Bird Snake

Usambara vine snakes sit perfectly still and sway in the wind like a stick.
Bird Snake Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Thelotornis usambaricus
Bird Snake Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, Yellow, Green, Cream
Bird Snake Distribition

Bird snakes in the Thelotornis genus are belonging to Africa and among minority very poisonous colubrids.

The Usambara vine snake is the rarest of all the bird snakes and just occupies little pockets in Tanzania, Kenya, and Mozambique. Their poison is hemotoxic and can trigger unmanageable blood loss, and yet, they’re so timid and mouths are so little that envenomed attacks are extremely unusual.

Unbelievable Bird Snake Truths

  • Numerous species worldwide are understood reciprocally as bird snakes, twig snakes, or vine snakes. They commonly describe the very same species, however just like lots of animals, there are numerous usual names.
  • Bird snakes are back- fanged and very poisonous. The fangs are little and can just get to an individual’s skin in the webbing in between the fingers.
  • Usambara vine snakes are located in 6 areas in eastern Africa and just have around 1,000 square kilometres of region.

Bird Snake Scientific Name and Classification

Bird snakes, vine snakes, and twig snakes remain in the Colubridae family, that includes the nonvenomous king snakes and indigo snakes. The majority of colubrid snakes are nonvenomous, or at the very least not harmful to humans; nevertheless, a couple of are back- fanged and thought about extremely harmful.

The Usambara vine snake’s scientific name is Thelotornis usambaricus and the details name, usambaricus, is a recommendation to where it lives.

Sorts Of Bird Snakes

The Usambara vine snake ( T. usambaricus) becomes part of the Thelotornis genus, in addition to various other 3 various other bird snakes that are additionally called vine snakes and twig snakes.

  • Savanna vine snake ( T. capensis) occupies southerly Africa
  • Eastern vine snake ( T. mossambicanus) takes place in eastern Africa,
  • Woodland vine snake ( T. kirtlandii) occupies Below- Saharan Africa.

Bird Snake Appearance and Actions

Bird snakes like the Usambara vine snake are lengthy and slim, with a lengthened head. They might get to 3- 4 feet long. Its students make a validated recognition less complicated, as they are straight and crucial- formed. In its indigenous environment, you’re not most likely to error it for another thing. It commonly has actually a squashed, eco-friendly head with lotion or pinkish chin, and a long tail. Their fangs are rather big for the dimension of the snake however established much sufficient back that obtaining attacked by one is reasonably hard.

Usambara vine snakes are extremely tranquil snakes, however if prompted inflate their throat and flicker their brilliant tongue, and will certainly strike consistently when the risk does not pull back. There are bands on the back of their neck that you can see when they inflate them.

This species is arboreal and commonly hangs from the branches of trees and reduced- expanding hedges while they await birds, lizards, and amphibians to stray listed below them. These snakes rest extremely still and persuade like a branch in the wind. They might be much more widespread than researchers recognize presently merely since their camouflage is so reliable.

Thelotornis kirtlandii closeup
Similar to the Usambara vine snake, the woodland vine snake has an environment-friendly head. reptiles4all

Bird Snake Poison

A bite from among these very poisonous snakes can be deadly. Similar to the boomslang, the Usambara vine snake’s poison is hemotoxic and disrupts the body’s thickening device. An extreme envenomation can trigger unmanageable blood loss.

Luckily, unless you are taking care of and exacerbating the snake, you’re not likely to be attacked. These snakes are extremely timid and never hostile. They’re more probable to rest motionlessly and do their ideal analysis of a stick while they await you to leave.

Sadly, there’s no antivenom for this species, probably as a result of the rarity of an envenomation. Nevertheless, according to the African Snakebite Institute, the signs and symptoms of bird snake attacks consist of:

  • Hemorrhaging from the nose and little cuts in the start, which advances to hemorrhaging from periodontals and various other mucous membrane layers, adhered to hrs later on by serious interior blood loss and blood loss from every orifice.
  • Shock; which can trigger queasiness, discomfort, and breathing problems.

Although there is no antivenom readily available, encouraging treatment can be provided to aid reduce the damages.

Bird Snake Environment and Diet

This snake is belonging to Africa, in the nations of Tanzania, Kenya, and Mozambique. Nevertheless, the Usambara vine snake isn’t extensive and just occupies pockets of woodland locations in those nations; most discoveries are near the coastline. This is the rarest of all bird snakes, and you’re not likely to experience it, also in its house variety.

Their diet consists of little birds, lizards, and frogs, which they could ingest dealing with upwards utilizing gravity to help the ingesting. According to researches of T. capensis tummies, Usambara vine snakes might be similar and eat even more frogs than anything else, adhered to by geckos. They hold your horses ambush predators that can rest still for lots of hrs while they await their victim.

Bird Snake Predators, Hazards, Preservation, and Populace

We understand that birds often crowd these snakes, and it’s most likely that animals that take advantage of various other poisonous snakes are most likely to additionally take advantage of these. Nevertheless, there isn’t a lot understood about the Usambara vine snake. It was just defined in 2001 by Donald G. Broadley; while there have actually been a number of IUCN evaluates done, details is still fairly restricted.

According to the IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species, the Usambara vine snake is vulnerable to termination. They established this based upon its restricted variety and the truth that its woodland house is continuously decreasing in conversion for farming.

Its populace is unidentified. Nevertheless, provided the stress it’s under via environment damage, it is feasible that the Usambara vine snake has a decreasing populace.

Bird Snake Recreation, Children, and Life-span

Bird snakes are oviparous, which suggests that they lay eggs. The majority of species lay 3- 10 extremely little eggs that gauge regarding 1.5 inches long, however the clutch dimension isn’t understood with the Usambara vine snake. There isn’t a great deal of details on their life-span, breeding methods, or various other components of their lives. We do not understand for how long they live, although we can rate around ten years.

  • Boomslang s have powerful, quick- acting hemotoxic poison.
  • Jameson’s Mamba is lovely however dangerous and does not mind attacking.
  • Twig snakes are just one of the extremely couple of colubrids with extremely powerful poison!


  1. Howell, K., Beraduccii, J., Ngalason, W. & Menegon, M. 2021. Thelotornis usambaricus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T13265692A120635514. Accessed on 18 August 2022., Available here:
  2. Thelotornis usambaricus | Reptarium Reptile Database, Available here:
  3. African Snakebite Institute, Available here:
  4. Venomous and Poisonous Animals Guide, Available here:
  5. BROADLEY, D. G. & FAROOQ, H. O. M. 2013. Thelotornis usambaricus (Broadley, 2001) Usambara Vine snake. African Herp News (59): 48-50, Available here:

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