|Common Name:||Green Mamba|
|Scientific Name:||Dendroaspis angusticeps|
|Life Span:||12 to 20 years|
|Size:||1.8 meters to a maximum 3.8 meters|
|Habitat:||Tropical and wooded areas|
|Country of Origin:||East Africa; Kenya to Zimbabwe|
Green Mamba is considered as the smallest mambas in the world. As the name implies, this mamba has a bright and vibrant green color. It has a slender body with scales that are laid just like paving stones against darker skins. Compared to its dorsal scales, the scales on its belly is lighter. This is one of the most beautiful snakes found in the tropics. And although they are less aggressive than black mambas, they are still highly venomous. They have short fangs, and their venom is neurotoxic and cardiotoxic. These snakes are also quick moving and can catch prey without any difficulty.
Also known as the Eastern Green Mamba, this African snake can be very deadly to human beings. They love to hang out in trees, and there have been lots of reports where people died from its venom. Its venom attacks the nervous system and then the cardiac muscles. Once bitten, the human or animal may be paralyzed, or if not, their heart stops beating within minutes.
If you search online, you’ll also discover that there are also western green mamba. These types of green mamba have a quiet similar physical description as that of the green mamba, although it has a smaller geographic range. To avoid life-threatening bites, you must be able to determine or identify its appearance. Many fell victim to its beautiful appearance and though that this snake is not venomous at all.
Unlike any other venomous snakes that you’ll find today, the heads of Green Mamba are wider than their necks. Also, their bodies have that certain shine which makes them a lot more attractive. Their snouts are short, and heads are taller than the body or the neck. When it comes to their body profile, they are thin and slender. They have a more slender body than constrictors. The snakes also have an exceptional smell and have excellent eyesight. These features make them one of the best and most effective hunters in the wild.
Size and Weight
They have a large mouth as well although they don’t eat large prey. Their tails are long and taper very smoothly to a point. Eastern Green Mambas are considered as medium-sized snakes although they can reach 6 feet in length. There are also cases wherein females reach 6.5 to 7 feet. During their lifetime, these snakes continue to grow and thus don’t have a specific limit of weight and length. During their first year, these snakes can grow about 3 feet. They reach their adult size after 3 years. The snakes continue to grow during adulthood, although in a much gradual manner. And since these snakes are very slender, they only weigh about 3 lbs. despite their length. Their size and weight are similar to other mambas such as Black Mambas.
Green Mambas can reach about 10 to 12 years in the wild. Their lifespan is dependent on the environment that they’re living in. They are prone to infections, parasites, and predators which cut their life short in the wild. However, when in captivity, these snakes can have a longer lifespan. Some captive snakes have lived more than 14 years, and in some rare cases, they were able to live as long as 20 years. Reaching their full length and extending their lifespan once stress, predators, and environmental pressures are eliminated from the equation.
When it comes to a geographic range, these snakes are quite adaptable. They are very rampant in Eastern Africa and can be seen as far as Sudan and Ethiopia. From these areas, Green Mambas further stretches toward the east coast such as Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, and the rest of South Africa. And according to research, their range continues to increase over the years.
Naturally, Green Mambas take part in the mating process during the spring or summer months. Females are extremely selective when it comes to looking for males. It’s the male snakes that come into the habitat of the females. They fight against other male snakes with a high level of tension and aggression during the breeding season. The winning candidate gets to breed with the female. Although there are also cases wherein female snakes lay eggs even without the help of males or without fertilization, this is called parthenogenesis.
After the mating of male and female snake, the female begins to store the sperm in the oviduct. The storage happens between 1 to 2 months. After the period, the female snake then begins to produce large eggs and begin releasing it after the ovary is fertilized by the sperms. A healthy female Green Mamba can lay eggs for about 10 to 15 pieces. The females usually lay their eggs under rocks or in shallow holes. If you encounter Green Mamba eggs or you’re breeding, and you have eggs, it’s essential that you handle the eggs properly since they are very soft. The eggs feel like very soft leather. Hence, the female defends its eggs and looks after it until they hatch into young snakes.
