Snake ID please :) - Hinterland Sunshine Coast Area

Discussion in 'Reptile and Amphibian Identification' started by Froggy35, Apr 17, 2013.

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  1. Froggy35

    Froggy35 New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    We live on acreage, in the hills in the Noosa Hinterland, QLD.

    We have 2 dogs that we usually let roam in the garden area now that the weather has cooled down. Yesterday, as my hubby was playing with the dogs, he saw something close to the fire pit that looked like a snake. So he got the dogs away, had a closer look, and could tell that unfortunately, the poor bugger was dead. He came to get me, and upon closer inspection, we realised that one of our dog had killed it.. Obviously not long since the deed took place as there was no ants yet on it, and no flies.

    So we carefully checked on the dogs making sure they were all good, as the snake had a bite on its head...

    I took pictures with my camera but unfortunately, our card reader is not cooperating.. So the pictures here are from my husband's phone.

    I measured the snake - it is 80 cm minimum and about 90 cm max (it had a few kinks, and I did not want to handle it too much).

    Here are the descriptions:
    - shiny black
    - ventral scales are the width of the body (So looks like an elapid)
    - has a like a scale that looks like an eyebrow above its eye
    - its belly was all cream/white (no red, but instead looked like it had some blue where each scale meets)
    - not sure about the anal scale (can't telly if single or divided) as it looks like it got bit around there
    - Subcaudal scales after what I suppose is the anal scale start out to be single but become divided until the end of the tail.
    - No loreal scale - it only has the nostril scale and then right away the contour of the eye scale, and nothing in-between (from pic on camera)

    And it had made its den under the wood pile in the fire pit, which had been there for a while but with the non-stop rain, we can't burn it off.

    Here are the pictures :

    Snake_pic1.jpg Snake_pic2.jpg

    Here you can see its belly better, and the top - it was a really beautiful snake (the mark on its head is the missing scale from the bite from the dog... :( Poor guy, he really took a beating...) - I gave him a 'wash' in these photos..

    Snake_pic3.jpg Snake_pic4.jpg

    Its eyes are actually quite small - on the second pic, it looks like they are quite big, but on other pics (several shots) that I have on my camera, they take hardly any space on its head - so not a prominent part of the head. I'm trying to take pics of pics - but it's not coming that great, quality wise.

    We have seen some red-belly black, at least 2 different ones (different size), around the dam, and around our water tank, but this one has NO red whatsoever on him/her.

    We also have tree snakes (as we find plenty of skins hanging from our frangipane trees), and we also have some pythons who tend to like staying on our warm electrical equipment under the house...! So there are plenty of snakes around here

    One thing is that the head was ever so slightly less dark than the rest of the body, but as you can tell, under it's all cream/white, even the 'chin'.

    All these markings makes us think it's a type of red-belly black - but the lack of red is puzzling. Could it be a blue belly black perhaps???

    Anyone knows? Thanks so much for your help :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  2. Brodie

    Brodie Very Well-Known Member

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    Demansia vestigiata. Venomous... One that size should be considered dangerous.
     
  3. Froggy35

    Froggy35 New Member

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    Hi SarahJane - no it did not (I added that to the description)

    Hi Brodie - yeah, it could be except when I look at pics of "live" one, it has larger eyes than this one did, and they seem to have some white marking under the eyes, which this one did not. Also, it was shiny black, with no spots on it. But, the white cream belly, that goes all the way under the 'chin', seem to match. So it would seems like a probable match.
     
  4. Chanzey

    Chanzey Well-Known Member

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    Not trying to be smart. But it doesn't look like that to me. Can you give me some points as to why you think that? I'm just basing this off that all the vestigiata I have seen have a red underside to their tail tip, and also the head is alot browner in comparison to the rest of the body. Usually with flecks through its head.
     
  5. prodigy97

    prodigy97 Suspended Banned

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    what do u think it is then?
    personally it looks like a lesser black whip snake(Demansia vestigiata)
     
  6. Brodie

    Brodie Very Well-Known Member

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    I can't tell you why, I just know, i have been doing this a long time and I have caught a lot of them, especially in that area. You can take my word for it, or wait until the likes of blue come on and agree with me.

