03 November 2006

Snakes Around My Place

I've had one or two questions about snakes so, just to make your day, here is a selection starting with the most dangerous. Enjoy...and you're welcome to visit anytime!

Coastal Taipan. Not quite around my area, more to the south, south-west. Very lethal and aggressive with neurotoxic and coagulant venom.

Tiger Snake. Not around my area, but more to the north and inland. Strongly neurotoxic and coagulant venom.

Death Adder. Outer north-western and western suburbs (not my area). Appears sluggish and inactive but can move with incredible speed. Neurotoxic venom.

Eastern Brown Snake. Widespread in bushland and rural areas. We have these ones. Very pugnacious and rears up in an "S" shape and will strike savagely if provoked. Strongly neurotoxic and coagulant venom.

Rough Scaled Snake. Semi-rural areas, probably around here. Pugnacious if provoked. Venom is neurotoxic, haemotoxic, cytotoxic and strongly coagulant.

Small-eyed Snake. Common in most suburbs and bushland, found under sheets of iron, rocks and logs. Pugnacious if provoked. Venom is strongly myotoxic and one fatality has been recorded.

Red Bellied Black Snake. Likes well-watered environments like swamps, river banks, rainforest, etc. Venom is highly haemotoxic and cytotoxic.

Pale-headed Snake. Likes wet and dry eucalypt forests. More common in outlying semi-rural areas. Potentially dangerous with one case of envenomation reported.

Yellow-faced Whip Snake. Abundant throughout suburbia. Swift and alert with keen vision. Potentially dangerous especially to children; some bites symptomless, others with fairly severe outcomes.

Marsh Snake. Wet habitats such as creek banks, edges of swamps, well-watered gardens. May be seen under boards or sheets of iron. Virtually harmless, though large individuals may be potentially dangerous.

Australian Coral Snake. Found around here and other semi-rural areas sheltering beneath embedded stumps, rocks or in soil cracks. Virtually harmless, inoffensive and weakly venomous.

White-crowned Snake. Likes garden compost heaps, and beneath rocks or logs. Abundant throughout Brisbane including densely populated inner city areas. Inoffensive and weakly venomous.

Brown Tree Snake. Found all over, coiled on rafters, on foliage or rock faces. Virtually harmless and weakly venomous although large individuals should be treated with caution.

Common Tree Snake. Common throughout Brisbane in gardens, in trees, verandah railings, houses, on rafters. Non-venomous. Oscar likes presenting me with these.

Carpet Python. Likes in the roofs of houses, or draped across boughs of trees. Found all over. Non-venomous but bite may cause lacerations. Tetanus injection recommended. Good pet, keeps rats and mice down.

Pictures and information from "Wildlife of Greater Brisbane" published by the Queensland Museum

I hope you enjoy this post. Note I started off with the highly venomous snakes first. Now I rather like snakes, I think they are beautiful animals and don't hold with those who say, "the only good snake is a dead one." They have their place in our environment and we should respect that. One just has to be very careful where one puts one's feet in summer! I know they sound very scary to non-Australians but the truth is, apart from breeding time, most will slither away if they hear you. There are the odd aggressive ones, but they are not usually found where people commonly go and it would be very unusual to encounter one of these. However, if you're a bushwalker or like hiking, it's best to wear very stout boots!
Medical Terms:
Cytotoxic - specific destructive action on certain cells.
Haemotoxic - poisonous to the blood.
Neurotoxic - poisonous to the nervous system
Coagulant - blood clotting.


Lee said...

Ahhh...when you find an 18ft python on your bed, Robyn...things change a little!

This happened to me when I lived on Hinchinbrook Island...it wasn't the bed companion I was hoping for! ;)

Gattina said...

He, he, it would be difficult for me to walk in a bush ! Very interesting your report about snakes. I know most of women are afraid of snakes and find them disgusting. I have nothing against them, have even a picture of me with one around my neck (forgot the name, but it was quite heavy) The only thing I miss is that you cannot pet them, because they don't have furr ! That's why I stay with my cats.

Gattina said...

I forgot to tell you that the picture I deformed is a piece of my cat's furr !! lol.

Remiman said...

Hmmm, I was thinking of visiting my son when he moves to Australia, but now I'm having second thoughts. ;-)
Guess I'd best be shopping for stout and high top boots.

Tammy said...

Don't like me no snakes now!!!
Didn't the pictures give you the creeps??
~running away~

slap me happy said...

you have so put me off going into the garden till snake time is over, lol. Sorry I have not been in but the pc has been playing up with Beta blogs so now I am playing catch up with all of the comments. Hope all s well with you and your not working too hard ( fat chance huh lol)

PEA said...

Ok you guys have wayyyyy too many snakes over there for my taste! lol All I've ever seen around here are garden snakes and water snakes...and even then it's been on rare occasions! We have a huge garden and only once in 30 years did we ever see a snake in it...that's once too many for me! lol Great post Robyn! Hugs xoxo