Full Name: Natal Black Snake (Macrelaps microlepidotus)
Other Names: Natalse Swartslang
A relatively rare snake that spends most of its life underground in the cooler regions of coastal KZN and the Eastern Cape. This snake may be found under rotting logs or when doing excavations, otherwise it moves about slowly on warm, overcast days. It is also a good swimmer.
The Natal Black Snake feeds on frogs, legless lizards and small rodents and is known to take carrion. It is easily mistaken for a Purple-glossed snake and differs in that it has single subcaudal scales, whereas the Purple-glossed snakes have paired subcaudals. It has 25 – 27 midbody scale rows whereas the Purple-glossed snakes have 21 midbody scale rows or less.
Little is known about the venom of this snake as it rarely bites. There was one case many years ago where a victim was unconscious for approximately 30 minutes. There is no antivenom for the venom of this snake.