On first glance at this sinewy, green-coloured reptile most humans run screaming or more often, unfortunately, find something to kill it with. It is a Spotted Bush-snake, Philothamnus semivariegatus which is completely non-venomous and absolutely harmless to humans – in fact it does not even possess venom and utilises small, sharp, solid teeth to catch, hold and subdue its prey.

It feeds primarily on lizards, geckos and frogs (not toads) and is a strong climber, possessing raised ventral scales that allow it to scale sheer walls in search of likely hiding places for its prey.

Identifying features are the yellow iris, turquoise scales between the green/olive scales and dark spots on the first two thirds of its length. They bite readily when handled, but as with most snakes, are more afraid of us then we are of them and it will puff up its neck to make itself appear larger, in a first attempt at defence.

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