Burrower Scorpion near Kuruman

These scorpions can be up to 10cm long and are found in rocky habitats where they live in scrapes under rocks, as well as in rock crevices.

Mildly venomous, their stings aren’t medically significant.

Mole Snake near Melkbosstrand

Mole Snakes are found in a variety of habitats – even mountainous regions and deserts – but they’re particularly common in sandy scrub-covered and grassveld regions.

They spend most of their time underground, pushing their way through soft sand in search of moles and other rodents.

Juvenile (young) mole snakes have a variety of patterns and colors that they lose completely once they reach adulthood.

Viviparous, Mole Snakes give live birth to anywhere between 25-50 babies in late summer.

Find out more about this species here.

Boomslang rescued near Melkbosstrand

Boomslang are known for their strikingly large eyes – the largest of any African snake. Females are light to olive brown with dirty white to brown bellies, whereas males may have a variety of colors.

Shy and diurnal (active during the day), they spend most of their lives in trees and shrubs where they hunt eggs, birds, frogs, chameleons, and other tree-dwelling lizards.

Boomslang venom is haemotoxic, which means that it affects the clotting mechanism in blood and leads to severe internal and external bleeding, or even haemorrhage if untreated. Although potent, the venom is slow-acting and may take more than 24 hours to produce serious symptoms – an effective anti-venom is available in some locations.

There are two common myths about the Boomslang: firstly, that they drop from trees onto people who walk by (they don’t), and secondly that because they’re rear-fanged they can only bite you on your little finger (they are rear-fanged, but can open their jaws 170 degrees and bite you almost anywhere on your body).

Find out more about this species here.

Rain Spider near Parklands North

A member of the Huntsman Spiders family, Rain Spiders are free-running, ground-living arachnids often found in built-up areas, trees, under bark, in rock crevices, and on vegetation.

Rain Spiders are harmless to humans and can be from 6-36 mm in size. They are easily recognizeable because of their size, the banded patterning on their legs, and the white “moustache” on their cephalothorax (head & thorax).

Their venom is not deadly to humans, and comparable to a beesting.

Rough Thicktailed Scorpion near Brackenfell

These scorpions are found in the drier parts of Southern Africa, and can measure up to 115mm in length.

Rough Thicktailed Scorpions are the most medically significant scorpion species in South Africa, with a few people that die from their neurotoxic sting every year.

They tend to inhabit hard-packed sandy and gritty soil where they make burrows at the bases of shrubs or grass tufts, or under logs and stones. Members of this species are active hunters rather than ambushers, seeking prey which includes other scorpions.

Common Lesser Thicktailed Scorpion near Kuruman

Uroplectes is a genus of scorpions in the family Buthidae. They are known commonly as the lesser thick-tailed scorpions.

There are about 40 species distributed in the Afrotropic ecozone, with them being most diverse in South Africa.

These scorpions are generally about 3 to 6 centimeters long, but a few are smaller, such as U. ansiedippenaarae, which is less than 2 centimeters in length. They are variable in color from bright yellows to muted greens. They occur in many types of habitat from mountain forests to deserts. They live under rocks and in trees, and are sometimes seen invading houses.

Western Natal Green Snake

Philothamnus is a genus of snakes in the family Colubridae. The genus is endemic to Sub-Saharan Africa.

It is a beautifully-marked, bright green snake that is active during the day when it hunts for geckos and frogs.

This snake climbs well but is usually found on the ground, especially along the banks of well-shaded rivers and streams. It is quick to escape when disturbed and will bite readily if handled, but is completely harmless.

Variegated Lesser Thicktailed Scorpion near Elandsbay

Uroplectes is a genus of scorpions in the family Buthidae. They are known commonly as the lesser thick-tailed scorpions.

There are about 40 species distributed in the Afrotropic ecozone, with them being most diverse in South Africa.

These scorpions are generally about 3 to 6 centimeters long, but a few are smaller, such as U. ansiedippenaarae, which is less than 2 centimeters in length. They are variable in color from bright yellows to muted greens. They occur in many types of habitat from mountain forests to deserts. They live under rocks and in trees, and are sometimes seen invading houses.

Rhombic Egg-Eater near Big Bay

Although completely harmless, people often get a fright and kill Rhombic Egg-Eaters due to their defensive posturing – they coil their bodies and rub their keeled scales against each other to produce a loud hissing noise, then flatten their head and open their mouth whilst pretending to strike.

In reality they barely have any teeth, and they are completely harmless! You can see a video demonstrating this defensive posturing here.

Mainly nocturnal, Rhombic Egg-Eaters feed exclusively on birds’ eggs. They have sharp protrusions on the inside of their spine that they use to crack an egg open after they’ve swallowed it, then they spit the shell back out.

Oviparous, they lay 6-25 eggs in summer.

Find out more about this species here.

Common Lesser Thicktailed Scorpion near Lamberts Bay

Uroplectes is a genus of scorpions in the family Buthidae. They are known commonly as the lesser thick-tailed scorpions.

There are about 40 species distributed in the Afrotropic ecozone, with them being most diverse in South Africa.

These scorpions are generally about 3 to 6 centimeters long, but a few are smaller, such as U. ansiedippenaarae, which is less than 2 centimeters in length. They are variable in color from bright yellows to muted greens. They occur in many types of habitat from mountain forests to deserts. They live under rocks and in trees, and are sometimes seen invading houses.