Boomslang is a large snake species having a slender and large body. The adult male boomslang’s height is about 100-160 cm and some can grow up to 183 cm. It weighs 175-510 g. The average weight among the species is 299.4 g.
Boomslang has larger eyes in comparison to other venomous snakes. Its head is egg-like in shape. Their color differs in different species. However, male boomslang has scales of light green with black or blue scales at edges. In the case of the female boomslang, it has brown scales.
In a boomslang, the head is distinct from the neck. Apart from that, the pupil in its eyes is round. Boomslangs has an excellent vision. Their bodies are slightly compressed on each side. They have long tails.
Range & habitat
Boomslangs are native and only found in sub-Saharan Africa. This indigenous snake species of Africa is widely distributed throughout the continent. It is a terrestrial and arboreal snake.
They live in the central and southern regions of the continent. Their range of habitat includes Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. They are also found in Nigeria, southern Chad, and eastern Guinea.
Boomslangs are found in karoo scrubs, arid savannas, and lowland forests of eastern Africa. Karoo scrubs are the low-lying semi-desert region of South Africa. However, they also live in Eastern and Central Plateaus, and grasslands. They avoid extremely dry, and desert areas and prefer moist regions of the areas mentioned above.
Boomslangs are carnivores. They prefer small to medium-sized prey. Whereas, they don’t prefer anything large. A boomslang eats a variety of animals like chameleons, lizards, frogs, small mammals, birds, and eggs. It swallows everything whole. Some species show cannibalism and feed on their members. It also eats other small snakes.
Behavior & lifestyle
Boomslangs are solitary reptiles. They occasionally communicate with other boomslangs. As it is mentioned above, they also eat other boomslangs. However, they spend most of their day hunting in trees and shrubs. A boomslang carefully glides through the branches of a tree until it finds an ideal hiding place. It can strike suddenly and can capture most of their prey unseen. It has superb hunting ability with an added advantage of exceptional eyesight.
They are diurnal and arboreal snakes. Moreover, they spend most of the time camouflaged in trees and wait for prey. During cold months, they spend most of their time in warm bird nests like the nest of a weaverbird. They also hibernate like some cold-blooded species. Boomslangs don’t need to migrate elsewhere as they hibernate during cold weather.
Boomslang is an oviparous animal. An adult female boomslang can lay close to 30 eggs. It deposits its eggs in a hollow tree trunk or rotting log. The incubation period lasts for about 3 months. After that, the hatchlings come out. The male hatchling has a gray body with blue speckles. Whereas female hatchlings are light brown. The hatchlings, when they grow up to 45 cm, become extremely venomous.
However, boomslangs are timid snakes. A boomslang only bites when humans try to handle, catch, or kill it. If threatened, it inflates its neck and makes an “S”-shaped attacking pose.
Fun boomslang facts
Here is the list of “Top 5 Fun Boomslang Facts” that will definitely amaze you. You can read the list below.
- Boomslangs are exceptionally venomous snakes in their family Colubridae. They have highly potent hemotoxic venom.
- An adult boomslang can open its jaws up to 170° when biting.
- A boomslang moves its head from side to side to get a better view of the prey directly in front. It moves so gracefully even the prey becomes astonished while caught in its jaws!
- Boomslangs often brumate in the nests of weaver birds as those remain comparably warm during winter.
- Boomslangs don’t have a well-developed sense of smell. That’s why while foraging they detect the vibration on the ground made by prey to catch it. It also detects chemical scents by flickering its tongue outside of the mouth.
Meet the boomslang
Did you enjoy learning more about the boomslang? Have you ever met this unique creature face-to-face? Tell us about your boomslang experience in the comment section below. Because those who care share!
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