Reptiles

Mamba, Western Green

RANGE
Occurs in west Africa, with some isolated records from east Ghana, Togo & Nigeria.

HABITAT
Green Mambas are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day, and arboreal, spending most of their time in the trees. They are generally found in rainforest and wooded areas of west Africa and will inhabit thickets and bushes of city suburbs and parks, where deforestation has taken place and human habitat has developed.

SIZE
Length: Mambas will range for 4 to 7 feet long as adults. Babies hatch at about 15 – 24 inches long.

DIET
Feeds mostly on birds, lizards, small rodents and bats.

REPRODUCTION

  • Breeding season is in the spring and early summer.
  • Males can often be found battling as they search out females in their territories. Sometimes the male/male combat can last for hours.
  • Mating can actually take 10 – 16 hours, and can take place on the ground or in the trees.
    Gestation takes about 87 – 90 days, after which the eggs are laid. Clutch size is usually from 6 – 14 eggs. The eggs hatch at about 90 – 104 days.
  • Babies are about 40 – 45 cm long and are bluish green in color, but become brighter as they grow older.

BEHAVIOR

  • The mamba differs from other snakes in that it will strike its prey and then back off and leave it to die, returning then to swallow it.
  • Its average size prey will take from 8 – 10 hours to digest.
  • The green mamba is a long, slender snake with a slender head. The eye is medium sized and contains a round pupil. The Triangular shaped head and slit eye that is often said to be found in “poisonous” species does not pertain to this animal. It is often mistaken as a harmless snake, which can lead to real problems.
  • Colors vary from greenish-yellow, olive green, emerald green to some that may be almost sky blue or yellow. The scales all over the body have black edging. Dorsal scales are large and the skin between the scales is visible and black.
  • Mambas are one of the quickest moving snakes. They prefer to flee a predator, and can reach speeds of up to 7 miles/hour, but will strike if threatened. When cornered they will flatten down their necks and open their mouths while rapidly flicking their tongue and making a loud hissing noise.

STATUS
Not listed at this time.

REFERENCES

http://www.whozoo.org/Intro98/kevbrash/greenmamba2.htm