"Hi Clem, just thought I would share with you and your readers...
The snake in the photo with me handling it has recently been declared a new species of “Night Adder” (Causus rasmusseni). It was previously thought to be a colour variation of the Rhombic Night Adder (Causus rhombeatus). I’ve captured at least 30 of the in the past year. They seem to be exclusive to this corner of Zambia and the DRC.
Also, find here photos of one of the rarest snakes in the world, exclusive to the NW province of Zambia; Shreve’s Nocturnal Tree snake. Also known as a Shreve’s Marbled Tree Snake (Dipsadoboa shrevei). I’ve had the privilege of catch 2 of these since I’ve been here. They are a beautiful, graceful, docile snake - harmless."
Below is an article by Paul:
Shreve’s Nocturnal Tree Snake
This is not a snake that is likely to be encountered with any regularity by any of us. It is one of the rarest snakes in the world and is exclusive to the north-western corner of Zambia, spilling just over the border into the DRC. During 2013/2014, I have had the privilege of being able to exhibit 2 of these to various groups of students and community members.
According to Dr. Donald G. Broadley, in his book “Snakes of Zambia, an Atlas and a Field Guide” (2003), this snake averages 70cm – 90cm in length as an adult but have been encountered as long as 1.2m. The one in the photos (top/bottom left) was 1.26m and was captured at Kalumbila in the North Western Province. At the time, I had no idea what snake it was.
Described in the book as grey-brown in colour. However, I would describe the two specimens that I have had as black or gunmetal black.
This snake inhabits moist miombo woodland and gallery forest. It’s a nocturnal arboreal (tree-living) snake, living high in the forest canopy seldom venturing to ground level. They exist on a diet of chameleons, tree-living lizards, tree-living frogs and small birds.
After have experienced two of this species, my perception is that it’s a harmless, gentle and graceful snake, that is shy and elusive. Highly unlikely to be seen around human habitation. Does not attempt to bite when approached but will simply try to slip away quietly. The smaller one (above right), was captured after having fell out of a tree onto someone’s house in a densely forested area.
Nothing is known about its breeding habits.
Paul L. Lloyd
Training Systems Coordinator (Program development, Staff Development, Quality Control)
First Quantum Minerals & Operations
North Western Province
Mobile: +260 96 584 5576
Bolder, Smarter, Driven
Disclaimer; We at Snake Professional & 1-2-1 (Animal Handling) Products do NOT advise this method of handling and doing so is at the handlers own risk!