Micrelaps vaillanti, Black-headed micrelaps, Somali two-headed snake
Micrelaps vaillanti, also known commonly as the black-headed micrelaps or the Somali two-headed snake, is a species of venomous rear-fanged snake in the family Lamprophiidae. The species is endemic to Africa.
The specific name, vaillanti, is in honor of French herpetologist Léon Vaillant.
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Oviparous animals are female animals that lay their eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. This is the reproductive...
Precocial species are those in which the young are relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth or hatching. Precocial species are normall...
Venom is a type of poison, especially one secreted by an animal. It is delivered in a bite, sting, or similar action. Venom has evolved in terrestr...
M. vaillanti is brown dorsally, with the center of each dorsal scale grayish white. The ventrals are brown in the middle, and whitish on the sides.Show More
Adults may attain a total length of 28.2 cm (11 in), with a tail 32 mm (1+1⁄4 in) long.
The dorsal scales are smooth, without pits, and are arranged in 15 rows at midbody (in 17 rows on the neck). The ventrals number 171-203. The anal plate is divided, and the subcaudals are also divided.
The head is very flattened. The rostral is large, twice as broad as deep, the portion visible from above about ⅔ as long as its distance from the frontal. The internasals are twice as broad as long, and twice as long as the prefrontals. The frontal is small, 1½ times as long as broad, as long as its distance from the end of the snout, much shorter than the parietals. The supraocular is as long as broad. There is one very small postocular. The temporals are arranged 1+1. There are seven upper labials, the third in contact with the prefrontal, the third and fourth (or third, fourth, and fifth) entering the eye. There are four lower labials in contact with the anterior chin shield. The two pairs of chin shields (anterior and posterior) are subequal in size.Show Less
M. vaillanti is found in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, eastern Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.Show More
The preferred natural habitats of M. vaillanti are shrubland and savanna, at altitudes from sea level to 1,800 m (5,900 ft).Show Less