2) Young Snakes
To speed up the hatching process, some female snakes twitch their muscles to give more warmth to the eggs. The juvenile snakes can come out of the egg by biting the egg cover. It’s worth mentioning that these young snakes have egg tooth. While inside their egg, they obtain nutrition from their yoke. A hatched snake is called a hatchling, and a young or juvenile snake is called a snakelet. These young snakes love to feed on rodents and reptiles. They are also able to shed their skin up to 3 to 4 times a year.
3) Adult Snakes
Juvenile eggs can attain maturity within 2 to 4 years. You can easily observe the difference between a young and older snake, and it’s through the frequency of molting per year. The young snake sheds its skin about 3 to 4 times a year. Meanwhile, the adult sheds only once a year – although there are cases when adult snakes shed twice a year. It’s also worth mentioning that the shedding or molting does not have a significant role in the growth of the snake.
Just like any other mambas, Green Mambas love to hunt through their sight. It’s their special weapon that allows them to efficiently hunt even during the night. It’s their nature to wait for their prey to come instead of chasing them. There is a difference between how Green Mamba and Black Mamba hunt their prey. While the Black Mamba actively seek out their meals, the Green Mambas love to wait. These are smart snakes since they wait at their prey’s burrow or hole, and once it gets close enough, they will strike out fast and quick. Green Mambas are very smart and efficient hunters. They don’t expend too much of their energy to get a meal. They adapt, and they are excellent ambush hunters that can remarkable survive for weeks without prey.
If you’re a keeper of this beautiful snake, then you must know how to properly feed them. You can feed them by giving small mammals, bats, rodents, eggs, lizards, mice, and adult birds. For young snakes, it’s recommended that you feed them with reptiles such as lizards. In the wild, these snakes love preying on chameleons. And when you encounter them in the wild, be sure that you remain calm. Always maintain a safe distance. It’s also necessary that you give them ample time to escape. Luckily, these snakes are the shy type, and they don’t usually go out in the open, unlike coral snakes and rattlesnakes.
Green and Black Mambas have similar sleeping habits. They are naturally diurnal, which means that they seek shade and shelter during the hottest part of the day. These snakes love to keep it low. Sleeping in burrows, hollow trees, empty termite mounds, crevices, and small caves. You can also find them active and hunting during the day and then return to their resting place every night to sleep.
Development and Reproduction
It’s the male Green Mamba snakes that go looking for the female, and they do this by following a trail of pheromones. However, there are instances when there’s already a male near the female. This is where the male fights each other. It’s the strongest that wins the competition. But if there’s no other male around, then the courting begins. Male snakes will creep on top of the female snakes. He will try to flick his tongue. There are cases where females don’t like their male partners, and so they will try to get away. If the male persists on mating, then the female starts to become more aggressive. Both snakes can acquire injuries.
However, if the female is pleased with her mate, she will start raising her tail. The male and female will begin wrapping their tails around one another – this is where the mating process begins. Most mating processes occur on top of trees since these Green Mambas don’t want to get disturbed by predators. They are very careful with the ritual and always make sure that they find a safe ground before they start making love.
These snakes are solitary by their nature changes during the mating season. Mating usually happens during the rainy season from April to June. The rainy season is when these snakes become more active. It’s where male snakes go out and look for their females. This is also the season where males encounter ritualistic combats with their rivals. Males can go on the fight for several hours. Although their combat nature is less aggressive compared to the larger Black Mambas. The fight doesn’t include any biting.
Summer is the mating season for these snakes, and the female lays her eggs in late the month of October up to November. However, since these snakes live and thrive in warm conditions, it’s possible that they can lay their eggs at any time or season of the year. Typically, the female lay her eggs on top of the trees or in hollow trees. She can layout 10 to 15 eggs per clutch. Unlike many other snakes, the female Green Mambas don’t take care of their eggs. Instead of defending them, the females leave their eggs.
