Green Mamba: All About This Poisonous Snake
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The Green Mamba is a member of the family Elapidae. This large and highly venomous species belongs to the genus Mambas. Also known by its scientific name Dendroaspis Angusticeps, this snake is one of the most dangerous species in the world. Ethymologically, the term Dendroaspis means "Tree Snake" and the term Angysticeps means "narrow head". This name was given in reference to the arboreal nature of this species.
What does a Green Mamba look like ?
The Green Mamba, also known as the Eastern Green Mamba, is an arboreal snake, meaning that it spends most of its time in trees. It only comes down to the ground when it is hunting, drinking or warming itself in the sun. Its green coloring allows it to be discreet in the trees. Therefore, it prefers to stay camouflaged in dense vegetation rather than in open space, where its coloring could make it be spotted.
Green Mamba Size
This rather large snake, with a rather slender but very slender body. As with many species, the females are larger than the males. The average size of a Green Mamba is 6.5ft (2m) for the female, and 6ft (1.8m) for the male. Some specimens have reached a size of 8ft (2.5m), but this is very rare. They usually weigh between 2.2lbs and 3.3lbs (1kg and 1.5kg).
The symbolism of the snake combined with the sparkling color of the Green Mamba makes it a very inspiring animal in the jewelry world. Among the most beautiful creations, discover our Green Mamba Ring, a unique and elegant accessory that will enhance your most beautiful outfits.
Green Mamba Scales
As its name suggests, the scales covering its body are of a bright green hue, while its ventral scales are more yellow-green. Some specimens sometimes have bright yellow scales on the sides.
Juveniles are often born with a greenish-blue tint and reach their definitive green color once they are adults.
Its head, often compared to the shape of a coffin, is flat, elongated, narrow and perfectly distinguishable from the neck and the rest of its body.
The inside of its mouth is often white, even bluish-white. Its eyes are composed of a round pupil surrounded by yellow-gold.
Green Mamba Snake Facts
Like the Black Mamba, this snake moves very fast, reaching speeds of up to 7mph (11kph).
Like most of its relatives, this reptile prefers to avoid combat and run away when it feels in danger, unlike the Black Mamba. It has a rather shy and not very aggressive behavior. To take refuge, it will usually climb a tree or hide in foliage.
On the other hand, if It feels trapped, the Green Mamba can put himself in a defensive position by raising a third of Its body and flattening Its neck. It can also whistle, but this is rare in this species.
If it does not find a way out, it can attack and bite its opponent several times in a row. With its very powerful venom, this snake can create serious after-effects on its victim.
Where do Green Mambas live ?
The Green Mamba is a species native to southern and eastern Africa. Its range extends from northern Kenya to southern Mozambique, through Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Some specimens are also found in Zanzibar.
This species is mainly arboreal and rarely comes down to the ground, which makes it a rather rare animal to see. Some experts say that this reptile is restricted to tropical forests in the coastal lowlands. However, other experts say it can also live in mountain forests, dunes, as well as bushy areas along the coast.
The Green Mamba prefers dense, shady vegetation. This is why you are unlikely to encounter it in open spaces, unlike its much feared cousin, the Black Mamba.
This snake also likes to shelter in cultivated trees and thickets. It has been known to infiltrate homes in Southern Africa. It can be found up to 4920ft (1500m) above sea level.
The Green Mamba is known to lead a sedentary life, spending a lot of time in one area. In fact, it only leaves its territory when it is hunting or during the breeding season. It has been reported that the Green Mamba does not travel more than 18ft (5.5m) per day on average. This species is defined as peaceful and harmless (as long as it is not disturbed).
Green Mamba Poison
The Green Mamba is one of the most poisonous snakes. A bite from this snake can result in death within 30 minutes if not treated quickly. Their neurotoxic venom is composed of a dangerous cocktail of toxic substances.
One of the toxins present in its poison is dendrotoxin. This is present in all species of the genus Mamba and is the most dangerous toxin in snake venom. It is also the cause of many deaths once injected into the body of humans.
However, it should be noted that the toxicity of Green Mamba venom varies according to the criteria of each specimen. Its age, range, diet and seasonal variations are some of the factors to consider.
Green Mamba Bite
The first symptoms appear quickly after a bite. These may include swelling of the infected area, irregular heartbeat, nausea, dizziness, convulsions and difficulty breathing and swallowing. If the bite is not treated promptly, it can lead to respiratory paralysis, and therefore death.
To inject its venom, the Green Mamba has long front fangs that can rotate on their axis, allowing them to control their bite. The fangs are also hollow to make it easier to inject their poison if necessary.
In severe cases, a bite from this snake can also cause tissue damage. To prevent this from happening, never place tourniquets on the bitten area.
If you would like to learn more about snakebites, we have written an article that you can check out by clicking here.
What Do Green Mambas Eat ?
Like all snakes, the Green Mamba is a carnivorous animal. Its main prey are small mammals. This includes rodents such as rats, mice and squirrels, but also Bats and some Pangolins. It can also feed on birds (and their eggs), lizards or frogs.
Observations made on this species have shown that it is not the type to stalk its prey all day. Instead, it is the type that waits for its prey to come to it to ambush it.
Like most other venomous snakes, the Green Mamba has very few predators in its natural environment. The only threats to it are humans and certain types of birds.
Green Mamba Reproduction
The Mamba is a solitary animal. However, during the mating season (between April and June), this snake becomes much more active and looks for a female to mate with. To locate a female, the male detects the pheromones released in the air by the female.
Sometimes, several males want to offer themselves the tenderness of the same female. In this case, they fight until one of the males emerges victorious. During the fight, the snakes intertwine and push against each other. Although this technique may seem barbaric, the two reptiles will never bite each other.
The female raises her tail when she agrees to mate. Since Mambas are arboreal snakes, courtship and mating take place in trees.
Green Mamba Eggs
The Green Mamba is oviparous, which means that it lays its eggs outside the female's body. On average, a female lays between 10 and 15 eggs during the summer, although these numbers can vary greatly. They are often kept in tree hollows, surrounded by compost or other material to warm them.
The Green Mamba does not protect its eggs. Once sheltered, the female leaves them until the babies hatch. The babies will hatch after an incubation period of 10 to 12 weeks. At birth, they measure between 12in and 16in (30cm and 40cm) but grow very fast and reach 2.5ft (80cm) within the first year.
Myth about the Green Mamba
Because this species is so venomous, many myths have been created around it. One of the most well known ideas about the Green Mamba is its behavior. Many say that the Green Mamba attacks humans whenever it can. Even though it is one of the deadliest snakes in the world, this shy snake prefers to avoid confrontation, especially with humans, whom it considers a predator. It will only attack if it has no way to escape.
If you liked this article, our article on the Black Mamba should interest you. Don't hesitate to have a look at it! If not, you can subscribe to our Newsletter to receive all our new articles in preview.