Snakes

104 posts / 0 new
Last post
Rick N
Rick N's picture
Snakes

Inspired by Shortys recent post on reptiles here are some Brown Snake shots

from a recent visit to Lincoln National Park.

Please feel free to add as many snaky shots as you like.

timrp
timrp's picture

Awesome shots! I love snakes but I wish I could see more than I do. If only I had my camera when I saw a Diamond Python!

Lachlan
Lachlan's picture

Same here; I hardly ever see snakes at all.

I cetainly don't think I'd be brave enough to get as close to the (Brown?) snake in picture 3 as you have. 

rawshorty
rawshorty's picture

Excellent shots, Rick.

I have to say i really do love snakes.

I have not seen any at my wetlands yet this year but here is a brown at the entrance to a bird hide from last year.

Shorty......Canon gear

Canberra

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rawshorty/ 

WhistlingDuck

Fantastic shots of those snakes Rick.

A couple of days ago I suddenly found myself right beside this one a bush track in NW sydney, it had its tail across the track and wouldn't move off.

I don't know anything about snakes, does anyone know what type of snake it is? ... only quite small about 75cm long i would guess.

timrp
timrp's picture

Thats not a snake its a legless lizard, that one is a type of Scaly Foot probably Common or Eastern.

timrp
timrp's picture

Yeah definately a Common Scaly Foot. Eastern Hooded Scaly Foots are out of range. Ive never seen one.

WhistlingDuck

Thanks Tim !  I found some pics of Common Scaly Foot and that definitely is it.

Very snake like though.

Annie W
Annie W's picture

Oh very nice, love the first especially, classic shot with the tongue in full flick!  

NW Tasmania

darinnightowl
darinnightowl's picture

A nice spot for catching a bit of morning sun, I sit in the same spot on the green seat ,it got there first .

See it!  Hear it!

Mid-North Coast NSW

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Loving the snake photos, that looks like a good size darrinightowl, any idea of species?

The first is of Tiger Snake Notechus Scutatus, taken today, at it's release site. It was captured and relocated to a safer place for the people involved (probably safer for the snake as well). The last photo is of Agro, I have posted Agro before, he (I think he) is an example of the colour variations available. Hopefully will remember the camera next snake call, and be able to post something of better quality than the phone.

Any objection to captive snakes? We hold some at a friends house (my wife won't allow me to keep them here), which are either injured and being rehabilitated, or for various reasons, not suitable for release. We also do "public awareness" displays for Reptile Rescue.

1.3 metre tiger snake

Agro

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Lachlan
Lachlan's picture

Wow, Agro has such intricate colouring. Is he a Tiger Snake too?

Saw my first snake of the year on the weekend; was quite pleased- I rarely ever seem to come across snakes. 

How do you guys find them all?

Rick N
Rick N's picture

Go for it Dale, the more snakes the better ☺

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Agro is a Tasmanian Tiger snake (Notechus scutatus) apparently slight differences between them and their mainland cousins. My snake sightings usually are as a result from an unwanted specimen too close to people, via Reptile Rescue. Although I have had a couple of sightings of snakes crossing the road. A lot of people will never see a snake in the wild, as they tend to be retiring (Tasmanian snakes anyway), that is they would rather escape than pick a fight. Our snakes only become aggressive if you tread on one, get it cornered or try and catch/kill it, or become between its mate or food source.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Wollemi
Wollemi's picture

Love all of the snake pics! Just lovely!

Such amazing animals with so many beautiful patterns and colours.

timmo
timmo's picture

I had a sad encounter with a snake the other day -  a large python crossing the road.

I didn't see it till it was too late to stop, but it was longer than my car is wide and I ran over it's rear few inches (rather than running over it's head).

Dale, do you have any advice on what to do in this situation?

Other than drive slower and look further ahead of course, which I will be doing from now on.

I came back later and it had disappeared (presumably into the bush).

Cheers
Tim
Brisbane

Rick N
Rick N's picture

Agro seems an apt name for that lovely tiger Dalesmiley

These from last Xmas at Weebubbie Cave, King or Western Brown? not sure,

but it was big.

