Discussion in 'Reptile and Amphibian Identification' started by Nathyrich, Nov 23, 2013.
After an id for this little sucker cheers!
I would say its a Golden Crowned Snake (Cacophis squamulosus) Distinguishing 'crown' starting at the snout continuing around either side of the face to the neck where it does not join.
I agree with Firepac's ID of Cacophis squamulosus for the same reason mentioned, which is such a distinctive feature of this species that it can't really be confused with any other snake.
This specimen looks like a juvenile, as the crown is usually brighter in young ones. You can also tell by the scale of the snake relative to the leaves, with adults being a fair bit bigger than this at ~60 cms.
This species puts on a good show when disturbed with an impressive defensive display, but it's all bluff in my experience and although venomous, it's not considered to be dangerous.
This link contains lots of good pics illustrating this behaviour: Golden-crowned snake (Cacophis squamulosus) at the Australian Reptile Online Database | AROD.com.au
Whereabouts was it found Nathan?
My mate found it in Hornsby heights, he said it was pretty feisty when he disturbed it.
We used to find 'Golden Crowns' as we used to call them, in that area and other localities in the upper north shore in the 80's. It's good to know that they're still around.
Was that specimen found in a garden near a Magnolia tree?
It was in a garden not sure about a magnolia tree, will ask him.
Beautiful snakes and one of my favourite small elapids. I've caught hundreds of them over the years. They're still very common and found in a variety of habitats (don't know what Magnolia trees have got to do with it Bushman...lol) including sandstone ridges to sub tropical rainforest along the coast and into the ranges from Batesman Bay in the south to central Qld in the north. Used to find them in man made sandstone walls in your area as well as amongst sandstone ridges at West Head, Kurringai Chase, Dural and around Frenchs Forest. They can be a bit difficult to find during the day but night spotting in the right places during summer around the mid north coast and up through the adjacent ranges will turn up heaps.
Thanks for confirming that Nathan and also for offering to find out about the Magnolia.
They are extremely common in and around Sydney/ Illawarra, even in bushy suburbia where other snakes can't make a living… slang name Pocket Cobra, act all threatening, but are one of the most placid elapids there is.