Pest Guides

Twig or Southern Vine Snake

Thelotornis capensis

Geographical Locale

Twig Snake
  • Found in Eastern and Southern Africa.


  • Colouring is similar to that of a twig; grey-brown with lighter markings.
  • Very long and thin averaging 1 metre in length.
  • Head is elongated, with large eyes and horizontal pupils.


  • Haemotoxic – disabling the clotting process and causing internal and external bleeding.
  • No antidote to a bite by this snake is available in South Africa.

The Bite

  • Puncture marks at wound site.
  • Actual bite not very painful.
  • Likely to bleed copiously as blood clotting mechanism becomes affected.


  • Oviparous; females lay between 4 and 13 eggs in summer.
  • Incubation period is between 2 and 3 months.
  • Hatchlings between 230mm and 330mm.
  • Hatchlings identical in colour to adults.
  • Females extremely aggressive when guarding their eggs.


  • Favoured habitat is grassland, bushes and small trees.
  • Timid snake and only likely to attack if provoked.
  • Diet consists mainly of lizards, chameleons, bats, frogs and small birds.