How to Breed
To successfully breed these snakes, you must understand how crucial mating is and how vital it is to replicate their natural habitat. First of all, you have to make sure that you can differentiate male and female snakes. Familiarize the physical traits of male and female. It’s also very important that you make sure that you choose healthy snakes. There are cases where females don’t like their mating partners, and so you shouldn’t force them to mate.
Replicating their natural habitat is essential. Keep in mind that the mating process happens during the spring and or summer months. It’s essential to provide them a cage or terrarium that has warm temperatures. Also, don’t forget that it’s the male who seeks out the habitat of females. Both male and female snakes can be very aggressive during the breeding period, and so you have to be very careful.
The good news of mating these snakes in captivity is that you can control and regulate the environment. Their urge to breed or mate is dependent upon the climatic conditions. Replicating a tropical climate and increasing the temperature of the enclosure is one way of encouraging the females to secrete pheromones. After sensing the signal, the male snakes will then follow the female, and courtship begins.
You’ll know whether or not the mating is successful when the male snake lifts the tail of the female and the female doesn’t show any sign of resistance. It’s when the male Green Mamba deposits the sperms. He does this by inserting his hemipenes, which is a small sac that is located under its tail. Only one of his two hemipenes is inserted into her cloaca. The mating process can last from several minutes to several hours. It’s also possible that the females can breed or mate with different or the same male several times during the breeding period
A successful mating process leads to female laying eggs. They love to lay their eggs around a hollow tree and so if you’re breeding them in captivity, then you have to create an area inside the enclosure where they can hide their eggs – you can make a small hole or cave-like structure. The eggs will hatch between 10 to 12 weeks. Her body can create 10 to 25 eggs and releases them in a warm area. And so aside from creating a hollow or cave-like structure, you also have to make sure that the area is warm.
Remember that female snakes don’t guard or stay around with their eggs. She won’t provide body heat to eggs to boost the incubation period. Therefore, make sure that the area has adequate heat to complete the incubation process. Only a handful of hatchlings or juvenile snakes will survive and reach maturity in the wild. Life can be pretty tough for them since there are so many predators out there. But when breeding and hatching in captivity significantly increases their chances of survival.
Common Health Problems
Green Mamba snakes are prone to different kinds of health problems. You must know how to determine these common health problems to provide treatment the soonest time possible. One of your goals as a breeder is to ensure that they don’t acquire any of these health problems, although it does happen even if you give them proper care. Nonetheless, knowing these common health problems should help you find the right treatment and ways on how your snake can avoid them.
1) Skin Ailments
Just like other snakes, when kept in poor habitat conditions, Green Mamba can develop blisters, infections, and other skin ailments. The keeper must maintain cleanliness inside the cage, and the substrate should be moist all the time. Providing a clean environment for your snakes mean that you won’t have to worry about this kind of problem. Make a schedule on when you’re going to clean the cage and how often you’re going to change the substrate.
2) Dysecdysis (Shedding Problems)
It’s normal for snakes to shed their skin. The healthy term for shedding is called ecdysis. However, when they are unable to shed properly or completely, it’s considered a health problem which is commonly referred to as dysecdysis. Observing how snakes shed their skin can be very interesting and fascinating at the same time. Regardless of whether you’re keeping them as a pet or they are freely thriving in the wild, shedding is normal. Also, shedding problems can happen to them, such as dysecdysis.
The keeper must know useful and effective techniques to assist their pet snakes in completing the shedding process. You can do this by providing a moisture box. Many expert snake breeders increase the cage’s temperature and mist their snake to help them complete the shed. Again, this is where you provide your snakes in the best environment. Keep the cage or enclosure moist and clean to prevent this kind of problem.
