Full Name: Marbled Tree Snake (Dipsadoboa aulica)
Other Names: Marmerslang
Classification: MILDLY VENOMOUS
This attractive nocturnal snake averages 50 – 60 cm but may reach 85 cm in length. Adults are red-brown to light brown with faint whitish crossbars, but juveniles may have very dark crossbars. It is an excellent climber that often shelters in hollow trees or under loose bark, as well as thatched roofs. It hunts for lizards, especially geckos, and frogs at night.
When threatened it puts up quite a show, not unlike a Herald snake. It will coil loosely into a striking position with the head flattened, the mouth agape and vicious yet ineffective strikes. Its venom is mild and poses no threat to humans.
It occurs from around Richards Bay northwards into Swaziland, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Mozambique and elsewhere further north. Females produce 7 – 9 smallish eggs in summer.