While both black and green mambas are very poisonous snakes, there are a number of significant distinctions between the two. But how can you distinguish between these two snakes, especially if you are unsure of what makes them unique? These two snakes reside in comparable regions and are members of the same family or species.
The distinctions between a black mamba and a green mamba, including their physical characteristics and favored foods, will all be covered in this article. The genuine differences between black and green mambas could surprise you! Start by learning more about these misunderstood snakes right away.
Black And Green Mamba Snake
The Elapidae family includes the green mamba. The family is known to have poisonous tropical and subtropical snakes that are hazardous. The Greek and Latin languages are the source of its scientific name, dendroaspis angusticeps.
The Latin term “anguticeps,” which is divided into the parts “angustus,” which means “narrow,” and “capes,” which means “head,” and the Greek word “dendroaspis,” which means “tree snake.”
The snake is also known by the nicknames “green mamba,” “white-mouthed mamba,” “eastern green mamba,” and “western green mamba.” The Green Mamba is not recognized for having a particularly lengthy lifespan; either in the wild or in captivity, it can survive for about 12 to 20 years.
Mamba nigra. A well-known poisonous snake in Africa is the black mamba, Dendroaspis polylepis. Being the second-fastest and second-longest poisonous snake in the world, it is a very significant member of the snake family. Their size might reach two and a half meters.
There have, however, occasionally been examples that were longer than four meters. It’s intriguing how they acquired their popular name because, although having drab yellowish-green to metallic-grey bodies, black interiors to their mouths, giving them the moniker “black mambas.”
They frequently inhabit sugarcane fields and are highly suited to a variety of settings. Black mambas imitate cobras when they’re agitated by extending their neck flaps, and they employ their quickness to avoid danger rather than to hunt. Additionally, while traveling on the ground, they retain a sizable chunk off it.
Being bitten by a black mamba may deliver more than 120 milligrams of venom, which contains neurotoxins to paralyze muscles, making it highly uncommon to see someone survive. An individual bitten by a black mamba will often pass away in 30 minutes. To quickly paralyze their victim, they hit it repeatedly. In the wild, they survive for around 11 years, and longer in captivity.
Mamba vert. The Eastern or common mamba, D. angusticeps, and the D. viridis species are the two types of green mambas (western green mamba). The Western green mamba is a long, slender, poisonous snake that is endemic to Western Africa, whereas the Eastern green mamba is a snake that is native to the Eastern region of Southern Africa.
Although green mambas are the smallest of all mambas or members of the genus Dendroaspis, they may still grow to lengths of two meters. Both green mambas have bright green bellies and are shiny and green in color.
But in Western green mamba species, but not in Eastern species, the glossy green scales, particularly on the skull, have a thin black outline. They can conceal themselves in the African evergreen woods because to their body colors. Additionally, they frequently live in mango farms.
The venom of green mambas, which is used to prey on tiny animals, contains neurotoxins such as dendrotoxin and calcicludine.
Although a green mamba’s bite only injects a little amount of venom, therapies should be initiated very away to save the victim’s life. In the wild, green mambas often live 15 to 25 years.
Difference In Mamba Habitats
Living in trees are green mambas.
They are great climbers, and their green hue complements the green foliage wonderfully. The bulk of green mambas spend their time weaving between tree branches, while some, like the western green mamba, are known to occasionally hunt on the ground.
However, black mambas are classified as terrestrial, which means they spend most of their time on the ground, where they search through grasslands, burrows, and rock crevices.
However, I don’t believe this portrayal of the black mamba is totally accurate. Additionally, these snakes are skilled tree climbers.
They are frequently observed rummaging through the branches in search of food. When it comes to climbing trees, they are just as skilled as their rivals in the green.
When it rains more than 150 centimeters per year, green mambas live in coastal areas that are dark, thick, and low in elevation (often at least 1.500 meters above sea level). The species can also be found in agricultural trees, thickets, alpine forests, and dunes (like mango and coconut trees).
It’s interesting to note that the green mamba is rumored to enter the gardens of suburban and townhouses if there are bushes growing next to an open window or to hide in homes with thatched roofs. Southern East Africa, especially in South Africa, is where the Eastern green mamba is frequently seen (in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province),
Tanzania (particularly Zanzibar), Mozambique, Malawi, Kenya’s southern provinces, the eastern sections of Zambia, and Zimbabwe are among the countries mentioned. The sole distinction between Western and Eastern green mambas is that the latter may also be found in forest settings. Both species seek a similar habitat.
The Western green mamba is found in a number of nations, including Gabon, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Togo in just the Aledjo and Kara areas, and the southern Senegal.
Due to their preference for hot, humid surroundings, black mambas are well-known for inhabiting wet savannah, lowland forests, semi-arid dry savannah, rocky slopes or hills, and open woodland settings.
The black mamba can be found in these habitats in granite hillocks and termite moulds because they prefer the confined spaces they may find there.
Where heights above 1.000 meters, it is difficult to locate the black mamba. In the Eastern and Southwest parts of Africa, there is a sizable population of black mambas.
South Africa, Cameroon, Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Botswana, Ethiopia, Burundi, Somalia, South Sudan, and Namibia are among the nations where one may see the black mamba.
Black And Green Mamba Size Difference
They may grow to a maximum length of over 15 feet and often reach a length of 7-9 feet. That snake indeed is long! In fact, after the king cobra, they are the second-longest poisonous snake species in the world.