One of the leading causes of the shedding problem is dehydration. Dehydration can threaten the life and health of your pet snake. The good news is, there are ways in which you can prevent this. This is where you provide your pet snakes clean drinking water all the time. You need to learn how to properly change their drinking water. Frequent change of water inside the enclosure is a must if you want to keep your snakes healthy. This is the best line of defense against dehydration in snakes.
Also, you should make sure that you maintain the right humidity level. There’s a certain level of humidity in which your pet snakes can remain hydrated. Always remember that healthy hydration always leads to healthy shedding. It’s also helpful that you check out the specific humidity level that your particular pet snake requires.
4) Mites and Ticks (External Parasites)
Watch out for mites and ticks when caring for your snakes. These external parasites can be very tiny. They are like fast-moving dots that appear to be white, black, or red. It can be very challenging to get rid of external parasites in Green Mambas since it requires soaking them in a warm bath for a few hours. It can also be quite dangerous since these mambas are venomous. The goal is to drown all the mites and ticks that are found in the snake. While bathing the snake, this is the best time for you to clean the enclosure.
One of the safest ways to get rid of ticks, especially the larger ones, is to place a petroleum jelly thickly over the body of your pet snake. Again, this practice can be quite dangerous, and so you have to be very careful. Thick petroleum jelly will suffocate the external parasites. When getting rid of these parasites, be sure that you don’t use tweezers since this can wound or damage the skin of your pet snake. Make sure as well that you also get rid of the head of the tick to prevent infection.
5) Internal Parasites
Internal parasites usually happen to wild Green Mambas. If you’re introducing a new male or female, be sure that you check their health first. Always watch out for common signs of internal parasites. Evaluate the appearance of the snake first. If they look unhealthy and unwell, then most probably they have acquired internal parasites. New snakes should be quarantined first. The best treatment for this health problem is to see your vet and ask for a prescribed treatment.
Another common health problem that Green Mambas encounter is regurgitation. This is a common health problem among pet snakes. One of the leading causes is stress and undiagnosed health problems. Improper husbandry and handling the snakes too soon after feeding can also lead to regurgitation. Although handling the Green Mamba snake is impossible and can be quite dangerous. To prevent this problem, you need to provide your pet snakes the right temperature. Give them a warm spot to lie on while eating since this dramatically improves their digestion. Also, make sure that you don’t feed the snakes with too large prey.
Green Mambas are also prone to stress, just like any other reptiles. Stress in snakes has many causes, and it includes; poor habitat conditions, improper handling, feeling threatened, and absence of hiding spot. Fortunately, you can easily prevent these stress factors. They can be reduced significantly if you provide your snakes with the right environment. It’s recommended that you put them in an enclosure where they feel safe and secure. It’s also important to note that stress can build up, and this can lead to other health problems such as loss of appetite, lethargy, weight loss, and worse, death.
There are many ways in which you can provide your snakes a safe, healthy, and stress-free environment. Responsible breeders and keepers should know how to properly set up an enclosure. You have to pay close attention to the humidity, temperature, and substrate of the cage or terrarium. It’s also essential that you consider the water quality and the sides of the enclosure. Providing them the right environment can effectively reduce the stress level of your snakes. Also, it’s recommended that you don’t do over-handling – although Green Mamba snake is not ideal for petting or handling.
Another healthy practice that you can follow is to go to the veterinarian once in a while. Your Green Mamba snakes may be suffering from certain health conditions without your knowledge. But of course, you have to make sure that you double-check the experience and the background history of the vet first. Be sure that they can handle and treat reptiles or snakes such as Green Mamba. Don’t hesitate to call your veterinarian and ask them more about their experience and how they can help you and your pet.
