November 23, 2020

Identifying snakes in Albany and surrounds

Albany is not a hard area to identify snakes. The most common species living here are Dugites and Tiger snakes. these are not very similar in appearance, but they can be similar, especially when the dugite is a darker color. I have noticed a tendency for dugites living here to be a darker colour than in areas further north, where it is quite warm. Maybe it is because down south it is beneficial to be a darker color that soaks up the sun.
Anyway, Dugites do have lots of differences to tiger snakes. Dugites are generally very fast to escape, and rarely confront you unless cornered. however, if they are startled or cornered, they may raise their forebody from the ground in an 's' shape and open their mouth. This is very different to a tiger snake which typically flattens its body, but similar to a short-nosed snake... Dugites have a narrower head than a tiger snake, and a longer, thinner body. they are often found in bushland, whereas a tiger snake prefers area with water. Dugites are more likely to escape before you see them, but tigers are lazy little beasts, and I have known them to sit there and flatten their neck at me because they just want to 'keep their spot in the sun.' This is not them being territorial. No snake is territorial, and they will not fight you- if they can help it. If you give a snake an escape route, it will always take it. Often a snake will advance toward you to make you retreat, but this is just a ploy to give it some space. Here is a great documentary on snake behaviour- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yJHEZfH-DE&feature=emb_title

There are other snakes in Albany.
Some species that you may see include-
South western carpet python- this species is easy to recognize, however it is not as common as it once was, and can be found in very few areas around Albany now.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=6744&subview=grid&taxon_id=32171

Bardick- also easy to recognize, it is brown and can be dangerously venomous
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=6744&subview=grid&taxon_id=35270

Short nosed snake- a harmless, grey, cute snake. See below.

Crowned snake- also small and harmless, but has a bar across the nape
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=6744&subview=grid&taxon_id=539637

Muller’s snake- very rare; still no photo of a living specimen on INat
https://www.google.com/search?q=Rhinoplocephalus+bicolor&safe=active&hl=en&sxsrf=ALeKk022Yo6cxOFenjatTG1VS47_CDQUuw:1606094379799&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwii_e7nv5ftAhWxyzgGHbDjCCoQ_AUoAXoECCwQAw&biw=1920&bih=937

Posted on November 23, 2020 01:23 by snakesrcool snakesrcool | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 18, 2020

Short nosed snake

When exploring swamps in the south-west, keep your eyes out for the Short-nosed Snake, Elapognathus minor.

The Short-nosed snake is a small, harmless snake growing up to just under half a metre long. It is most likely to be seen on warm mornings, coiled up close to the edge of a clump of reeds or a bundle of sticks. It is grey with a yellow to orange belly, with an indistinct 'crown' on the nape.

They look similar to the more common Tiger snake but are a lot smaller and also a lighter shade of grey, unlike the glossy black of the Tiger snake. They are thought to eat small frogs and skinks, but not much is known about them, because they are rare and secretive. This snake is currently endangered. It is not thought to be dangerous, but since it is not at all inclined to bite, there have not been many bites to support that.

When threatened, the Short-nosed snake will retreat into the reeds and be gone very quickly. However, if harassed, they may rear themselves into an s-shape, bending their head and mock-striking furiously.
They are endemic to the south-western corner of WA, and a real treasure to have in the area.

https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/35267-Elapognathus-minor

Posted on August 18, 2020 10:04 by snakesrcool snakesrcool | 2 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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