Species group: Cobras and other Elapids
Scientific name: Aspidelaps lubricus
Much like the typical Cobras, to which it is related, the Cape Coral Snake rises up and extends a “hood” when threatened. Bright colors and small size render the Cape Coral Snake popular among venomous snake fans, but it produces potent neurotoxic venom and should not be kept in private collections.
The Cape Coral Snake’s range extends from southern Angola and Namibia to South Africa, where it inhabits arid, rocky scrubland, dry savannas and semi-deserts.
Appearance / health:
The background color is yellowish-orange to bright red, offset by bold, black crossbars. The Cape Coral Snake is slender in build and averages 1 meter (3.3 ft) in length.
Zoo specimens have proven hardy, but as this species is nocturnal and secretive, it is rarely exhibited.
Behavior / temperament:
When above-ground, Cape Coral Snakes are alert and high-strung, and strike with amazing speed. Their agility renders handling with snake hooks especially difficult and dangerous.
It is impossible for a private snake owner to adequately prepare for or treat a venomous snakebite, or, prior to a bite, to arrange for treatment in a hospital.
Cape Coral Snakes feed upon lizards, rodents, shrews, and other snakes.
Wild females produce clutches of 6-12 eggs; captive breeding has not been well-documented.
Written by Frank Indiviglio