Barbie's garden Bugs & Pests Gardening Home page features Miscellaneous

Snake in the compost heap!

Slug EaterI was working in the garden again (hehee!) and decided  to turn over the compost heap! This always a surprise to see how beautiful all the kitchen scraps and the garden cutting turn to this dark, rich compost! I also find that it is never smelly nor any flies! I have found the strangest creatures in it at times – a frog – a mouse nest – now, I found a slug eater. It rolled out like a tied up knot (I nearly missed it – it was very small). This seems to be a typical postition. My hubby is really good at identifying snakes and he immediately knew it was a slug eater – in afrikaans it is called a tabakrolletjie (a Tobacco Roll).  A harmless and useful snake in the garden.

Slug Eater – Duberria lutrix – harmless/non-poisonous

Names in other languages:- Afrikaans: Slakvreter, tabakrolletjie

Average Length: 25 cm

Habits:- A small, slow moving, docile little snake. When caught, an unpleasant smelling secretion may be expelled from glands at the base of the tail. Useful in that it keeps down the snail population. It seldom attempts to bite but chooses to roll up tight into a spiral with head concealed, hence the Afrikaans name meaning “Tobacco Roll”.

Food:- Slugs and snails.

Reproduction: Viviparous. Produce 6-22 young, born in late summer

Enemies: Predatory birds and other snakes.

Habitat: Grasslands, moist savanna, lowland forest and fynbos. In my case, the compost heap!

By Barbara

Country living is the best! Being a true spirit of the earth, my garden is all about vegetables and fruit trees and herbs and chickens roaming free. I was keen to really start gardening when we moved to Philadelphia in 2005, but not your typical suburban-type garden – sterile and bug-free! I wanted an edible garden.

5 replies on “Snake in the compost heap!”

Comments are closed.