 1.12 m in length. This snake may be encountered at night, especially after heavy rains. Otherwise this snake may be found under logs or during earthmoving operations.
The Purple-glossed snake is reluctant to bite, even when handled for the first time and in self-defence will hide its head under a coil and expose the tip of the tail to distract predators. It venom is mild and of no real consequence to humans.
This snake feeds on burrowing reptiles like blind snakes, legless skinks and amphisbaenids. Females produce eggs in summer.
It is rather difficult to distinguish between a Purple-glossed snake, the Natal Black Snake and the problematic Stiletto snake that has a potent cytotoxic venom. Purple-glossed snakes have paired subcaudal scales whereas the other two snakes have single subcaudal scales.