The rhombic egg eater (Dasypeltis scabra) is a widespread and common snake which is active at night. It feeds exclusively on bird’s eggs, which are swallowed whole as far as the neck, the shell cracked, the contents swallowed and the remains of the egg shell regurgitated in a neat little package.
“When threatened, these snakes put up an impressive display,” said Ashley Kemp of the South African Snakebite Institute.
They coil and uncoil, allowing the keeled scales on their sides to rub against each other, causing a hissing or rasping sound, that is similar to a hiss of some venomous snakes.
“They also like to strike out viciously, with mouth open, exposing the dark inner lining of the mouth to try and scare off attackers. But they are completely harmless and posses no venom. They may be confused with the Rhombic Night Adder but they have a vertical pupil, keeled body scales and usually have a few V-markings on the back of the head and neck whereas the Rhombic Night Adder has a round pupil, is largely active during the day, has smooth body scales and one distinct dark V-marking on the head.”
This article was republished from South Coast Sun with permission