GregL
GregL's picture

Last year my wife's cat had a fight with an eastern brown. The cat approached the brown, then the brown struck at the cat and it was a full on fight, the brown striking repeatedly at the cat and the cat hissing and yowling as it went for the snake (right in front of our house). All very exciting, the brown eventually took off, I retreated to a safe distance. I have seen browns get aggressive before, it is a species you should never ever approach unless you are feeling extremely foolhardy. You don't get any warning, they just go into attack mode and move very fast.

That said, if you wear sturdy clothes and give snakes plenty of respect you have close to zero chance of being bitten.

Rick N
Rick N's picture

That would have been immpressive to watch!!

I am very careful with my snake interactions, full clothing, gaiters.

I let them approach me and don't crowd them.

I have had a tiger right next to me as I sat on a tripod stool rearranging my pack,

I only knew it was there at all when it slithered over my boot and into some low

samphire, then it couldn't be seen at all.

Also carry compression bandage at all times.

zosterops
zosterops's picture

There are heaps of Copperheads at local wetlands, I counted 8 (and was within a metre of stepping on one) whilst doing bird surveys. 

rawshorty
rawshorty's picture

Snakes should be respected and not feared. There are very few deaths from snake bite in Australia. I hear all the time people saying that the Brown is agressive but in my experience with thousands of encounters this is not true!

It's funny, people who have a weight problem are not afraid of a bucket of deep fried chicken but fear snakeslaugh

I have only experienced cranky Tiger snakes, one even tapped me on the leg once to let me know he was there ( i did nearly step on him).

Anyway here is a shot of a Tiger crossing Talbingo dam a few years ago, during this time of year there are many of them crossing the lake looking for the girls wink

Shorty......Canon gear

Canberra

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rawshorty/ 

GregL
GregL's picture

There are on average a couple of snakebite deaths every year, mostly eastern browns with occasional taipans. Browns are fine, I see them all the time, until they decide to strike. You can never tell when they will decide to strike, you can see them a thousand times but the next time may be when they have a go. Because their speed is so fast you should fear them and keep well away.

rawshorty
rawshorty's picture

GregL wrote:

There are on average a couple of snakebite deaths every year, mostly eastern browns with occasional taipans. Browns are fine, I see them all the time, until they decide to strike. You can never tell when they will decide to strike, you can see them a thousand times but the next time may be when they have a go. Because their speed is so fast you should fear them and keep well away.

I will always respect them but will never fear them. As for their speed, they are not that fast, if the Brown had not left, your wifes cat would have killed it.

Shorty......Canon gear

Canberra

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rawshorty/ 

GregL
GregL's picture

It is their strike that is fast. The snake could have left without striking, there was plenty of cover to hide it but it chose to stay and fight. I see red belly blacks all the time, have seen them rear up but never strike. I had a brown in my greenhouse once, it got in but couldn't get out, it was thrashing around all over the place. They just have a natural agression which most snakes don't have, that is why they cause so many deaths.

rawshorty
rawshorty's picture

GregL wrote:

It is their strike that is fast. The snake could have left without striking, there was plenty of cover to hide it but it chose to stay and fight. I see red belly blacks all the time, have seen them rear up but never strike. I had a brown in my greenhouse once, it got in but couldn't get out, it was thrashing around all over the place. They just have a natural agression which most snakes don't have, that is why they cause so many deaths.

Your Brown was trapped and that is why it was agressive, if you corner a Kangaroo he will also be agressive towards you.

Anyway we could go on all night but my point is i have no fear of Browns and nore should you or anyone else.

Shorty......Canon gear

Canberra

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rawshorty/ 

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Timmo, not much you can do in that situation. Most deaths occur when the head or the lungs become compressed and damaged when run over, or they are deliberately skittled. Your Python will likely survive with no ill affects. You should not try and catch or approach a snake you believe is injured, but try and contact an expert, not always easy.

The last snakebite death in Tasmania was 1977, a careless handler. I did read about a death in WA a few days ago, and another in Victoria a few months ago.  I have heard of several recent mainland bites, non fatal. Our snakes are shy and retitiring, will escape rather than bite. Only when cornered or harassed will they defend themselves, and often the first bite is a dry bite (I speak only for Tasmanian snakes). Usually when we rescue/relocate them, we grab them by the tail as they are trying to escape. Have caught 7 in the past 3 weeks, so as the weather warms, they are becoming more active.

Should there be interest, I can post some I formation about snakebite first aid, the same treatment applies Australia wide for venomous species.

I have not been to visit our captives since my last post, but shall endeavour to do so soon and hopefully post some shots.