Although Green Mambas are aggressive towards their prey and other animals, once they see a human being coming near to them, their first instinct is to get away as fast as they can. They consider humans as big predators, and they feel threatened whenever they see one. They don’t like to hang out with human beings. The snakes will immediately look for the nearest tree and will try to climb in a fast and quick manner. However, if there are no trees around what they do is get away in hides or any spots where they can quickly hide. It’s safe to say that Green Mambas are not that aggressive at all, but once cornered and threatened, they won’t hesitate to fight back. They are like cobras, what they do is they flatten their neck to appear larger.
The behavior of Green Mambas also changes during the mating season. This is when the male becomes more aggressive and fights other males to win a female. Male snakes will slither on top of each other if they want to combat. The aggressor will move all the way up to their rival’s body and wrap themselves around. The snake will then use its head and neck to try to push the other male’s head into the ground. Although it looks like an advantage, Green Mamba male snakes don’t bite one another.
Before deciding on keeping this kind of snake, it’s necessary that you know the level of your skills and knowledge. Green Mamba is a dangerously venomous snake, and it’s not recommended for beginners. They are only for advanced breeders who are truly knowledgeable when it comes to handling deadly snakes or breeds. There are many people who have suffered from the bites of these snakes, and unfortunately, some of them did not survive. Before you decide on keeping this type of venomous snake, you have to make sure first that you know what to do.
Now, if you’re one of those advanced keepers who are confident about their skills in handling venomous species, then it’s advisable that you learn how to create a perfect environment for these snakes. For these snakes to survive and live a healthy life, they must be placed in a safe, clean, and healthy enclosure. Here are some of the most important things to consider when creating a healthy habitat for Green Mambas.
If you’re taking care of hatchlings or young Green Mambas, then you can place them in an enclosure or terrarium that has 20 to 50-gallon capacity. Once they become an adult, they’re going to require larger space which is about 120 to 150-gallon capacity. Take note that the larger space, the better it is for the snake. Another important factor that you need to consider is the ventilation. Make sure that the terrarium is well-ventilated. You can also add a trap box or hide box for them inside the enclosure to ensure that they won’t acquire constant stress. The hide box should be the safe and quiet area of the enclosure where they can rest and find comfort.
Providing a horizontal climbing area for your Green Mamba is also essential. You can place tree branches or any item where your snake can climb. Again, these are a dangerous snake, and so the design of your enclosure should be simple yet safe and effective. Always be careful when it comes to opening and closing the enclosure. Using locking doors is also wise and safe. When handling or moving the snake, be sure that you use a clamp stick. Learn how to properly use the clamp stick and ask for advice and recommendations from the experts.
Providing proper temperature to your Green Mambas is also crucial. The enclosure should be divided into 2 sections, one end should be warm (about 82 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit), and the other end should be cool (about 74 degrees). There should also be a basking spot for your snakes which can be very useful during thermoregulation – ideal temperature is about 94 to 100 degrees. Controlling and regulating the humidity is also essential – but watch out for dehydration.
3) Substrate and Water
You can use wood barks, aspen chips, fir, or cypress as a substrate for your snake. It’s also vital that you provide a large water bowl inside the terrarium. This is where the snake will drink and soak. As mentioned earlier, dehydration is one of the common problems of Green Mamba, and you can prevent this by making sure that you provide them proper hydration.
These snakes have a very high metabolism, and therefore, they require feeding at least twice a week. You can feed the hatchlings with pink mice, but as they grow in size, their prey or meal items should also increase.
How to Care for Green Mambas
1) Setting a Healthy Enclosure
Make sure that the enclosure or terrarium that you’re going to choose is specifically made for snakes. Keep in mind that these snakes are excellent escape artists and you don’t want Green Mamba snake to be roaming inside your home or property. Always make sure that you secure lid. It’s also important that you choose the right size for your snake.
3) Create a Hidey Home Inside the Enclosure
We mentioned earlier that a hide box or trap box is very important for these snakes. They need to have a hiding place where they can rest and get away from threats or avoid stress. You can also add rocks or hollowed-out logs for your snake.
