The Rufous Beaked Snake (Rhamphiophis oxyrhynchus) is a species of colubrid from West Africa. It is named for its hooked snout, which it uses to dig burrows, and reddish-brown back scales. It hunts small animals during the day with the help of its venomous bite.[1][2] There are two subspecies, R.o. oxyrhynchus (Reinhardt 1843) and R.o. rostratus (Peters 1854).[3]


The Rufous Beaked Snake is large and stout, with males reaching a maximum length of Template:Convert and females reaching Template:Convert. It has a shortened skull, as with all beaked snakes, giving it a clear distinction between its head and body, as well as a dark brown eyestripe running down the side of its head.[4] Its eyes are large with round pupil. While its back tends to be yellowish-brown to reddish-brown, its belly is cream or yellowish-white.[5]


The Rufous Beaked Snake's range includes north Botswana, north Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Sudan. It primarily inhabits bushveld and thornveld habitats.[5]


Diurnal animals, Rufous Beaked Snakes hunt small animals, including other snakes, but stay in burrows during the hottest part of the day. In the summer, females lay 8-17 cylindrical eggs with dimensions of about Template:Convert over the span of several days.[5] The snake's venom, one of its components of which is a neurotoxin called rufoxin, causes hypotension and circulatory shock in small mammals, but is not dangerous to humans.[2][6]


  1. Rufous-beaked snake. National Zoo. Retrieved on 2008-12-03.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Template:Cite journal
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  4. Template:Cite book
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Template:Cite book
  6. Template:Cite journal


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