Have you seen a snake in your garden recently? We are fortunate to have about 120 species of snakes in South Africa. As part of a citizen science initiative, the National Museum’s Animal and Plant Systematics Department – Herpetology Division is managing a Facebook group called Free State Reptiles and Amphibians (including adjacent areas and Lesotho) which seeks to gather photographic and videographic records of all reptiles and amphibians found in this region.
The girdled lizards (genus Cordylus) are a group of 21 species of well-armoured insectivorous lizards found only in sub-Saharan Africa. These diurnal and mainly rupicolous lizards occur from the south-western Cape of South Africa northwards through Botswana and Namibia to Angola, and elsewhere to Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, south-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania and Kenya, with an isolated population in southern Ethiopia.
The Common Dwarf Gecko (Lygodactyluscapensis) is a small greyish-brown lizard with specialised toes for gripping tree trunks and rocks. Adults have a body length of about 4–5 cm and the tail is about the same length. Unlike most other gecko species, these little creatures are active during the day and not at night, although they may remain out on walls even after dark on very warm summer nights.
Forty-two reptile specimens from Mozambique are preserved in the collection of the National Museum, Bloemfontein, South Africa. This collection is comprised of 39 lizards referable to 10 families, 12 genera and 18 (possibly 19) species; and three snakes referable to two families, three genera and three species. Specimens were collected at 19 localities in six provinces (Tete, Manica, Sofala, Gaza, Inhambane and Maputo) in the central and southern parts of the country, mostly south of the Zambezi River.
A revision of the egg-eating snakes of the genus Dasypeltis Wagler (Squamata: Colubridae: Colubrinae) in north-eastern Africa and south-western Arabia, with descriptions of three new species