Full Name: Spotted Skaapsteker (Psammophylax rhombeatus)
Other Names: Spotted Grass Snake; Rhombic Skaapsteker; Gespikkelde Skaapsteker
Classification: MILDLY VENOMOUS
A fast-moving diurnal snake that inhabits grasslands, fynbos, moist savanna and semi-desert areas. It is a nervous snake and is quick to escape, either into a bush or grass tuft or under a rock. The name ‘Skaapsteker’ came from the mistaken belief that these abundant snakes accounted for sheep deaths, when the actual culprit was probably the Cape Cobra. This is also one of few snakes that coil around and protect their eggs – the Southern African python being the other.
The Spotted Skaapsteker feeds on rodents, lizards, birds, frogs and other snakes. It will dig into soft sand, scooping bits out by turning the head sideways in search of frogs.
The venom of this snake is mild and poses no threat to humans.