Keelback or Roughscale?

Discussion in 'Reptile and Amphibian Identification' started by Yogi, Apr 19, 2014.

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  1. Yogi

    Yogi Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hello,

    Walking the Minyon falls trail came across this guy what ya reckon rough or keelback?

    DSCF1211.jpg DSCF1208.jpg

    Cheers Jacob

    DSCF1208.jpg DSCF1211.jpg
     
  2. baker

    baker Well-Known Member

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    Yep rough scale. Head shape is wrong for it to be a keelback.
    Cheers Cameron
     
  3. Bushman

    Bushman Very Well-Known Member

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    I'm leaning towards a Rough-scaled Snake, due to the dare I say it, slightly menacing look on the face. Keelbacks tend to 'smile' with a colubrid grin. This specimen looks like it means business, so I'm going Roughy in the absence of a loreal scale.
     
  4. GeckPhotographer

    GeckPhotographer Very Well-Known Member

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    Definitely a rough scale.

    Head shape is unmistakable for those that have seen both.
     
  5. Sean_L

    Sean_L Not so new Member

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    Its hard to decribe the differences, however, when youve seen both snakes in the wild, youll immediately recognise them.

    As Cameron said, the head shape is a big give away. The strongly trapeziodal (elapid) shape of the head, much like a tiger snake I suppose, lets you know its a rough scale. The large bulbous areas that create the 'trapezoid' are where the venom sacks are located. Keelbacks have solid teeth and no venom. So no venom sack bulges. The oval shaped head of a keelback is very noticably different, once youre aware.

    Like bushman said also, Elapids all look pretty mean due to the supraocular scale above the eye. Keelback eyes have a much rounder appearance because of the higher and less angled supraocular scale.
    The grin helps also as rough scales tend to have a straight jaw line that doesnt curve up towards where the ear opening would be.

    From the side of the head, in profile, the Keelbacks face after the eye tapers to a point at the tip of the snout, whereas the Rough scale's head is much thicker and squarer and ends noticably more bluntly.

    Because of the wider head, rough scales have a much more defined neck when compared to a keelback.
    And of course, as bushman said, if you can get close enough, the absence of a loreal scale will determine its a rough scale. A rough scale's preocular scale, the scale in front of the eye, touches the nasal scale directly. A keelback's preocular scale and presubocular (the scale below) are separated from the nasal scale by this loreal scale.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  6. mrkos

    mrkos Well-Known Member

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    I am no elapid expert but an experienced snake catcher once told me the best way to tell the difference between the two is look for the cane toad like frown that is Definetely a roughy
     
  7. andynic07

    andynic07 Very Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
    This is a picture of a keelback that I found today for comparison.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. jase75

    jase75 Well-Known Member

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    Head shape and body pattern are a dead give away, 100% Roughy.

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  9. eipper

    eipper Very Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    roughie no loreal
     
  10. Yogi

    Yogi Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hello,

    Thank you for all the great information i had guessed as much but was looking for better ways to ID these two. Once again the experience of aussie python comunity has helped a fellow keeper out.

    Cheers Jacob
     
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