What snake is this?

Submitted: Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 18:03
ThreadID: 134100 Views:4989 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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On a recent trip to the Flinders Ranges, on the way to Chambers Gorge, we came across this snake on the road. It appeared to have been run over but still alive. I am leaning towards an inland taipan due to the shape, scale pattern and the darker pattern behind the head but am unsure. It was approximately 1 metre long and may have been a juvenile. Regards Phil
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Reply By: Member - MIKE.G - Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 18:39

Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 18:39
Hi Phil. Looks like a Western Brown Snake. The dark head and nape are very characteristic of this snake. Grow up to 150 cm..


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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 18:42

Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 18:42
Yeah most likely a Gwardar (=Western Brown Snake). Unlikely to be Inland Taipan as no records in that area...too far south.

I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: mike39 - Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 08:06

Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 08:06
Totally agree with you Mike except for one thing........
I have seen one of these beggars, dead and measured at 250cm.
That was on the opal fields NW of Eromanga.

Mate was bitten by one in the dark. Never saw it but sure felt the whack it gave him.
Two hour drive in to Quilpie only to find no antivenene, RFDS from Charleville took him straight to Toowoomba hospital where he was in intensive care for near a month.
Very lucky man to survive, but left some disabilities as a reminder.
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 16:50

Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 16:50
You may be referring to a King Brown ( Mulga snake) ? They grow to 2.5 metres and are more venomous than the Western brown
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Reply By: 9900Eagle - Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 18:50

Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 18:50
Yep, western brown. I had one have a lung at my truck as I past close to it at 80kph. I thought it would have avoided the oncoming road train which was about 500m away, but no. On the return run it had been run over and I could see what it was.
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Reply By: Phil - Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 18:53

Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 18:53
Thanks for the replies. I thought it was too far south for an inland taipan but it was the closest that I could come up with. I considered a western brown but could not find a suitable description and the black patch on the nape of the neck confused me. Phil
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 19:12

Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 19:12
There is a photo on this page of a western brown snake that matches your photo - last photo at the bottom of the page. western brown snake
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Follow Up By: Phil - Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 19:40

Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 19:40
Thanks Michelle, it's a good match. With the varying colours and patterns of snakes etc they can be difficult to identify. I normally carry a bird identification book with me when travelling, I may have to include one on reptiles. Regards Phil
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Reply By: member - mazcan - Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 09:17

Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 09:17
you will only need a book on snakes if your dealing with politicians
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Reply By: Pete G - Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 14:53

Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 14:53
Snakes are a master of disguise.
My interest is that I encountered what was subsequently identified as an Inland Taipan at Roxby Downs in 1980/1. The picture shown by Phil differs from what I saw in that there is a black diamond banding pattern and the black band at the neck is less definitely designed.
The existence of the Inland Taipan seems to only have been acknowledged since the early 1980's (see wikipedia).

The one I tangled with was about 5 foot and one hellish agro snake. At the time I consulted lots of books and asked anyone considered knowledgeable. About 10 years later a bloke doing a snake pit show dropped one out of his bag exactly identical to the one I saw and defined it as an Inland Taipan. It is now acknowledged that the Inland Taipan darkens it's skin in winter and hence the black diagonal pattern may be associated with this seasonal change.

On the balance I would go with the Western Brown in this case, although pictures alone are not the most definitive identification medium. In fact when googled the subject becomes fascinating reading. To be absolutely sure one would have to deliver a specimen to an expert in matters snakes.


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Reply By: Merelyn M - Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 16:21

Saturday, Jan 14, 2017 at 16:21
If you ever find/encounter/come face to face with anything you can't identify, take a photo, note details of when and where and anything else you can think of to help with the identification and email it off to the Australian Museum. They are a fantastic resource. Search & Discover I have sent photos of bones, plants, critters of all sorts and they have always come up with a positive response and usually within a few days.
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