The western mamba is the species of mamba that is the shortest.
They range in length from 4.5 to 7 feet on average, with the longest reaching just under 8 feet. To conceive of a seven foot long snake as little is hilarious, in my opinion!
The Jameson and eastern mambas are similar in size to one another.
The Jameson mamba typically grows to a height of five to seven feet, while the eastern mamba grows to a length of six to eight feet. The Jameson mamba, on the other hand, may grow to a maximum length of about nine feet, whilst the eastern mamba appears to have peaked at a length closer to eight feet.
Black Mamba vs Green Mamba: Appearance
An other physical distinction between a black and a green mamba is that they are not the same size or weight. Black mambas appear in colors of gray, brown, and cream, while green mambas live true to their moniker and come in hues of green, yellow, and turquoise.
Contrary to popular belief, black mambas rarely have black skin. Instead, they get their name from the color of the inside of their lips, whereas green mambas have pink mouths. These snakes have similar head shapes, however the black mamba has a hood like that of a cobra whereas the green mamba has not.
It’s noteworthy to observe that the pupils of both of these very poisonous snakes are rounded. While many non-poisonous snake species have spherical pupils, several venomous snake species have vertical pupil slits. The very deadly black and green mambas, on the other hand, do not fall within this category.
Difference In Black And Green Speed
A green mamba moves at a pace of around 7 mph.
That is very similar to the speed at which the average jogger runs. Not bad considering they are moving on their bellies rather than their legs and feet while wearing shoes!
However, the black mamba is quicker, reaching speeds of up to 12.5 mph. That’s quick! Can you move that quickly on your belly?
Despite their speed, they still aren’t quick enough to disprove the many urban legends that claim they pursue and pass humans. Another misconception I’ve heard is that they can outrun a horse.
They are a snake, but they’re not THAT quick.
Black Mamba vs Green Mamba: Behavior
Although both black mambas and green mambas favor solitude over conflict, there are notable behavioral variations between them. For instance, although black mambas make every effort to avoid people, green mambas frequently reside in populous regions. More so than green mambas, black mambas have a particularly terrible reputation.
Another behavioral distinction between these two snakes is that, when frightened, black mambas can leap to great heights, but green mambas cannot. Similar to cobras, black mambas also employ their short hoods to make themselves look larger. Any danger makes green mambas flee, frequently traveling more than 7 miles per hour!
Difference In Black And Green Mamba Venom
These are certainly venomous snakes, but it appears like the black mamba is the most threatening of the four. This is due to a few factors.
More stronger venom comes from black mambas. Scientists use a test known as LD50 to gauge how potent venom is.
Basically, this gauges how much venom is required to kill half the test animals, which are normally mice. The LD50 for green mambas is about.75mg. This indicates that 0.75 mg of green mamba venom is required to kill 50% of the mice given that dosage.
The LD50 of the black mamba, on the other hand, is closer to.33mg. The same number of mice may be killed with half as much venom!
When biting, black mambas often inject more venom than their green counterparts. Black mambas typically sting with 120mg of venom each bite, compared to green mambas’ average venom dosage of 80mg. This makes the snake bite very hazardous when coupled with the stronger venom!
The four mamba species are all violent, but black mambas are the most so. Don’t be fooled by this. They still choose hiding and running over attacking. In fact, they have been seen running away when people get within 30 to 40 yards of them. However, when they do attack, they do it violently and deliberately, frequently biting many times.
All four mamba species possess so-called neurotoxins. The venom contains poisons that target the neurological system.
They may result in conditions including cardiovascular collapse and respiratory failure, both of which are fatal.
Antivenom was developed because a mamba snake bite almost always resulted in death. Thanks to contemporary technology, mamba bite-related deaths are now far less common.
Black Mamba vs Green Mamba: Diet and Hunting Style
When you consider their regional differences, black and green mambas have different diets. While green mambas consume birds, their eggs, tiny bats, and lizards, black mambas devour bush infants, hyraxes, birds and their young, mammals, and other snakes.
Birds and bird eggs are the main source of food for green mambas since they spend much of their time on trees and branches. In comparison to green mambas, black mambas may kill larger prey and spend more time on the ground.
In the battle of venom with the green mamba, the black mamba triumphs. In actuality, one of the 10 most poisonous snakes in the world is the black mamba. The biggest poisonous snake in Africa, the black mamba, not only has potent venom, but it also frequently delivers many bites while interacting with prey or threats.
Physical Differences Between Black And Green Mambas
We have already discussed how the four mambas differ physically from one another. One is black, one is green, and they all become longer in different ways.
The largest change of all can occasionally be the most difficult to spot, especially on a moving snake.
It is known as scalation. Scalation, or the scales and scale patterns of a snake, is one of the key characteristics that distinguishes different snake species.
A snake’s body contains scales, each of which is uniquely identified. The nasals, for instance, are the scales that surround a snake’s nostrils. The range of names for the scales that surround the lips is endless.
Scientists can identify a snake’s species by counting the scales in a particular place.
Vipers have nostrils that are positioned in one large nasal scale, but many grass snakes and rat snakes have nostrils that are situated between nasal scales.
The dorsal scales on mambas are the ones I want to draw attention to. On the sides and rear of snakes, they are the primary scales. You can count them close to the head, in the center of the body, or around a heads length above the vent on their back.
By moving diagonally from one side of the snake to the other, you may count them in rows.