| Atractaspis, Snake, Burrowing asps, Reptile, Small‑scaled burrowing asp|
Atractaspis bibronii is a venomous snake species found in Africa. No subspecies are currently recognized.
Atractaspis bibronii Wikipedia
The specific epithet, bibronii, is in honor of French herpetologist Gabriel Bibron.
Adults average 30–50 cm (12–20 in) in total length with a maximum of 70 cm (27 1⁄2 in). The color pattern consists of a purplish-brown, gray or black ground color, often with a purplish sheen. The belly can be brownish, white or pale yellow in color, with a series of dark blotches. In specimens with a lighter belly coloration, this may also include two or three scale rows on the flanks.
Snout prominent, subcuneiform. Portion of rostral visible from above as long as or a little shorter than its distance from the frontal. Dorsal scales in 21 or 23 rows. Ventrals 221-260; anal entire; subcaudals 20-23, all or greater part single (not divided).
Found in southern Africa, from central Namibia, east to northern South Africa, north to southeastern DR Congo and Uganda, eastern Tanzania, coastal Kenya, and extreme southern coastal Somalia.
Semi-desert, savannah and woodland.
Atracraspis bibronii will eat frogs and small mammals, but its main diet is burrowing reptiles encountered in old termite mounds.
The venom is highly toxic, although it is produced in very small amounts. Bites are common in some areas. Often, snake handlers are bitten who are unaware that this species is able to bite while being held by the neck. Bite symptoms usually include mild to intense pain, local swelling with occasional blistering and necrosis and regional lymphadenopathy. No fatalities have been recorded.