American Journal of Zoological Research
ISSN (Print): 2373-678X ISSN (Online): 2373-6771 Website: Editor-in-chief: Apply for this position
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Zoological Research. 2014, 2(3), 41-45
DOI: 10.12691/ajzr-2-3-1
Open AccessArticle

Diversity of Snakes at the University of Dodoma Campus, Tanzania

Rajeev Vats1, and Ignas Safari1

1School of Biological Sciences, The University of Dodoma, Tanzania

Pub. Date: June 19, 2014

Cite this paper:
Rajeev Vats and Ignas Safari. Diversity of Snakes at the University of Dodoma Campus, Tanzania. American Journal of Zoological Research. 2014; 2(3):41-45. doi: 10.12691/ajzr-2-3-1


Background: Tanzania is internationally recognized as a key country for the conservation of African biological diversity. This country’s rich biodiversity is a reflection of its unique geographical position and climatic variations. The herpetofauna in Tanzania has a wide range of vertical and horizontal distribution. However, the field of herpetology has always received less priority in Tanzania. Methods: Visual encounter survey method was employed for snake collection. The study area was visited almost regularly and all snake species observed were recorded / collected. During regular surveys, searching was conducted in all possible microhabitats such as in shade, under boulder and logs, alongside of streams, agricultural field, forest, bushes and human settlements during day time. The killed snake species were collected and preserved in 10% formalin for further study. Result: A total of 16 snake species belonging to 12 genera and 7 families were documented at the campus of the University of Dodoma from February 2009 to April 2014. Out of all the species, 5 belong to family Colubridae,6 to Lamprophiidae andone species each belong to family Elapidae, Viperidae, Atractaspididae, Boidae, and Pythonidae. Among the recorded species3 are deadly venomous, 7 are mild venomous and the remaining 6 are non-venomous. Conclusions: Although the most common snake at the campus is a highly venomous snake, the puff adder, no fatalities associated with snake bites were recorded at the university during the study period. For the conservation of snakes in Tanzania, public awareness regarding the importance of snake to keep the ecosystem in balanced condition is essential. The snake biodiversity of Tanzania is unparalleled on mainland Africa, and nowhere is this more apparent than in its forest herpetofauna. Though, the endemics for which the nation is so renowned are seriously threatened by habitat loss and overexploitation for the wildlife trade.

snakes diversity venomous snakes University of Dodoma Tanzania

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


Figure of 2


[1]  Parker H.W. Dr. Karl Jordan’s expedition to South West Africa and Angola. Herpetological Collections. Novit. Zool. 1936, 40: 115-146.
[2]  Laurant R.F. Apercu de la biogeographie des batracienset des reptiles de la region des grandslacs. Bull. Soc. Zool. France, 1954, 79(4): 290-310.
[3]  Loveridge A. On a fourth collection of reptiles, mostly taken in Tanganyika territory by Mr.C. J. P. Ionides. Proc. zool. Soc. London, 1959, 133(1): 29-44.
[4]  Rand A.S. A new subspecies of Chameleojacksoni Boulenger and a key to the species of three-horned chamaeleons. Breviora, 1958, 99: 1-8.
[5]  Rand A.S. Notes on the Chamaeleobitaeniatuscomplex. Bull. Mus. com. Zool., Harvard, 1963, 130(1): 1-29.
[6]  Vesey-Fitzgerald D.F. A guide to the snakes of the Tanzania and Kenya borderlands. J. E. Africa nat. Hist. Soc. & Natn. Mus., 1975, 149: 1-26.
[7]  Broadley D.G. & Howell K.M. A Check List of the Reptiles of Tanzania, with Synoptic Keys. Syntarsus, 1991, 1: 1-70.
[8]  White, F. The Vegetation of Africa. Paris: United Nations, UNESCO, 1983. 365 pp.
[9]  Spawls, S., Howell, K., Drewes, R., & Ashe, J. A field guide to the reptiles of East Africa. Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. Academic Press: London & San Diego. 2004.
[10]  Spawls S, and Branch B. The Dangerous Snakes of Africa.Ralph Curtis Books. Dubai: Oriental Press. 192 pp.
[11]  McDiarmid, R.W., Campbell, J.A. & Touré, T.A. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographical Reference, vol. 1. The Herpetologists’ League, Washington, DC. 1999.
[12]  Sharma, B.D. Snakes: The Specialized Reptiles: in Sharma. In Snakes in India: a sourcebook (Eds. B.D. Sharma and T.K. Kumari). Asiatic Publishing House, Delhi, India. 1999.
[13]  Razzetti Edoardo and Msuya C. A. Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Arusha National Park (Tanzania). Varese (Italy) by Pubblinova Edizioni Negri and IstitutoOikos.2002.
[14]  Leirs, H. Management of rodents in crops: The Pied Piper and his orchestra. In G. R. Singleton, L. A. Hinds, C. J. Krebs, & D. M. Spratt (Eds.), Rats, mice and people: Rodent biology and management (pp. 183-190). Canberra, Australia: ACIAR. 2003.