DISTRIBUTION AND DANGER
This snake becomes active at dusk but can often be seen basking near its retreat in the morning. It is found in the hot lowveld areas of Eswatini.
It takes refuge in old termite mounds, holes in the ground, rocky outcrops and will often bask in the sun near its retreat. It may be attracted to the smell of live chickens and can become problematic near chicken runs. When threatened, it will rear up and spread a formidable hood but will retreat given the slightest opportunity. It does not spray venom.
This snake is usually 1.2m to 1.8m in length and can become quite robust (fat) when it reaches full maturity. The colour is grey, light to dark brown, very often the colour of light honey. Mature adults have a broad copper band in the throat. Juvenile snakes will have several lighter bands, which become darker with age. The ventral (stomach) scales are light cream or yellow in colour.
When threatened, it will rear up and spread up its large hood and may hiss a warning. It can be very defensive if threatened and will not hesitate to strike.