Thursday, February 5, 2015

Name That Creature - Round 2

Those of you who know me well, know that one of my biggest fears is snakes.  And coming to Africa for 9 months only kindled that fear.  In the months leading up to our departure for Burundi, I spent WAY too much time on the internet trying to figure out which snakes inhabited Burundi.  Well, we are five months into our time here, and so far, the kids saw one live snake (slithered into the bushes before they could get a good look at it), and we have seen about 4 or 5 small dead snakes (we assume they were killed by locals).  I still keep a close eye on where I am walking, but I was greatly comforted by Carlan, who has served as our ER doc here for over a year and said he has not seen one snake bite come into the ER (someone else already suggested that might be because they all died before getting to Kibuye). 

But, nonetheless, in the last 2 weeks I have come across the following, and again, having limited internet access, I thought I would throw it out there to our blog readers, to see if anyone could identify the following creatures.  Hank, you still with us?

The following was about 12 inches long and moved very quickly (like a snake), but from what I could tell it had no face.  When we asked our house helper he seemed to be trying to tell us that it had a mouth on each end of it's body and that if it got close to you, it would latch on and "suck".  Perhaps some kind of fast moving, extra large leech?

The second one is definitely a snake, but I don't know what kind.  On my way home from work last week I saw some of the workmen standing around this small snake that they had just killed.  Unfortunately, they seem to have bashed in it's head, making identification more difficult, but I thought perhaps someone could identify it based on it's markings.


  1. Well the good news is it is not a black mumba or a green mumba! But I could not figure out what it was. A Burundi blogger indicated that a lot of snakes there hibernate in the winter so you may be seeing more snakes soon. I will see if chase can find the snake in any of his snake books (both he and Logan have been on a roll of get snake books out of the library)

  2. So it looks like the smaller snake may be a type of blind snake called a flower pot snake supposed to be sort of like an earth worm. It is possible that the other one is a mole snake. If so their bites hurt but not dangerous.

  3. Could creature #1 possibly be a land lamprey?