The Elapidae family includes the green mamba. It is well known that the family is made up of poisonous tropical and subtropical snakes. It is one among the world's most venomous creatures.
It can live up to 12 to 20 years old in the wild or captivity, which is not a particularly lengthy lifespan.
Dendroaspis angusticeps, its scientific name, is a combination of Greek and Latin. The Latin word "anguticeps," which is divided into "angustus," which means "narrow," and "capes," which means "head," both come from the Greek word "dendroaspis," which means "tree snake."
With the exception of its dreaded relative, the Black Mamba, the majority of the snake species in this genus are arboreal.
1) The different types of green mamba
A. Eastern green mamba
This reptile primarily inhabits trees and is arboreal. It rarely descends to the ground; when it does, it usually does so to eat, drink, or sunbathe. It is very well concealed in trees or shrubs because to its colouring. This is why it rarely inhabits open land and prefers reasonably dense vegetation.
B. Oriental green mamba
This oriental green snake is a member of the family Elapidae's genus Dendroaspis, just like the other members of its species.
A Scottish surgeon and biologist named Dr. Andrew Smith originally described it in 1849. They are the smallest of the four mamba species that have been identified.
The Latin word "angusticeps," which refers to the peculiar shape of the species' head, literally translates as "long, narrow head."
2) Size and morphology of the green mamba
A. Size of the green mamba
Adult females average around 2 m in length, while males are somewhat shorter, at about 1.8 m. It is a relatively large snake with a slightly compressed and very slender body. The average weight of a green mamba is between 1 and 1.5 kg. Specimens can occasionally grow longer than 2.5 m.
It is the tiniest mamba and one of the smallest snakes despite its amazing length. This makes it perfectly suited for the practise of jewellery. In light of this, our designers created a ring with this Snake specifically for you!
B. Green mamba scales
The dorsal scales on their body are bright green, as its name would imply, and the belly is a yellow-green colour. On the flanks of certain specimens, there are a few scales that are a bright yellow colour.
Their coffin-shaped head, which has medium-sized eyes and circular pupils, is flat, narrow, elongated, and slightly separate from the neck.
The skin of juvenile green mambas gradually expands from the front to the back of the body, changing colour from blue-green to a brighter shade of green.
3) Where does the green mamba live?
The southern East African coastal regions are home to the big, mostly arboreal, highly poisonous eastern green mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps). Their species are found in Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, eastern Zimbabwe, southern Malawi, and eastern Cape Town, South Africa.
They inhabit low-lying, dense, shaded coastal vegetation, such as trees, that is typically at least 1,500 metres above sea level and experiences more than 150 cm of annual precipitation within a few kilometres of the ocean. The species is also present in groves, farm trees, mountain rainforests, and dunes (such as mango and coconut trees).
It's interesting to note that the green mamba has been observed entering suburban and city yards if there are shrubs growing close to windows or hiding in thatched dwellings.
4) Green mamba characteristic
It can move at speeds of up to 11 km/h, making it an extremely swift snake. The majority of the time, they will attempt to flee by climbing the closest tree and blending into the thick undergrowth. Additionally, they are reputed to be less violent than other members of their family, such the black mamba, and shy and elusive.
The green mamba can elevate the front portion of its body and flatten its neck into a narrow cleft when angered or harassed. They might hiss and gape as well, though not as frequently as a black mamba.
Even though it doesn't always strike, if cornered, it can suddenly attack and strike repeatedly, frequently causing severe envenomation.
White or blue white lines might be seen inside the mouth. In addition, eyes with round pupils and a golden yellow ring surrounding them are physical traits.
A. Misconception about the green mamba
One of the most widespread myths about the green mamba is that it would always violently attack people.
It has been noted that this green snake, despite being one of the deadliest snake species in the world, prefers to avoid conflict with humans (and any other larger predator). It prefers to run and hide in the closest tree or use its camouflage to blend in.
They are renowned for leading an extremely sedentary lifestyle and will remain in one place for days, weeks, or even years, leaving only to eat or even look for sexual partners.