Loving all they photos and comments about snakes, I think they are my favourite animal, perhaps birds are there too!

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

GregL
GregL's picture

The rate of snakebite deaths does seem to have increased over the last couple of decades. Brown snakes are so venomous that you can die before you get to hospital. They sometimes cause a condition called coagulopathy. According to the CSL;

"However, it is coagulopathy which is the hallmark of brown snake envenoming. There is consumption of circulating fibrinogen, with production of breakdown products. The defibrination may be total within 30 mins of the bite. Fortunately, platelets are often not affected, at least initially. In these patients with complete defibrination, the INR will be >12 (actually infinity), the fibrinogen unmeasurably low and degradation products massively elevated. The patient is at risk of major haemorrhage and fatal intracerebral haemorrhages do occur. Anything causing hypertension is to be avoided. Antivenom is the best way to reverse this devastating coagulopathy but large amounts may be required. FFP is usually not needed and is contraindicated until all circulating venom has been neutralised with adequate antivenom, except if there is severe, life threatening haemorrhage."

The increase in deaths is probably mainly due to more people living in areas where brown snakes are common. Maybe also to the high rate of 4x4 ownership encourageing more people into the bush.

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

For first aid advice, first link is from Reptile Rescue Inc. this refers primarily to Tasmanian Snakes, but he First Aid will be the same for all venomous species. PIB refers to a "Pressure Immobilisation Bandage". 

**Important the Reptile Rescue Phone number is for Tasmania only, I am not sure we have contacts for other states at this time**

We are lucky in Tasmania, as the Anti Venom is the same for all 3 species. Not quite so lucky on the big island, but species can be identified with the appropriate test kit (refer To second link), and so it is not necessary to take the snake to hospital with you.

There is some good information on both sites, worth a look if your interested.

CSL Greg refers to provides useful information for those interested, see second link below. 

http://www.reptilerescue.org.au/page18/intro.html

http://www.toxinology.com/generic_static_files/cslavh_antivenom.html

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Woko
Woko's picture

There are reports that brown snakes are seen with increasing frequency in Adelaide, even in the CBD would you believe! It's believed that the snakes are using drains as corridors.

We can expect this sort of occurrence as human numbers increase & encroach on snake habitat. It seems brown snakes are learning to adapt. Would that all native creatures could do likewise.

My view is that with commonsense & respect there should be little danger from most snake species. However, I recall that commonsense went out the window some years ago when a drunkard was swimming in the River Murray, saw a snake swim by, grabbed it & tried to bite its head off. The snake did what snakes do in such circumstances & defended itself. Quite successfully, as the drunkard died from his indiscretion. I suspect that a goodly proportion of deaths from snake bites are of a similar ilk. A bit like the suicidal young man in WA recently who jumped into the sea from a boat & mounted a whale carcass while sharks were nearby. The problem is that many people are then prone to talk of rogue snakes & sharks with devastating results.

GregL
GregL's picture

When I saw the brown snake and cat fighting I was absolutely terrified. It was so fast, loud and violent my heart was right in my mouth, I was very relieved when the snake finally took off. Animals, especially wild animals, have a way of scaring you that you don't normally get in ordinary life. I once had an uncomfortably close call with a hippo while in a rowing boat, it was really terrifying for just a few seconds.

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Finally got to visit "our" snakes the other day, unfortunately was by myself, so taking decent photos was difficult. These are all Tiger snakes. Here are a few photos. They were all sheltering under a piece of cladding, and so I had to hold the tin up with one hand, while attempting to take pics with the other.  We keep injured snakes until they recover and can be released. We also participate in displays, raising public awareness, and so some specimens from built up suburban areas are also kept. Snakes are a bit like Brushtail Possums, do not have a great survival rate, if moved too far from their home range.

The first is of our most recent edition, about a metre, was removed from a residential yard.

This one shows graphically some colour variations, and no the light coloured one is not Agro (photo in previous post). There are four individuals in this photo. The distortion in the belly of the light colour is suggestive that it has recently eaten. We feed our captive snakes mice, rat and rabbit joeys (if that is the correct term), bred and frozen specifically for the reptile market. Reptiles are a big "pet" item on the mainland, particularly non venomous species. In Tasmania, we are not allowed to keep non indigenous species at this time, only specimens native here. It is required to hold a permit. Some species, such as the Chapel Island Tiger Snake are not allowed to be kept, withou a special "scientific" permit, and so most cannot keep.

