Snakes of Senegal

Echis ocellatus (West-african carpet viper) by marcel_in_mali.

Photo Echis ocellatus (West-african carpet viper) by marcel_in_mali (Flickr)

Snakes of Senegal: an annotated species list

Currently, the presence in Senegal of at least 55 different species has been established with certainty. The data collected simultaneously on the burden of snakebites for public health shows considerable differences according to geographic area, with populations from south-eastern Senegal being more exposed to the risk of death by snakebite.

Poisonous snakes in Senegal

From 1976 to 1999, we conducted a prospective study of overall and cause-specific mortality among the population of 42 villages of south-eastern Senegal. Of 4,228 deaths registered during this period, 26 were brought on by snakebites, 4 by invertebrate stings and 8 by other wild or domestic animals. The average annual mortality rate from snakebite was 14 deaths per 100,000 population. Among persons aged 1 year or more, 0.9% (26/2,880) of deaths were caused by snakebite and this cause represented 28% (26/94) of the total number of deaths by accident. We also investigated the snake fauna of the area. Of 1,280 snakes belonging to 34 species that were collected, one-third were dangerous and the proportion of Viperidae, Elapidae and Atractaspididae was 23%, 11% and 0.6%, respectively. The saw-scaled viper Echis ocellatus was the most abundant species (13.6%). Other venomous species were Causus maculatus (6.5%), Naja katiensis (5.5%), Bitis arietans (2.7%), Elapsoidea trapei (2.4%), Naja nigricollis (1.2%), Naja melanoleuca (1.1%), Atractaspis aterrima (0.4%), Dendroaspis polylepis (0.3%) and Naja haje (0.1%).

Snakes from Senegal – forum post

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