Family: Colubridae
Latin Name: Dasypeltis scabra
English Name: Rhombic Egg-Eater
Other Names: Eiervreter (Afrikaans), Common Egg-Eater (English)
Red Data Status: Least Concern (SARCA 2014)
Size: Average 75cm, Maximum 1.16m
Activity: Nocturnal (mainly active at night)

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.

Rhombic Egg-Eater distribution map.


Some of the information on this website is sourced from the ADU Virtual Museum and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.