This shot shows again the group. The large all black specimen is Boof, she is approx. 1.5 metres. My colleague, Nat, was called to remove her from a property, but when she arrived, Boof was already contained. Boof is very placid and easily handled, and we believe she may have been in captivity for several years, and her keeper no longer wished to look after her, and called Reptile Rescue. There are only 3 here, as the 1st snake pictured left the group (photo 1 is actually the last in the sequence, showing it moving away).

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Rick N
Rick N's picture

Great group of photos Dale, love that last one with the group of three.

Chunky buggers.

Woko
Woko's picture

Dale, I always enjoy your stories & photos of the work you do. It would be interesting to learn of the impact of your work on both local & wider attitudes towards wildlife in Tasmania. Has any research been done on this? 

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Hi Woko, no real research completed (dont think anyone has time to do research) on the impact of OUR work, but anecdotally attitudes are changing, many more people are aware of and contacting wildlife rescue organizations. All organizations are reporting steady increases in the number of calls received received. Bonorong Sanctuary are now dealing with an average of 25 calls per day for sick or injured wildlife. Reptile Rescue had no operatives in our are, prior to Sam (my son) , another colleague and I becoming involved, there was only 1 snake catcher in our area (a private operator), he does not advertise, we met him on a job last season. He has seen a steady increase over the past few years, relocating upwards of 50 snakes a season. Last season Reptile Rescue received 330 calls statewide, with us 3 doing about 60 of those, catching 45 snakes (not all jobs are successful, some are public awareness or searches). We did not have any impact on his business, in fact he asked us to help him out on busy days. Just trying to point out that public awareness and concern is on the rise.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Sam got this beauty Wednesday afternoon, easy capture and released within a kilometre of  where it was found, again removed from near a rural residence. Seems most of this years Tigers are around the 1.2 to 1.3 metres, a couple of smaller ones, and one at 1.5. People who live in the country should realise snakes will be part of their surrounds, and get used to having them around, although we love our reptilian encounters.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Woko
Woko's picture

Thanks for the information, Dale. Those numbers would certainly suggest that awareness & sensitivity to wildlife are increasing. Now to enable people to make the connection between wildlife & habitat protection & restoration! 

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Sam my son, captured and released this pretty today, Notechus Scutatus - Tiger snake, again another 1 metre specimen. Phone photo, it gets to hard to take "proper" photos, when dealing with these guys, but the time your set up, they are gone! We are usually in a hurry to get out he door before the snake disappears, and forget the camera anyway.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Annie W
Annie W's picture

I had an interesting (first) encounter with a Tiger Snake a couple of weeks ago.  I have appointed myself the official poster girl for what NOT to do when you encounter any of our slithery friends.

As Dale has expertly pointed out, do not come between it and it's food source for one thing.  Usually I'm pretty careful and calm, but I'll expose my own level of stupid during my first close encounter, as a safety lesson of sorts.  My multiple mistakes involved; Almost treading on said snakey, tiptoeing around and looking up for birds really isn't good in warmer weather.  Realising snakey had it's head in a Thornbill nest which I had travelled to observe a couple of times over the preceding weeks, so I moved to a safer distance to get a possible behavioural shot or two.  But... was overwhelmed by the screaming panicked birds and when part of said snakes baby bird lunch stumbled past my boot onto the hot road, I scooped up said feathery lunch.  Then, stamped my foot thinking the snake would move on, not, at the same time saying loudly, sucked in you big bully I have your lunch now, then taking a photo WITH the blasted flash up - all in the space of about 15 seconds.  And then I ran.  The poor snake, yelled at, insulted, startled, near blinded and part of lunch stolen.  I do not know where my brain was - my only defense was that the sound of shrieking birds and that tiny tiny little birds panic as it stumbled past me, just overcame common sense and triggered my nurture instead of nature hormones or something.  Mr Greedy Guts then went around to all the other low lying nests in about a 20m radius and raided them all.  Seriously, I've read of people doing some pretty idiotic things around snakes, but never thought I'd be one of them blush.

