Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia

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Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia
Herald Snake (Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia) (6888666734).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Crotaphopeltis
C. hotamboeia
Binomial name
Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia
(Laurenti, 1768)
  • Coronella hotamboeia
    Laurenti, 1768
  • Leptodira [sic] hotamboeia
    Peracca, 1897
  • Leptodeira [sic] hotamboeia
    Schmidt, 1923
  • Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia
    Loveridge, 1937

Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia, commonly known as the herald snake or the red-lipped snake, is a species of snake in the family Colubridae. The species is endemic to Sub-Saharan Africa.


Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia can be identified by its olive green or grey body, multiple white speckles, distinctive black head, and red, yellow, white, or black upper lip. It can grow to an average total length (including tail) of 70 cm (28 in), but may reach up to 1 metre (39 inches) in total length.[2]


C. hotamboeia feeds on amphibians (including rain frogs), lizards, and other snakes (only in captivity).[2]


The red-lipped snake has been known to live for between 10 and 15 years.[2]


Adult females of C. hotamboeia lay between 6 and 19 eggs in early summer.[2]

Geographic range[edit]

Endemic to Sub-Saharan Africa, the herald snake is present in Zambia, throughout South Africa (except for the Karoo and Northern Cape) as well as Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, southern and central Mozambique, and northern Botswana.[2]


The herald snake favors marshy areas in lowland forest, moist savanna, grasslands, and fynbos.[2]


  1. ^ "Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia ". The Reptile Database.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia ". Biodiversity Explorer, the Web of Life in Southern Africa.

Further reading[edit]

  • Boulenger GA (1896). Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume III., Containing the Colubridæ (Opisthoglyphæ and Proteroglyphæ) ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiv + 727 pp. + Plates I-XXV. (Leptodira hotambœia, pp. 89–91).
  • Branch, Bill (2004). Field Guide to Snakes and other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Third Revised edition, Second impression. Sanibel Island, Florida: Ralph Curtis Books. 399 pp. ISBN 0-88359-042-5. (Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia, p. 97 + Plate 33).
  • Laurenti JN (1768). Specimen medicum, exhibens synopsin reptilium emendatam cum cum experimentis circa venena et antidota reptilium austriacorum. Vienna: "Joan. Thom. Nob. de Trattern". 214 pp. + Plates I-V. (Coronella hotamboeia, new species, p. 85). (in Latin).

External links[edit]