Fun Cool Cape Coral Snake Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 13, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Sep 21, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Check out these awesome Cape coral snake facts!

The Cape coral snake (Aspidelaps lubricus) is a member of the cobra group, endemic to southern Africa and found nowhere else on Earth. The range of this venomous snake includes Karoo, Namibia, South Africa, and a few other places. Their habitat includes deserts or sandy and arid regions.

Aspidelaps lubricus is a bright snake with a reddish-orange to yellow body and distinct black rings. Like other cobras, this venomous snake also has a hood right beneath its head.

However, the hood is not as prominent and narrow in appearance. Being a small snake, its length is usually between 1.6-2 ft (48.7-61 cm).

Its venom is highly deadly for its prey and causes a paralyzing effect. In humans, Cape coral snake bites are not that common since they are known to inhabit regions in southern Africa, where there is a low human population. Nevertheless, its bite can become fatal if not treated in time.

Just like other snakes, reproduction is oviparous in nature. Aspidelaps lubricus has not been assigned any status by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature (IUCN) but is threatened by road accidents, pet trades, and habitat destruction.

To know more about Cape coral snake, keep reading! You can also check out Pacific gopher snake facts and Great Basin gopher snake facts.

Cape Coral Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Cape coral snake?

The Cape coral snake, also known as the Cape coral cobra, is a venomous kind of African snake. This snake has two subspecies under it.

What class of animal does a Cape coral snake belong to?

These snakes belong to the class Reptilia. They are a part of the genus Aspidelaps, which consists of other coral cobras living in Africa.

How many Cape coral snakes are there in the world?

Though the exact population of the Cape coral snake (Aspidelaps lubricus) is not known, it has been observed that their numbers have declined in the wild. A few artificial reasons, such as the illegal pet trade and road accidents, are responsible for this outcome.

Where does a Cape coral snake live?

The Cape coral snake is endemic to southern Africa. Here, their range includes parts of Karoo, Angola, South Africa, Bostwana, Namibia, and Lesotho.

The two subspecies of Aspidelaps lubricus have slightly different geographical ranges. Aspidelaps lubricus lubricus inhabits South Africa and Cape Province, whereas Aspidelaps lubricus cowlesi, or the Angolan coral snake, is found in southern parts of Angola and northern Namibia.

What is a Cape coral snake's habitat?

This African snake inhabits deserts or arid sandy regions in tropical and sub-tropical parts of its natural range. Such places are also characterized by low rainfall and shrub and scrub vegetation. The Cape coral cobra is usually found hiding in tunnels or burrows and even under rocks.

Who does a Cape coral snake live with?

The Cape coral snake (Aspidelaps lubricus) is solitary in nature. So, they are most commonly seen alone, except for the mating season, when they come together to breed.

How long does a Cape coral snake live?

The exact life span of Aspidelaps lubricus is not known, but it has been assumed that this snake lives for 10-15 years. In captivity, their longevity can be longer.

How do they reproduce?

In Aspidelaps lubricus, the breeding season starts in the wintertime. During this time, the snakes feed on more amount of food in order to prepare themselves for the reproduction process.

Once the mating has been successfully carried out, the female lays 3-11 eggs, usually in May or June. After a period of 65 days, the eggs hatch, and the hatchlings come out, developed and capable of survival on their own.

What is their conservation status?

 The conservation status of the Cape coral snake (Aspidelaps lubricus) is not listed in the Red List of the International Union For Conservation Of Nature or IUCN. Even then, these African snakes face threats from being roadkill, habitat degradation, and the illegal pet trade.

Cape Coral Snake Fun Facts

What does a Cape coral snake look like?

The Cape coral snake or cape coral cobra has quite a striking appearance. It has a thin body that appears to be muscular. Its coloration is red-orange to yellow, with distinct and prominent black bands on its back.

These bands can be anywhere in number between 24-48, depending on the size of the snake. Additionally, these bands may also be dark brown or blue. Its body is covered in smooth scale, with the scale located above the mouth being enlarged.

Another distinct feature of this snake is that its head is smaller than the rest of its body. It also has a narrow hood located right below its head. This characteristic is similar to other kinds of cobras.

How cute are they?

This snake may not appear to be cute to most people. However, to snake-enthusiasts, the Cape coral snake is one of the most enticing cobra species. This is the reason why these snakes are so popular in the pet trade.

How do they communicate?

The exact methods of communication have not been well established in the Cape coral snake (Aspidelaps lubricus). In general, snakes are known to communicate through different postures and pheromones.

Additionally, when threatened, the Cape coral snake assumes a striking position by coiling its upper body, assuming an erect posture, and hissing and striking repeatedly. This is a visual form of defense to communicate threats to potential dangers.

How big is a Cape coral snake?

The length of these venomous snakes ranges between 1.6-2 ft (48.7-61 cm). However, some can grow to be as big as 2.5 ft (76.2 cm). Comparing the Cape coral snakes to another kind of cobra, the king cobra, with a length of 18.6 ft (567 cm), the Cape coral snakes are considerably smaller.

How fast can a Cape coral snake move?

Though the exact speed of the Cape coral cobra is not known, these snakes have been observed to hunt and capture their prey with exceptional speed. It only takes a few seconds for these snakes to bite their prey and inject their venom into it.

How much does a Cape coral snake weigh?

The information related to the weight of these snakes is not well-known. In general, cobras can weigh up to 20 lb (9 kg). However, with the Cape coral snake being a smaller species, it definitely weighs on the lower side.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female snakes of this species do not have sex-specific names.

What would you call a baby Cape coral snake?

A baby Cape coral snake is known as a hatchling or a snakelet.

What do they eat?

Like other reptiles, Cape coral snakes are carnivorous in nature. These venomous snakes feed on a variety of small vertebrates like lizards, other small snakes, birds, skinks, rodents, and so on.

They have also been noted to prey on sleeping mammals. Hunting for prey is chiefly done using smell and other senses. One bite from these snakes renders their prey completely paralyzed.

Are they poisonous?

The word 'venomous' is better suited to the Cape coral cobra. The difference between poisonous and venomous is such that venomous animals, such as the Cape coral snake, can directly deliver or inject their venom into the bodies of other animals, whereas poisonous animals are only dangerous if eaten or touched.

The bites of these cobras result in the quick deaths of their prey, as the animals become paralyzed. Even for humans, their venom can cause severe effects.

Would they make a good pet?

Even though Cape coral snakes are very popular in the pet trade because of their appearance, their aggressive nature makes them a risky pet to keep. Hence, this species is only suitable for experienced snake-owners.

Did you know...

The venom of the Cape coral snake has been determined to be potentially neurotoxic to humans. Hence, its venom can negatively alter the human nervous system.

Are Cape coral cobras deadly?

The Cape coral cobra is regarded as a deadly cobra species. One bite from this snake is fatal for the animals it feeds on.

However, in humans, even though their venom can cause serious effects like respiratory failure and paralysis, with urgent care, these effects can be resolved. That being said, the venom of these snakes has not been studied to a great extent, hence, no antivenom has been developed either

Which coral snake is not poisonous?

Coral snakes are part of the Elapidae family, growing up to lengths of 3 ft (91.44 cm), with all being considered to be venomous. In fact, their venom is considered to be the second strongest, right after the black mamba.

However, these snakes are very reclusive in nature and do not resort to biting unless they are stepped on or seriously aggravated.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles from our alligator snapping turtle fun facts and banded sea krait facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable color by number snake coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gowri Rao picture

Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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