- The Boomslang, Dispholidus typus, is a large species of highly venomous snake in the family Colubridae.
- Currently, it is the only known extant member of its genus. In Afrikaans, the name boomslang means tree snake.
- This astonishing reptile remains reclusive and shy in temperament, and would not attack unless truly under threat.
- It also prefers thorny bushes which make it extremely hard to catch. Since it is non-aggressive, the only problems arise when people, especially children, try to catch or kill it.
Boomslang Physical Characteristics and Venom
The adult Boomslang attains a length of as much as 6 ft (183 cm), though adults typically average slightly less than that.
The eyes are comparatively large and make up a good proportion of the head. Young snakes have particularly beautiful eyes – but stay away.
Sexual dimorphism is displayed in the coloring of the genders. The male of the species typically displays a light green with black scale edges while the females are usually brown in color.
The fangs of the Boomslang snake are longer than most arboreal snakes and are larger in the back of the mouth.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Reptilia
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Colubridae
- Genus: Dispholidus
- Species: D. typus
Boomslang Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Boomslang is endemic to sub-Saharan regions of Africa. It represents an oviparous animal, often producing as many as 30 eggs with each mating.
These it typically places in tree trunks or rotting logs. A usual incubation period is on average three months.
This rather fascinating moderate-sized variety of snake primarily feeds on prey such as small mammals, reptiles, and birds.
This particular deceptively dangerous species evolved as diurnal in nature and remains almost entirely arboreal today.
The venom of the Boomslang is also extremely potent. It is a hemotoxin, creating potentially lethal internal bleeding. It also makes the victim bleed from its gums, nose and all orifices until it dies.
In fact, respiratory arrest and cerebral hemorrhage are rather common results after a bite. Also, the venom acts slowly – easily up to five days, often causing victims to dangerously delay treatment.