Psammophylax tritaeniatus (Striped skaapsteker, striped
or Three-lined grass snake, White-bellied grass-snake)
Gestreepte skaapsteker [Afrikaans]; Nshwwazi [Sindebele]
(animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia >
Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates) > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) >
Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class:
Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) >
(four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota >
Reptilia (reptiles) >
Romeriida > Diapsida > Lepidosauromorpha > Lepidosauria >
Squamata > Serpentes
(snakes) > Family: Colubridae > Subfamily:
Psammophinae > Genus:
The Striped skaapsteker can be identified by the following
features and behavior; it has a small head with a pointed snout, small eyes
(with round pupils), stripes running lengthwise down its body and it is strictly
diurnal. It grows to an average length of 65 cm but can reach up to 93 cm in
Distribution and habitat
Has a very wide distribution and is
found in the following areas; Free State, Gauteng, North West province, Limpopo,
Zimbabwe, most of Botswana and North Eastern Namibia. Its favoured habitats are
grasslands, karoo scrub, arid savanna and moist savanna (it is often found in
vlei areas in these habitats).
rats and mice) and occasionally nestling
specimens feed on
and lizards (particularly skinks).
Predators, parasites and disease
Fed on by
secretary birds and
snake eagles) and other snakes.
Oviparous (egg laying), lays between 5 and 18 eggs in
Uncertain likely to have an average lifespan between 5 and
The venom of this snake is weak and unlikely to have any
effect on man.
Broadley, D.G. 1983. FitzSimons' Snakes of Southern
Africa. Delta Books, Johannesburg.
Marais, J. 2004. A Complete Guide to Snakes of
Southern Africa. Struik Publishing, Cape Town.