Is this snake a red belly or something else???

Discussion in 'Reptile and Amphibian Identification' started by Trumpy, Dec 31, 2012.

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  1. Trumpy

    Trumpy New Member

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    Hey
    i found this snake in my back yard yesterday where the kids play and was wondering what kind of snake it is?
    I thought it was a red belly but my mate thinks differently. Where should and how far away do I release it? The pics aren't the best sorry.
    Cheers for the help!
     

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  2. Jonno from ERD

    Jonno from ERD Very Well-Known Member

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    Hi mate, it's a Small-eyed Snake (Cryptophis nigrescens). They are a very common species but are typically nocturnal. Let it go in your garden, there will be a lot more there and they don't pose a threat to your kids as long as you tell them not to touch them.
     
  3. AirCooled

    AirCooled Subscriber Subscriber

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    What location did you find it?
     
  4. Shotta

    Shotta Very Well-Known Member

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    Cacophis squamulosus
     
  5. GeckPhotographer

    GeckPhotographer Very Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Jonno, it's a Small Eyed Snake C.nigrescens. Head shape is wrong for an actual Red Belly (though that's hard to ascertain at that angle). It's very obviously NOT a crowned snake (Cacophis) as it lacks any sign of marking on the side of its head or on its nape.
     
  6. Bushman

    Bushman Very Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to have to disagree with you and Jonno on this one. I think it's difficult to be sure of this animals ID from the pics provided. We really need to see better shots to be certain.
    Even though we can't see any head markings in the photos, I think that it's more likely to be a Golden-crowned Snake (Cacophis squamulosus). I'm basing this on the mid-ventral line of brown blotches that is clearly visible in the pics and the orange colouration of the underside. This is characteristic of Cacophis squamulosus. It is not a feature of Cryptophis nigrescens.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  7. GeckPhotographer

    GeckPhotographer Very Well-Known Member

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    I agree that the pics are not very good, but I still refute that it is absolutely not a Golden Crowned Snake, you can blow the picture up and see quite clearly there are no head markings, not just hard to see, they really are not there at all.
     
  8. Bushman

    Bushman Very Well-Known Member

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    I've added my reasons to my previous post. I don't know how you can be so certain Stephen, as you admit yourself that the photos are not very good. Blowing up poor quality images doesn't help much. Venomous snake ID is critically important to get right. I'm basing my judgement on what I can see.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  9. GeckPhotographer

    GeckPhotographer Very Well-Known Member

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    You're basing your ID on an incorrect statement. Both species can have a bright orange belly with a mid-ventral line of brown blotches, although brown disruptive patterning in C.squamulosus is usually more broken and in Cryptophis nigrescens usually less prominent.

    There is no head markings, I can zoom in on the picture and see the snakes eye easily, if I can see the eye and no head markings it is not a Golden Crown, which have extremely prominent head marking. The snakes head shape is hard to determine but from what I can see that's not even right for a Crowned either.

    I'm not claiming it's definitely a Small Eye'd I still have my suspicions it may actually be a Red Belly. But I am more than 100% that is not a Golden Crowned Snake.
     
  10. Trumpy

    Trumpy New Member

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    It's head is black. No other tinges. It's pretty feisty so I got as close as I could without it striking me to take a pic. Let me know if this pic of its head helps!
     

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  11. Bushman

    Bushman Very Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the fresh pic Trumpy. It looks more like a Small-eyed Snake to me now, as Golden-crowned Snakes have at least some nape and head markings and there's no nape or head markings visible in that pic and according to you. Does it raise its forebody up into an S-shaped defensive position and keep it there?
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  12. The_Geeza

    The_Geeza Suspended Banned

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    Looking at the scales on the head i recon its a small eye'd...but thats just me using google images lol
     
  13. GeckPhotographer

    GeckPhotographer Very Well-Known Member

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    OK with that picture it is definitely a Small Eyed.
     
  14. dickyknee

    dickyknee Almost Legendary

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  15. dickyknee

    dickyknee Almost Legendary

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    How so ? .
     
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  16. eipper

    eipper Very Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    As much as it pains me to say it Jonno and Stephen are correct. It is a Cryptophis
     
  17. Bushman

    Bushman Very Well-Known Member

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    It looks like you were right Steven. Well picked. I've never seen or read about a distinctive mid-ventral stripe in Cryptophis nigrescens before. Can you please direct me to any texts that include this feature in their descriptions? None of my texts mention this.:eek:

    Since it's looking more like a Small-eyed Snake, which are surprisingly toxic for their size (with human fatalities recorded) and there's children in your household, who no doubt frequent your garden, I recommend releasing it further away than just back in the garden. It's a nocturnal species, so it's not usually a threat, unless disturbed and harassed, but it's better to err on the side of caution when children are involved.
    Can you put it back into nearby bushland? No further than 1km if possible. A rock outcrop would be good, as it will offer it shelter.
     
  18. GeckPhotographer

    GeckPhotographer Very Well-Known Member

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    I've never read it in any text myself. But if you look at pictures on flickr, google, etc you'll find some specimens with it. (Though admittedly many more without). I personally have just seen many (read too many) Small-eyeds and I've seen this kind of colouration on the bellies of a fair few. However I've never seen a Small-eyed with a cream/white belly which apparently also occurs.
     
  19. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    I question the value of a statement like: “ It never looked like…” when made without any qualification of exactly what point you are endeavouring to get across and why. As it stands it makes no positive contribution to this thread. If fact, just the opposite, for it comes across as an arrogant way of saying ‘I know better than you do’. I am aware that the author is both competent and knowledgeable but that only reinforces the negative interpretation.

    I think a RBB could be ruled out early on as the pink/red pigment is evenly across the ventral surface instead of being strongest along the lateral edges; the red colour was absent from the ventro-lateral edges; the head was more distinct from the neck than a RBB; the tail tapers more quickly than a RBB; general body proportions looked longer than width compared to a normal RBB. On the other hand it is blacker and glossier than small-eyed I have seen – maybe the flash and camera having an effect.

    I found the ventral markings fascinating. And yes, they were definitely more like what you might expect to see on a Golden-crowned. But it would also seem that is within the range of variation you get in Eastern Small-eyed. The head markings on Golden Crowns can vary from bright yellow to washed-out grey or light brown, but they are always evident. I have never seen a black individual either, only grey at the darkest. The apparent lack of any head markings, further confirmed from the latest pic, leaves only one option.

    Blue
     
  20. dickyknee

    dickyknee Almost Legendary

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    Blue , the "It never really looked like" comment was directed at Stephen ( geckophotographer ) , I was having a bit of a joke with him suggesting he really did not need the extra pic to ID that snake as not being a Golden Crown ...... He was not offended in any way, shape or form.
    Sorry if you feel it was a negative post , I thought it was more than helpful , I posted pics of both animals in question for ID...
    I might suggest your post came across as arrogant , who are you to tell people how to post , why is it your concern if I posted a light hearted joke ?

    Dicky


    Trumpy
    What has happened to the snake now , released ?
     
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