Profile of a black mamba snake

Black mamba

Black mambas actually come in a variety of colours, from pale grey to beige. Their name is derived from the colour of their mouths rather than their skin. Highly venomous and feared throughout their range, black mambas are famed for being the fastest and most dangerous snakes in Africa. The mamba's venom contains a powerful neurotoxin which works by preventing impulses from travelling along the nerves. The victim becomes paralysed and death occurs through respiratory failure.

Scientific name: Dendroaspis polylepis

Rank: Species

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Map showing the distribution of the Black mamba taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Black mamba can be found in a number of locations including: Africa. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Black mamba distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

BBC News about Black mamba