    What do you think it is Chanzey?
     
  7. Chanzey

    Chanzey Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what it is. Maybe it's just the locality but they are the most common snake I see here in Townsville and 0 of them have looked like that.
     
  8. Brodie

    Brodie Very Well-Known Member

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    I have caught ~30 in that area and most look like the one above. That pic is good enough for a scale count, give it a go mate, counting the ventrals is the best way fr whippys. I guess we will see what other experienced members have to say eh? Noosa is 1200km from Townsville. Most around here (cairns) are like the ones you described.

    Trying not to come across as arrogant. I really can't explain how I know it's a whippy, I just do.

    If I am wrong I will have the biggest humble pie to devour, lol.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2013
  9. Chanzey

    Chanzey Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough. I'm just trying to build my knowledge is all, and these ID Threads help a fair bit, usually I don't comment, I just wanted some clarification.

    No dramas.
     
  10. Brodie

    Brodie Very Well-Known Member

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    No worries. I wasn't having a go at you mate!

    Blue will provide a detailed explanation of his ID when he logs on. Now that guy is a pro at IDs
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2013
  11. Froggy35

    Froggy35 New Member

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    Ok - I was finally able to take a somewhat adequate picture of a picture..! So from camera to phone.. Here is a good sideview of its head..


    Snake_pic5.jpg

    Thanks for your help Brodie :)

    I hope these images also help other peeps..
     
  12. saratoga

    saratoga Well-Known Member

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    It's a Red-bellied Black Snake.... too robustly built for a whip snake.

    One of the clues is the single subcaudals turning to divided subcaudals further down the tail.

    Also have a look at the ventrals; the edges of the scales are lined with black which is typical for Red-bellies even if there is little evidence of red colouration.

    Admittedly the head colour is a little strange for a Red-belly but the snake is pre-shed as is clear from the opaque nature of it's eyes
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  13. bohdi13

    bohdi13 Well-Known Member

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    'Saratoga' couldn't agree more, I am quite new to elapids better yet indentifying ssome reptiles. You can clearly see this is not a whip snake as its body build is extremely out of proportion to a whip snake. The snake is too stocky to be a whip snake. Because of it not having red on the belly scales I couldnt lock in an answer but thanks for clearing that up.

    Bohdi.
     
  14. GeckPhotographer

    GeckPhotographer Very Well-Known Member

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    Was a bit hesitant to comment earlier with the pics, but the most recent pic of head clearly shows to me it's a Red Belly, head shape, the browner colouration toward to fround of the head, and the scales on the side of the body in that picture do show some 'hidden' red colouration.
    It's an unusual coloring for the species but, Pseudechis porphyriacus is what it is.
     
  15. Brodie

    Brodie Very Well-Known Member

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    That last picture shows its clearly a red belly. Well done guys.

    This humble pie is great!

    And to think I was quite proud of myself last night, finally getting into one of these threads first, haha. Sorry Chaz!
     
  16. Froggy35

    Froggy35 New Member

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    Hey thanks for all your help guys - that's what we thought as well, but the colouring (or lack thereof) threw us off.

    This forum is really great - been reading a lot on it and it's been really useful as well.
     
  17. Brodie

    Brodie Very Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the white belly and odd shaped head threw me off completely. Large whips can be pretty robust too. I don't know if ill ever reply to one of these threads again though, I was sure it was a whippy from the first photos! There goes my ego.... Lol. I guess looking at them again the eyes just aren't big enough for a whippy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  18. saratoga

    saratoga Well-Known Member

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    The 3rd pic was the defining one for me... pretty clear from this one.
     
  19. Brodie

    Brodie Very Well-Known Member

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    I honestly only looked at the first two. I was so sure I didn't bother to check the other photos. Infact I would still stand by my ID if we had only the first two. I literally just looked at 3 and 4 after your post. What gave it away? The red around the cloaca?
     
  20. Chanzey

    Chanzey Well-Known Member

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    Haha no dramas mate :)
     
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