Cape Wolf Snake

© Tyrone Ping


Cape Wolf Snake [Lycophidion capense]

Vital Statistics

Order: Squamata
Family: Colubridae
Subspecies: A number of sub-species exist across the range
Class: Reptilia
Length (F): 558 mm
Length (M): 440 mm


The Cape wolf snake has a dark brown to black scaled body and a large flat head. Their scales are usually white-tipped and their underbelly can be either white or black speckled as seen in South Africa. It is a small snake, which grows larger in the southern part of its range.


They are found throughout the African subcontinent except for the Namib Desert. The Cape wolf snake is distributed throughout South Africa, however, they are rarely found in the Cape Provinces.


The breeding season for the Cape wolf snake in South Africa is during the summer. Up to 3-9 eggs are laid and hatch after 51 days. The hatchlings measure around 120 mm.


The Cape Wolf snake feeds mainly on small lizards and skinks found in South Africa. Their prey is bitten and constricted.

Field Notes

The Cape Wolf Snake is a small non-venomous snake.