- May 09, 2018
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4 Deadly Reptiles you may find Around your Home in Nigeria
You may consider it very important to get rid of Bushes and Swamps around your environment to avoid the presence of some unwanted visitors and deadly reptiles which can kill. Some Nigerian homes have had to deal with some of these deadly reptiles on different occasions. Some areas with strange cultures like not killing snakes and worshiping snakes have encouraged some snakes to boldly come into house areas without fear of threat or attack.
Sometime ago a Government worker was posted to a new state in the South South part of Nigeria. While cooking at the kitchen she was surprised to look up and find a large python staring back at her. She fled. It was a normal thing for the snake to hang around the kitchen of indigenes when they are cooking because they play with it and feed it but she was unaware of the norm around there.
Some of these reptiles below can be seen around your neighbourhood.
Black Spiting Cobra:
This cobra which is considered very dangerous and aggressive is active during the day and favours dry river beds and sometimes wall holes or trees during hunting migration. It is a shy and elusive snake that is quick to escape if encountered. Bites are extremely rare.
Its venom, like that of all spitting cobras, is potently cytotoxic, causing severe pain, swelling and tissue damage. It also has the ability to spit its venom very effectively and feeds on snakes lizards and frogs.
They are moderately sized snakes that can grow to a length of 1.2 to 2.2 m (3.9 to 7.2 ft) in length. Their coloration and markings can vary considerably. They prey primarily on small rodents. They possess medically significant venom, although the mortality rate for untreated bites on humans is relatively low (~ 5–10%, in endemic regions under 1%).
Like other spitting cobras, they can eject venom from their fangs when threatened (one drop over 7 metres (23 ft) and more in perfect accuracy). The neurotoxic venom irritates the skin, causing blisters and inflammation, and can cause permanent blindness if the venom makes contact with the eyes and is not washed off.
Naja nigricollis belongs to the cobra genus Naja under the family Elapidae. It previously included two subspecies that have been moved to the species Naja nigricincta - the zebra spitting cobra (Naja nigricincta nigricincta) and the black spitting cobra (Naja nigricincta woodi).
It may sound strange to find this Python Snake in a Nigerian neighbourhood but surprisingly they lurk around and attack small animals at unexpected moments. There have been reports of peoples dogs strangled and dragged into the swamp by this strong snake.
The African rock python (Python sebae) is a large, nonvenomous snake of sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of 11 living species in the genus Python. It has two subspecies; one is found in Central and Western Africa, the other in Southern Africa. The sizes of the ones found in your neighbourhood may vary depending on the availability of a comfortable breeding environment for the snake. There are likely to be very large ones if there are swamps around the neighbourhood.
Africa's largest snake and one of the six largest snake species in the world (along with the green anaconda, reticulated python, Burmese python, Indian python, and amethystine python), specimens may approach or exceed 6 m (20 ft). The southern subspecies is generally smaller than its northern relative. The snake is found in a variety of habitats, from forests to near deserts, although usually near sources of water. The snake becomes dormant during the dry season. The African rock python kills its prey by constriction and often eats animals up to the size of antelope, occasionally even crocodiles. The snake reproduces by egg-laying. Unlike most snakes, the female protects her nest and sometimes even her hatchlings.
The snake is widely feared, though it very rarely kills humans. Although the snake is not endangered, it does face threats from habitat reduction and hunting.
Monitor lizards breed in swampy and bushy areas so you may not be surprised to find them around your compound. These reptiles have saliva on their mouth that carries deadly bacteria which can cause fatal infections. These lizards are different from the regular agama lizards seen around which run away from people. The monitor Lizard is very aggressive and threatens an enemy fiercely when attacked.
Monitor lizards are large lizards in the genus Varanus. They are native to Africa, Asia and Oceania, but are now found also in the Americas as an invasive species. A total of 79 species are currently recognized.
Monitor lizards have long necks, powerful tails and claws, and well-developed limbs. The adult length of extant species ranges from 20 cm (7.9 in) in some species, to over 3 m (10 ft) in the case of the Komodo dragon, though the extinct varanid known as megalania (Varanus priscus) may have been capable of reaching lengths of more than 7 m (23 ft). Most monitor species are terrestrial, but arboreal and semiaquatic monitors are also known. While most monitor lizards are carnivorous, eating eggs, smaller reptiles, fish, birds and small mammals, some also eat fruit and vegetation, depending on where they live.
The western green mamba (Dendroaspis viridis), also known as the West African green mamba or Hallowell's green mamba, is a long, thin, and highly venomous snake of the mamba genus, Dendroaspis. This species was first described in 1844 by the American herpetologist Edward Hallowell. The western green mamba is a fairly large and predominantly arboreal species, capable of navigating through trees swiftly and gracefully. It will also descend to ground level to pursue prey such as rodents and other small mammals.
The western green mamba is a very alert, nervous, and extremely agile snake that lives mainly in the coastal tropical rainforest, thicket, and woodland regions of western Africa. Like all the other mambas, the western green mamba is a highly venomous elapid species. Its venom is a highly potent mixture of rapid-acting presynaptic and postsynaptic neurotoxins (dendrotoxins), cardiotoxins and fasciculins. Some consider this species to not be a particularly aggressive snake, but others have suggested that they are extremely nervous and are prone to attack aggressively when cornered. Conflict with humans is low compared to some other species found in the region. Bites to people by this species are quite uncommon. Their mortality rate, however, is high; many of the recorded bites have been fatal. Rapid progression of severe, life-threatening symptoms are hallmarks of mamba bites. Bites with envenomation can be rapidly fatal.