golden crown or other possibilities

Discussion in 'Reptile and Amphibian Identification' started by thomasssss, Dec 16, 2012.

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  1. thomasssss

    thomasssss Very Well-Known Member

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    ok so just failed at attempting to catch a small snake about 15 cm(make that 20/25cm just looked at a ruler ) that looked very much like a young golden crowned snake , only thing thats got me thinking that it might not be is that it was in a very dry/hot area in my backyard in amongst a heap of black irrigation pipe , where as i thought golden crowns preferred more of a rainforest habitat , nothing like whats on offer in my yard
    im located near coffs harbour on the coast (like 100m from the beach)

    so what im wondering is given my location and the area it was found in what other snakes could it of been?, i only got a few quick glimpses but it sort of had the crown going around its head and just a dark browny body

    i know its impossible to get a positive id with only a description of the snake but id like to hear peoples opinion of what other snakes it could be if its not a golden crown only because i have my 2 boxers (dogs) in the same yard and would like to know whats around in case anything ever happens , i try to relocate any snakes i find but this guy was way to small and quick i just couldn't catch him
    cheers thomas
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  2. saximus

    saximus Almost Legendary

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    Probably not a great idea to try to catch it without knowing what it is. What you described could also have been a baby EB
     
  3. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    It would help a lot to know the head colour and the “cown”colour.

    There are not too many possibilities. It depends on the colour of the crown. A thin yellow band just across the nape is indicative of the Southern Dwarf Crowned Snake (C. kreftii). On the White Crowned and Golden Crowned the colour runs around the head from across the snout, along the sides of the head and down onto the neck. In Golden Crowned the colour is a dirty yellow and does NOT join up across the nape. In the White-crowned Snake (Cacophis harritae), the colour is bright white and forms a thick band right across the name. All have a dark head. Unless you are familiar with them, I would not rule out a young Common Brown (Pseudonaja textilis) – a dark head patch and then a small gap and a dark band across the nape of the neck. If it had a pale head with a dark band across the nape is could be a Pale-headed Snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus). Delma tinctincta could even fit at this stage.

    Blue

    I'll just make the added comment that as a generalisation, the catching of any snake should not be based on what you believe that snake to be. There is more danger in presuming IDs than in treating any snake as potentially dangerously venomous, irrespective of size, until it is caught and ID'ed.
     
  4. thomasssss

    thomasssss Very Well-Known Member

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    i agree with most cases but i wore large heavy duty welders gloves , in conjunction with a hook to just attempt to get it into a tub from a distance hence why i failed , the head was no bigger than my pinky so the chances of it getting through either my shoes pants or the gloves where very minimum , i dont just run around picking snakes up with my bare hands ;)
    cheers blue i probably should of been a little more descriptive of the crown , the crown was a light dirty yellowy colour and just ran from the front of the head down the sides then stopped where the head joins to the the neck , it didn't join back up or carry over to the top like ive seen on some

    ill just add that it did NOT have a black head or black anywhere on its head , the head was the same colour as the body and the only marking on it was the crown described
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  5. GeckoJosh

    GeckoJosh Almost Legendary

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    Was this what you saw?
    [​IMG]
     
  6. thomasssss

    thomasssss Very Well-Known Member

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    pretty much except as i said it didn't continue down the neck like that and was more of the yellow colour the whole way up i didn't get a long enough look at it to tell if it took up the whole face like that though i think it was just a band around the top , i mainly just wanted other peoples opinions of other possibilities so i could look into them so i know what i could possibly be dealing with as the area really doesn't fit a golden crowns habitat and ive never seen them here before , im not looking for a positive or accurate id as i know i will not get that without good pics

    im moving all the pipes in the next few days so ill have a camera ready
     
  7. GeckoJosh

    GeckoJosh Almost Legendary

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    Ok cool see if you can get a pic of the habitat as well, I have found GC's in pretty dry areas but there was still lots of bushland cover etc
     
  8. thomasssss

    thomasssss Very Well-Known Member

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    will do , where i found him though was as i said in amongst black irrigation pipe , boiling hot on a day like today was
     
  9. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    If the top of the head was definitely not black, I am thinking ‘the crown’ probably was not a crown. My number one suspect would be a Marsh Snake (Hemiaspis signata) – a diurnal skink eater. Readily recognised by the very dark ventrlas if you managed a to see them.
    Marsh Snake.jpg
    Plus a larger pic… ImageShack� - Online Photo and Video Hosting

    The Yellow-faced Whipsnake (Demansia psammophis) is another diurnal skink eater – less likely by description of looks but more likely in terms of heat tolerance behaviour… ImageShack� - Online Photo and Video Hosting

    Blue
     
  10. JasonL

    JasonL Almost Legendary

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    [​IMG]

    Look more like this?
     
  11. thomasssss

    thomasssss Very Well-Known Member

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    that looks alot more like him , he was a darker brown than that and had a thicker line but i just had a look over pics on the net and they match up alot more with what i saw and there is an abundance of skinks in the area , by ventrals you mean belly scales? i only got a quick glimpse of that as i tried lifting him with the hook and it looked to be a dark greyish colour , another reason why i wasn't sure of it being a GC as i thought they had more of a red pink belly
     
  12. GeckoJosh

    GeckoJosh Almost Legendary

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    Marsh snakes are normally darker than that pic, that specimen is much lighter than the majority I have seen.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
  13. JasonL

    JasonL Almost Legendary

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    [​IMG]

    darker swampy
     
  14. thomasssss

    thomasssss Very Well-Known Member

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    cheers guys , been a big help , as i said i wont take marsh snake as a positive id or anything as ive only given you guys a description but i just wanted to be able to compare people ideas and see what matched up with what i saw so i know what i could possibly be dealing with , which marsh snake looks like it could be it , as i said im moving the pipes soon (just got to get a mate out with his flat bed truck as there huge pipes) so he might turn up again hopefully i can get some pics this time
     
  15. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    As Gecko Josh says, it is a light colour form. It was the only "brown" form I could locate a suitable photo. Apparently they vary to olive-brown. I am only personally familiar with the grey to olive-grey forms.

    A quick glance of a yellow stripe on a dark background on a moving snake in sunlight,may wellhave made the stripe appear wider and/or longer than it was in reality. Dark grey to almosy black ventrals is pretty diagnostic feature. Even if you don't have your camera, at least you know what to look for next time.


    Blue
     
  16. thomasssss

    thomasssss Very Well-Known Member

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    cheers blue , olive brown as you put it is a good description of the colour not really dark like the ones JasonL has posted but not as light as the one you've pictured , although the stripe was well formed like the one in your post which is probably why i thought it may have been a GC , he was moving quick after i started disturbing him and was gone in a matter of seconds

    with his size i probably could of just grabbed him with the gloves when he was still curled up( as they are a very thick , strong material and come up past your elbows like most welders gloves) but i wasn't going to risk it on the off chance he got through but i have had wild coastals a hell of alot bigger bite it and not leave a mark , there teeth dont seem to be able to penetrate is my guess
     
  17. GeckoJosh

    GeckoJosh Almost Legendary

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    This is the colour I find is most common around here at least
    [​IMG]
     
  18. thomasssss

    thomasssss Very Well-Known Member

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    and that is almost exactly what i seen , that pics just been taken from the same angle that i was looking at him from after i annoyed him trying to get him into the tub , i think the 2 lines might of looked like they where joined which as blue said gave me the impression that it was a bigger band or crown than what it really was
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  19. Xeaal

    Xeaal Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I'm blonde and even to me that looks dangerous LOL
     
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