The Sand Snake (Chilomeniscus stramineus) is a small, harmless and striking snake with beautiful pigmentation. Its coloration ranges widely from orange with contrasting black bands to solid brown, or anywhere in between.
Sand Snakes are sometimes known as sand swimmers as they seemingly swim through the sand. These non-venomous cuties are nocturnal and frequently found on sand dunes or anywhere with loose soil, including even rocky outcroppings on occasion. Their tracks look like small curvy indents on the sand between bushes, sometimes littering the dunes.
Interestingly, Cerralvo Island has its own endemic species of sand snake known as Savages Sand Snake that lives only on the island and nowhere else. It’s relatively similar to the somewhat common Sand Snake that shares the mainland with us.
As for the diet of these little reptiles, they eat small invertebrates such as crickets, centipedes, cockroaches and termites. Here in the Cape Region, these snakes are active throughout the year but their peak activity is from mid-March to late August. They are very cold tolerant, and can be found still foraging throughout the night even at temperatures near 16 degrees C (61 degrees F), which is quite cold in the reptile world.