4) Choose the Best Substrate
Choosing the best substrate material is also essential. Substrates soak up feces and urine at the bottom of the enclosure. Be sure that the substrate is made specifically for snakes. Do not use dirt, cat litters, or sands. The substrate should also not contain any materials such as treated timbers that contain chemicals or toxic compounds.
5) Provide Set Rocks and Climbing Branches
Green Mamba loves climbing on trees or basking on rocks. Mimicking their habitat is healthy for them, and it should help in reducing their stress levels.
6) Buy Necessary Equipment
Don’t forget to also purchase a heat lamp, thermometer, and hydrometer. This helps in controlling, regulating, and monitoring heat and humidity. This should help you achieve optimal conditions or environment for your snake. Don’t hesitate to join online forums where people gather and share their insights about what’s the best equipment for snakes and where you can buy them.
7) Clean the Enclosure
You also need to make sure that you clean the terrarium or enclosure. Frequently change the water as well. Always maintain hygiene inside the terrarium.
8) Do Your Research
Be sure as well that you conduct online research first about Green Mamba before you keep them. There are lots of resources on the Internet today that can give you an idea of how to take good care of these snakes. It’s also advisable that you read books or online articles that can provide you more information on what you need to do once bitten by these highly venomous snakes.
9) Ask Tips and Advice from the Experts
Another important thing that you need to do is to seek for tips, advice, or recommendations from people who have kept and bred Green Mamba before. Ask them what are the safest way to transport, carry, handle, or transfer the snake. You should also ask these experts what methods you need to practice to be safe while petting these venomous snakes.
10) Visit the Veterinarian for Any Health Concerns
Finally, make sure that you visit the veterinarian if you think that your snake is not eating, have strange hues on its underside, not shedding completely, and have sunken eyes.
Availability – Where to Get One?
Getting Green Mamba can be quite tricky, but it’s not impossible. You can buy them online, but you have to double-check the reputation and background history of the shop first. Make sure as well that they have adequate experience in handling and delivering these beautiful snakes. Asking for tips and advice from fellow hobbyists who have acquired these snakes before is also a good idea.
Is Green Mamba venomous?
They, they are venomous and as deadly as Black Mamba. They are capable of injecting large quantities of venom. They also deliver multiple bites and so you have to be very careful.
How do you identify a green mamba?
Green Mamba has black spots moving down towards its body. They are a slender snake with a yellow colored belly. They are a shiny snake that has vibrant color green scales.
What’s the difference between Green Mamba and Black Mamba?
Both of them are highly venomous snakes and can kill human beings fast. They are also similar, although the colors are quite different. Green Mambas have shiny green color while Black Mambas are grey or olive.
Can Green Mamba kill a human?
Yes. They secrete dangerous neurotoxic venom, which affects the central nervous system, paralyzing the breathing of the victim. Symptoms also include slurred speech, tightness in the chest area, and tingling in the mouth. Never attempt to handle, catch, or kill a Green Mamba since it will defend itself by biting.
Can Green Mamba be pets?
They are not ideal for petting. They are considered as one of the most venomous and quickest snakes on the planet. Green Mambas are a predatory snake that bites and defends itself when trapped or threatened. Although they are not great for pets, you can still find keepers and breeders of these venomous snakes. The key is to always be vigilant and prioritize safety when handling them.
What to do when bitten by Green Mamba?
Always make sure that you remain calm. You have to breathe gently to avoid the venom from reaching the critical organs such as your heart. Apply bandage firmly around the wound. You mustn’t apply a tourniquet. Also, it’s not a good idea to suck the venom out. Go to the nearest doctor or hospital.
Can you outrun a Green Mamba?
Humans can run about 20mph while Green Mamba can run up to 12 mph. Yes, you can outrun them, but you should remain calm once you see these kinds of snakes. They are not aggressive snakes but once threatened, and they will try to defend themselves.