Olive Grass Snake

© Tyrone Ping


Olive Grass Snake, Olive Whip Snake [Psammophis mossambicus]

Vital Statistics

Class: Reptilia Order: Testudines Family: Colubridae Length (F): 1 285 mm Length (M): 1 451 mm


This large hefty snake has a long tail and a non-flattened snout. The olive grass snake has an olive-brown back which becomes paler near the tail. It sometimes has black edged scales, that form black lines or scattered black flecks on the forebody. It has a yellow-white belly.


The olive grass snake is found along the coastal regions in South Africa, mainly in Northern KwaZulu-Natal.


The olive grass snake lays between 10 to 30 eggs during the midsummer in South Africa. Usually hidden in piles of dead leaves, the eggs hatch after 65 days.


The olive grass snake is mildly venomous.


The olive grass snake diet comprises of small mammals, birds, frogs and lizards. It is also known to eat other snakes found in South Africa.

Field Notes

The olive grass snake has been observed swallowing an Angola green snake (Philothamnus angolensis).