Pseudonaja Pics and Talk info

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by Stuart, May 29, 2013.

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  1. Stuart

    Stuart Site Admin Staff Member

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    Hi Guys and Gals,

    Due to an unfortunate incident the other day where an individual was unlucky enough to be bitten by a Pseudonaja sp (I didnt see the snake but it was ID'ed by the paramedic that attended the scene and the VDT returned a positive for Brown Venom according to same paramedic) I have been asked to assist with getting a bit of a safety awareness notice and talk sorted for the Environment Dept to share with the Community and Departments.

    Most of the talk involves advising what to do if you come across a snake, who to call if you find one, and a guideline to what to do if you get bitten. Part of the talk and notice going up though involves a quick run down of the snakes we have here and a generic picture or two of them. While I have most of the species we encounter, I was hoping some may be kind enough to share 2 or 3 photos of Western Browns in particular but any brown and particularly the variations between juveniles and mature specimens would be greatly appreciated (And also help me stop making incorrect IDs). I was also wondering if those who may be involved or have held similar talks would like to pass on any notes or points that they think are always relevant in these situations

    For those interested in how the individual got bitten, things aren't a 100% but the general agreement and witnesses say he was trying to move it on himself, with his foot, rather than call a Snake handler.

    Cheers
    Stuart

    EDIT: I wont be doing the talk, I dont speak well in a group setting. Im just gathering and reviewing the information to see if we can avoid the general, "All snakes are evil" and "A snake will attack because it didnt have its morning coffee"
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  2. SteveNT

    SteveNT Very Well-Known Member

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    DSC_0096_edited-1.jpg DSC_0095_edited-1.jpg

    Western Brown in Ngukurr
     
  3. Stuart

    Stuart Site Admin Staff Member

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    Thanks Steve
     
  4. The species you're specifically after would be a Northern Brown (P. nuchalis) as opposed to mengdeni (Western). Not sure if these are useful Stuart. They are freshly collected P textillis eggs (nuchalis would be similar). I have plenty of textillis pics (showing variety) which you're welcome to and some Western Brown pics from around Docker River (West of Alice Springs), but I'm awaiting conformation to share those.
     

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  5. Stuart

    Stuart Site Admin Staff Member

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    Thanks mate.
     
  6. saratoga

    saratoga Well-Known Member

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    These snakes are from out kakadu way

    gnrl003164.jpg gnrl003157.jpg brown snake.jpg 0011335.jpg 0011321.jpg 0011320.jpg


    No sure if video is of any use to you but this old one of mine clearly shows what these snakes are capable of if you annoy them. I do like to stress though that this snake was being annoyed by being followed too closely and that left to it's own it was just trying to get away. If anything it might get people to think twice before trying to kill them or move them on with their foot! Feel free to use it.

    Don't chase Brown Snakes (Pseudonaja nuchalis) - YouTube
     
  7. Stuart

    Stuart Site Admin Staff Member

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    Thanks saratoga, that video is exactly the kind of thing I wanted to show the chap who had the idea for this "talk". Appreciate the input!
     
  8. Nice share saratoga:)! That orange animal on the far right looks pretty special, was it a road kill?
     
  9. Bushman

    Bushman Very Well-Known Member

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    Very well illustrated Greg! That video is a great example of what can happen if you unnecessarily disturb a Pseudonaja! You can see why they're one of the world's most dangerous snakes. You're fortunate to have not been bitten on that occasion. Just watching it gets the heart rate up. I imagine that your adrenaline was pumping after that!
    Stories of snakes chasing people are often disregarded by herpers (including myself before I'd seen it with my own eyes). Rather than it being an old wives' tale, it's an old widows' tale of how their brave and foolish hubbies tried to kill a snake.

    I'll put some thoughts together for you Stu, although I've mainly dealt with P. textilis. I don't know how much the various species of Pseudonaja differ behaviorally but there's probably some similarity between the species.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  10. Bushfire

    Bushfire Well-Known Member

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    What is really good about the video and shows it nicely is that once he backed off the snake went on its way till the observer gets too close again.
     
  11. saratoga

    saratoga Well-Known Member

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    Yes it was, did you notice the spots of blood. Not the normal colouration but then what's normal for these snakes? Generally I found that in kakadu they were most of the time like the middle snake – pretty plain brown to yellow-brown but with a small dark marking or two on the nape. The first snake was unusual in having a couple of large darker patches on it. I've seen a couple up there that were really striking with big broad black bands but that is so unusual. Here's a photos sent to me; never saw this snake but another from kakadu

    0011294 copy.jpg
     
  12. WOW!

    Are these banded animals/ that brighter animal not mengdeni as opposed to nuchalis? Perhaps a range extension for the species??


    Is it likely you have both species on Groote, Stuart?
     
  13. $NaKe PiMp

    $NaKe PiMp Very Well-Known Member

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    i was going to ask you sniper about this incident cause i heard about it through Facebook, you see the medical staff where trying to get a postive ID on the snake,it had been killed and they had a photo and they posted it on a friends page.

    the species you get up there on your island is Pseudonaja nuchalis which is now known as a Northern brown,other western brown pics like P.mengdeni and P. aspidorhyncha are not going to be helpful as there colour variations will just confuse matters, you need pics of local browns.

    ID is messed up all the time and too many are incorrectly id, the SVDK is what you rely on in the result of a bite,and snakes don't need anything special except to be left alone.
     
  14. Yes, apologies for any confusion (mostly on my part). I tend to be a "lumper", not a "splitter".
     
  15. $NaKe PiMp

    $NaKe PiMp Very Well-Known Member

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    when i do these talks which i do on a regular basis,i always stress that snakes are NOT dangerous if simply left alone, you can keep an eye on where they go but just dont engage with them,take a pic and try and get to know them.
    Teaching ID skills is almost a waste as of time but teach them to get a pic and send it to an expert is of much more value.
     
  16. $NaKe PiMp

    $NaKe PiMp Very Well-Known Member

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    oh by the way by the pics the snake was NOT Pseudonaja but it was a Pygmy mulga Pseudechis weigeli
     
  17. saratoga

    saratoga Well-Known Member

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    Interesting as the OP said the SVDK came back as positive for brown snakes!
     
  18. Stuart

    Stuart Site Admin Staff Member

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    Hmm, very intresting to note as I was told that it was positively IDed as a Pseudonaja via photo and SVDK. Just proves when it comes to second hand whispers, don't believe it all. I apologise for the misinformation there, I was only passing on what I was told.

    To clarify as well, sorry if I gave the wrong impression, I'm against showing photos of dangerously venomous snakes to anyone with little to no knowledge. The folks who are generally interested are the folks that will move a snake out of there yard because a poster on the wall told them it wasn't dangerous. Being the only individual on Groote who not only keeps any reptiles but also works at the mine and one of the few still here with a license to remove them, it seems that gave those paid more than me the idea that I am the best individual to ask. I'm as thrilled about doing it as some are about reading my posts....

    Again, apologies for the misinformation on my part, I can only pass on what I have been told having not seen anything first hand. I should have omitted the Chinese whispers part.

    S

    Apologies mate, I was only passing on what I was told. I should have known better than to take it as word.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  19. saratoga

    saratoga Well-Known Member

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    Sniper, it was pretty clear you only had second hand info on the snake so I wasn't accusing you of misID, it was just a comment on the SVDK... I wonder if it was a false positive or the paramedic got it wrong?
     
  20. Stuart

    Stuart Site Admin Staff Member

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    Thanks mate, I wish I knew. Embaressing lesson for me non the less.
     
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