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Jackson’s Bold Eyed Tree Snake or The Black Tree Snake - By Paul Lloyd

Jackson’s Bold Eyed Tree Snake or The Black Tree Snake
(Thrasops jacksonii)

This is a daytime active and arboreal (tree-living) snake. An excellent climber, ascending high into trees, to 30m or more. If approached or threatened in a tree and unable to slide away, it will launch itself off into space and its long light body enables it to move sideways while falling; when it lands it quickly slides away. If cornered, it will inflate its neck and anterior body like a Boomslang and move in a side-to-side like manner. Inflated neck is considerably smaller than the Boomslang, but impressive. (Pitman, 1974)

Diet: It is a generalist feeder; known prey creatures that include arboreal lizards (especially chameleons), and mammals including bats. It raids nests for eggs, nestlings and adult birds, and it has been seen to drop out of a tree to catch a frog. (Spawls, 2002).

Much less aggressive than a Boomslang, it can grow to as much as 2.3m. This snake frequents mainly gallery forests and its distribution is limited almost exclusively to the Northwestern corner of the North Western Province of Zambia. The specimen above was captured and photographed at Kalumbila and according to Dr. Don Broadley the range is approximately from west of Lumwana to Ikelenge and south to Zambezi.

Juveniles of the species are normally olive to green on the head and have mottled brown and black marks on the body. The belly is black and yellowish.

Due to their limited distribution, not a lot is known about its habits but it is thought that females lay between 7 and 12 eggs between mid-December and mid-January.

For more detailed information contact Paul Lloyd (

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