Authored by Rodney Southern in Nature and Wildlife
Published on 09-25-2009
The green mamba is one of the most misunderstood reptiles in Africa. Many people either do not know about the green mamba or they confuse the green mamba with the much more well known black mamba. The black mamba is related, but the green mamba is an entirely different snake. The green mamba is also located in Africa of course, but they are found largely in the trees while the black mamba is found on the ground as a rule.
The green mamba is found in southeast Africa and prefers to stay close to the coastal areas. They are almost exclusively found in the trees, but can very rarely be found on the ground. The green mamba is one of the best climbing snakes in the world. They can navigate the tree branches with incredible agility, and they rival the black mamba with that speed. The black mamba is known to be super fast on the ground and the green mamba is known for the same in the trees.
The green mamba is not as aggressive or toxic as the black mamba, but they are still quite deadly. A bite from the green mamba is still an extreme medical emergency and should be treated as such. The green mamba is much less likely to strike than their hyperactive cousins. This is not always the case, but the green mamba usually will use their speed to simply slink away from you amongst the trees. Another reason the green mamba is considered less dangerous than the black mamba is because they are found in the trees. People are not generally going to cross paths with this snake unless they do something stupid. Still, it is good to pay attention to your surroundings if you are under trees or have to climb for any reason.
The green mamba is in fact green in color. The color is often a vibrant kelly green, and they are often a lighter shade of green underneath. This surely is to aid in the hunting skills of the green mamba, as they blend in incredibly well with the trees they inhabit. It is said that a green mamba can be right in front of you amongst the trees and you may not see them at all.
The green mamba hunts primarily birds and bird eggs, but they also will take lizards and any other animals that they can get to. The green mamba has been known to literally snag birds out of the air when they flew too close to one nesting on a branch. The green mamba is very nimble and accurate. Also, the green mamba tends to bite and hold on, so that the venom will work it’s magic quickly and before the bird can fly away.
Green mambas are long and slender much like the black mamba, and they can grow up to 13 feet in length. The most common size is 9-10 feet, however. The body is very lean, and built for navigation. The green mamba is very much built for life in the trees.