Ladismith Fauna

Ladismith wildlife species

Dangerous Snakes

Puff Adder

Lenght: 90cm
Vivid black chevron markings on yellow.

Cape Coral Snake

Lenght: 30-50cm
Orange to red with 20-47 narrow black crossbars running around the body. No anti-venom.

Berg Adder

Lenght: 30-60cm
Greyish olive. Dark triangles down length with pale stripe running from eyes down each side.


Lenght: 1-1.5m
Dark grey/black above and belly with 2-3 irregular pale cross bars across throat. Often feigns death. Spits.

Cape Cobra

Lenght: 1.2-1.6m
Very variable; yellowish to reddish-brown and darker. Spreads hood if threatened.


Lenght: 1.2 – 2m
Most colour variation of all SA snakes. Look for short stubby head and huge eyes. Juvenile’s eyes green.

Non-dangerous Venomous Snakes

Karoo Sand or Whip Snake

Lenght: 75-90+cm
Light speckled grey to brown above with pale belly. Possible stripes along the sides. White rimmed eyes and mouth.

Cape Centipede-eater Snake

Lenght: 30-40cm
Blackish head and light brown to orange-brown body. Usually found in deserted termite mounds or under logs and rocks.

Spotted Grass Snake (Skaapsteker)

Lenght: 45-85cm but known at 1.4m.
Yellowish to silvery with darker zigzag blotches or jagged stripes down length. Belly yellowish with spots & blotches.

Cross-marked Sand Snake

Lenght: 60cm
Silver grey to olive brown with broad dark-edged stripe down back. Bars or blotches on head with crossbars behind head.

Non-venomous And/or Non-fanged Snakes

Common brown water snake

Lenght: 60-85+cm
Olive green to brown with pink/yellow/white belly. Long and slender. Bulging brown eyes. Harmless and unaggressive.

Mole snake (vicious bite)

Lenght: 1-1.4cm
Adults light grey, brown or black with yellowish belly. Juveniles colourful zigzag markings with spots/mottling. Bites readily.

Common (Brown) House Snake

Lenght: 60-90cm
Uniformly light to reddish-brown above (often with blotches on lower half of body). Two light stripes running from nose, across top of eyes and part-way down body. The other from bottom of eye to end of mouth.

Common (Rhombic) Egg Eater Snake

Lenght: 45-75+cm
Light with dark squarish blotches down the back. V-shaped marking on nape of neck. Belly white, often flecked.


Parabuthus Capensis

Lenght: Up to 10cm long.
Light yellow to orange, (depending on the region), and has a dark orange/red stinger. It can be found under rocks. Sting can be fatal.

Uroplectes lineatus

Lenght: Small to medium size (3-6cm).
Painful sting, aggressive. Found under rocks.


Lenght: Large, up to 18cm long.
Known as “Burrowing Scorpions”. Big pincers, relatively thin tail. Use mouthparts to dig burrows and hiss as a defence mechanism.

Lizards, Geckos, etc.

Little Karoo Dwarf Chameleon

Lenght: 80-150mm long.
Well-developed casque, (raised structure on back of head). Dorsal crest extends along the entire length of the body and halfway along the tail.

Spotted Thick-toed Gecko

Lenght: 48-58mm long.
Found on inland escarpments of Western Cape. Eat insects.

Southern Rock Agama

Lenght: 100mm long.
Prefer mountainous areas. Diurnal. Males develop a white vertebral stripe and bluish throat during breeding season.

Cape Legless Skink

Lenght: 200-240mm long.
It is golden-brown with tiny black spots. It is usually found burrowing in dry sand as well as beneath boulders, dead trees and other detritus. It gives birth to 2-4 live young in summer.

Swartberg Dwarf Chameleon

Lenght: 120mm long.
Found in montane fynbos. Reduced casque and tail shorter than body.

Cape Gecko

Lenght: 100mm long.
Strongly keeled tubercles.

Karoo Girdled Lizard

Lenght: 90-105mm long.
Colouration varies greatly. Normally dark brown but can be black in cold areas, e.g. Towerkop. Thick scales run down the back and tail, protecting vulnerable underparts.

Western Rock Skink

Lenght: 60-80mm
Prefer drier, rocky areas. Females (& young) chocolate to olive-brown with longitudinal stripes. Belly dirty white. Males don’t have longitudinal stripes & become infused with black; in some areas completely (above).

Bibron’s Tubercled Gecko

Lenght: 150–200mm long.
Nocturnal, prefers rocky areas. Readily moves into homes (lights attract insects). Common.

Swartberg Leaf-toed Gecko

Lenght: 100mm long.
Found in North facing rocky areas at altitudes of 1300 -2000m.

Cape Skink

Lenght: 80-135mm
Widespread in SA. A large, often fat skink, with three stripes running down its back. Its skin is olive-brown to gray; between the stripes and on its flanks are lots of small dark spots. Belly is greyish white.

Frogs and Toads

Cape Raucous Toad

Lenght: 90-110mm long.
Dark bar on head between eyes. Habitats include farms & gardens. Breeds in water, but spends most time away from water. Visits houses where insects attracted to lights; establishing itself in moist, sheltered spot. If injured exudes whitish venom; can be hazardous to dogs.

Cape River Frog

Lenght: 120mm long.
Occurs near water, at least seasonal. Upper body is grey, green or brown; underside is smooth and white with grey/brown mottling on the throat.

Clicking Stream Frog

Lenght: 64mm long(Medium sized).
Long hind legs. Upper surface has darker spots on a lighter brown to grey background and a vertebral stripe. Underside is smooth and white. Call is a short click repeated monotonously. Found throughout Western Cape, excluding driest areas.



Lenght: Shoulder height H = 50cm.
Prefers open country.


Lenght: Shoulder height H = 75cm.
Usually in riverine bush.

Common Duiker

Lenght: Shoulder height H = 50cm.
Flees then stops to look back.

Grey Rhebok

Lenght: Shoulder height H = 75cm.
Rocky areas.


Lenght: Shoulder height H = 55cm.
Mountainous areas.


Lenght: Shoulder height H = 145cm.
Prefers woodland.


Leopard (Bergskilpad)

Lenght: Typically 40cm long and 13kg.
Between May and Oct female digs a hole and lays a clutch of 5 – 30 eggs. As many as 5-7 clutches may be laid in a single season. Incubation takes 8-15 months depending on temp.


Lenght: Can reach 25cm and 2kg.
The only tortoises in Africa with a single throat shield. Usually only a single, oval-shaped egg is laid. Each female may potentially lay up to 6 times a year. The egg hatches after 4 to 14 month.

Karoo tent or Geometric

Lenght: About 12 cm, 0.3kg.
Very rare, endangered and small; (males smaller than females). A clutch of 1 – 3 eggs buried, young emerge in late summer or early autumn.

Parrot beak (Common padloper)

Lenght: Very small, 11cm and 0.25kg.
Flattish shell. Spends most of its time hiding under rocks, foliage, and other cover. It lays a clutch of 2–4 eggs, which hatch 5–11 months later – usually on a misty, overcast day.