Happy Snake Sunday! The Black-headed Centipede Eater Aparallactus capensis can be identified by its distinctive black head and collar, its small thin body and strictly nocturnal lifestyle. It grows to an average length of 30 cm and a maximum length of 40 cm. The Black-headed Centipede Eater is found throughout the eastern half of South Africa (as well as throughout Lesotho and Swaziland), as shown on the ReptileMAP distribution map. It is also present in southern and central Mozambique, Zimbabwe and eastern Botswana. It favours the following habitats: moist savanna, lowland forest and grassland where it is typically found in termite mounds.
Although venomous, it is not thought to be dangerous to man and due to the small size of its teeth it is unable to pierce the skin when biting.
This photo is Record 3872 in the ReptileMAP Virtual Museum. This Virtual Museum currently contains 8255 georeferenced photographs of reptiles; together with 126 584 specimen records going back more than a century, it is the most complete electronic database of reptiles records. This is the database that can be used to examine the distributions of species and how they are changing. Every record is a valuable contribution, and helps us build the 21st century distributions of these species. Without up to date information on distributions and how they are changing, it is near-impossible to know which species need conservation interventions, and how to prioritize these.
So please continue to upload your photographs of reptiles to the ADU's ReptileMAP Virtual Museum at vmus.adu.org.za.
Reference: Marais, J. 2004. A Complete Guide to Snakes of Southern Africa. Struik Publishing, Cape Town.