I went back four days later and all the nests I had found in that area were confirmed empty, it was eerily quiet too although I did spot a few of the usual residents carrying nesting material so assume they were rebuilding elsewhere.  Kookaburras sounded a warning call on the second trip, and there was Greedy Guts moving across the road to start on a series of nests over there.  I'll be honest, I do like snakes, but have to admit I like birds better laugh and even though this snake was just doing what he should to survive, I couldn't help but feel so sorry for the birds that this guy was on such a feeding frenzy of a mission, all in the same spot.

I hope I redeemed myself slightly the second time, engaged my brain and stayed much further back and detached.  Although this partly backfired as he must have done some weird long loop in the bush and came out unexpectedly only a few metres away from me, and he was naturally immediately pissed to see me, flattened out straight away, so I just stayed still and he turned and went.

This first shot is from my first encounter with Greedy Guts, and the last two from the second.  Not sure if he has something going on with that left eye or not, or if it is just some sticky web or something across it?

NW Tasmania

Rick N
Rick N's picture

Great story and shots Annie, imagine the heart was racing there for a while smiley

He really does look a bit angry in the last shot.

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Hi Annie, I love these shots, I think the eye has "unshed eye cap(s)", rather than a problem. If you google this, it is a common problem with snakes, where they develop a protective cap over the eye to protect it during sloughing (shedding). Most posts refer to snakes in captivity, but obviously the same can happen with wild creatures. There may also be something near the eye, an object runnin horizontally across the eye. This is a beautiful black, shiny specimen, I would suggest has sloughed not that long ago, in fact in the first shot, although a little blurred past the head, the scales appear much duller than the last, so I would suggest it occurred between your visits, of course providing it is the same snake, which is highly probable, given the abundant food supply.

For those who don't know, snakes can go many many months without eating, when they go into Torpor (sort of hibernation, but different - Google that to) they will eat a few weeks before hand, but nothing at all over the winter months. They then become opportunistic feeders, eating whenever possible over the summer months. Some of the snakes we had in care over the winter (see the "nest" in post 31) had not eaten for about 8 months. They were fed last Sunday (after several attempts to get them to eat), and 3 of those have now been released, wounds healed, successfully sloughed, and now having had a feed.

Chapel Island Tiger Snakes may often only eat once or twice in an entire year (Short Tailed Shearwater breeding season), as other food is in limited supply.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Annie W
Annie W's picture

Oh it certainly was Rick, I was worried about the early onset of incontinence there for a minute also, but all good laugh.

Thanks for that info Dale!  Of course, that makes sense about his eye.  I wondered if this fella had just emerged from Torpor and was famished, so stuffing his face at the readily available bird buffet.  Quite possibly I guess?

Had a bit of excitement in my kitchen this morning when the cat gifted me a baby snake.  We're in the middle of town so he (the snake) must have travelled from at least 200-400m away from a small creek perhaps.  So much for trying to do the right thing all 'round as my cats don't have access to roam, so the snake must have slipped through the tiny squares of netting on the cat run.  So off to Bunnings to get some shade cloth to go up from the bottom a metre or two so it can't happen again.  Baby snake is fine although understandably ruffled & I'll release him out in the bush after I've picked my daughter up from school - and for anyone who cares devil, puss appears o.k. too smiley.

Edited:  I think it's a Tiger Snake.

NW Tasmania

Canonguy
Canonguy's picture

Looks like a baby tiger Annie.

dwatsonbb
dwatsonbb's picture

Tiger snake is confirmed, a beautiful little specimen. Thanks for looking out for it. They really are amazing critters.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Annie W
Annie W's picture

Sure is, also had it ID'd by email by the lovely Reptile Rescue folk too.  It's really very pretty, 20-25cm long skinny little snake pencil laugh

NW Tasmania

timrp
timrp's picture

My first sighting of a Small Eyed Snake!

Rick N
Rick N's picture

Nice shot there Tim, highly venomous little critter as is this guy

KI Tiger from the weekend.

timrp
timrp's picture

Awesome find and photo Rick!

soakes
soakes's picture

Here is a copperhead that I saw crossing the road over Summer.

soakes
Victoria, Australia

Devster
Devster's picture

Lol Love the title Soakes. Copperhead Road.

Rick N
Rick N's picture

Nice colouring, looks a fair size too. Thanks

Woko
Woko's picture

Do Tiger Snakes (on Kangaroo Island, at least) get out & about in cold wet weather? 

Pages

Subscribe to me on YouTube