The mamba species is known to hardly move 5.4 metres each day on average. This snake lives a very relaxed life, for sure. It is quite calm and, if not addressed, harmless.
Only when they are repeatedly tormented and agitated, or even when they are trapped with nowhere to run, may they decide to be hostile.
5) The bite and venom of the green mamba
A. Venom of the snake
A snake that is particularly poisonous is the green mamba. In severe envenomation situations, deaths have happened in less 30 minutes. Their venom has a complex composition of dendrotoxins, calcicludin, cardiotoxins, and fasciculins and is mostly neurotoxic.
All mamba species share the dendrotoxin, which is the most harmful toxin in known snake venom and the reason their mortality rate from bites is so high.
The toxicity of the venom varies greatly from person to person, depending on variables like geographic location, specimen age, food, seasonal fluctuations, etc., as it does with all other mamba snake species.
B. Bite of the green mamba
The bite can cause swelling at the bite site, nausea and vomiting, an erratic heartbeat, convulsions, difficulties breathing and swallowing, and eventually respiratory paralysis.
The species is renowned for having lengthy frontal fangs that can spin about their axes, which improves the control of its bite. Additionally hollow, the teeth make it simpler to spit venom when necessary.
In a few rare instances, their bite has damaged tissue, generally in the fingers or as a result of applying a tight tourniquet.
6) Diet of a green mamba
Large carnivores, green mambas prefer to hunt during the day and only need to eat at least twice every week.
It mostly preys on other small mammals, adult birds, rodents, bats, and tree lizards as well as their eggs. The main sources of food for young snakes are other reptiles like chameleons and other tiny lizards.
According to observations, the Green Mamba does not spend its days chasing prey or foraging. However, unlike most garter snakes, it prefers to "sit and wait" or ambush its prey.
They have a hunting strategy that is distinct from other Elapidae snakes because these snakes are typically active hunters.
7) Reproduction of the green mamba
A. The fight of the male green mamba
Except during the mating season, which occurs between April and June during the rainy season, green mambas are loners. They are also at their most active during this time, with the males engaging in ceremonial battles with each other in an effort to subdue the other.
The two snakes typically push against one other while entwining their bodies and necks. The other snake head is being pinned to the ground with this motion.
Since biting would result in death for the snake, the snakes will never fight aggressively in front of the spectator. These conflicts can continue for several hours. These battles resemble the fighting techniques used by male king cobras.
B. The mating of the green mamba
Male green mambas actively pursue and court females when mating season arrives. To get the attention and approval of a female they are interested in, they may occasionally even engage in physical conflict with other men.
Males choose their partners by leaving a fragrance or pheromone trail, and they court their partners by aligning their bodies and stroking their partners' tongues.
By elevating her tail, the female will show her desire in mating, and the two will then connect. Because they are arboreal snakes, courtship and mating will occur in the trees.
The female snake will make an effort to flee the courting male snake if she is not interested in mating with him. If she succeeds, she might then turn hostile.
C. The eggs of the green mamba
Small eggs are laid by females during the summer (especially during the months of October and November).
Although it is usual for a female to deposit much fewer or more eggs than the average female's 10 to 15 clutches, this is not always the case. The eggs are stored in a hollow tree, typically close to decomposing plants or leaf litter.
The female green mamba normally leaves her eggs in the hollow tree until the young are ready to hatch without protecting them.
After a brief incubation period of 10 to 12 weeks, depending on the region, the baby snakes will begin to emerge. The infants are very small, often 30 to 40 centimetres long, and in their first year, they reach a height of 80 centimetres or so.
Other facts about the green mamba
- The venom can spread through the body within the first 15 minutes.
- The International Union for Conservation of Nature has not classified the green mamba as a threatened species.
- The population of this snake seems to be stable. However, habitat destruction and deforestation seem to be a concern for the population.
- Toxic levels of green mamba venom are based on the reptile's environment, age, diet, and season.
- These larger predators include humans, eagle snakes, mongooses and hornbills.
- Green mambas rely heavily on their sight when hunting, rather than their sense of smell.
- Its bite will leave a wound with two puncture marks.