Snake ID please :) - Hinterland Sunshine Coast Area

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

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  1. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    Hi Brodie,
    If you want to feel better, just check out this thread of me making a complete fool of myself... There are a couple more floating around but my memory seems to have conveniently deleted what they were about. Lol. I am not sure what I was drinking at the time but it must have been a top brew!

    The reality is there is often a wide range of species in any given area, a percentage of which may fit the bill. The danger is in making decisions too early and then there is every possibility you will see what you are looking for. Add to that the uncharacteristic forms that occur in different places and with different species. Some species are totally consistent and others have lots of localised variants that you never get to hear about except in places like this. I am still finding out heaps myself.

    The good thing about having a go is that it makes you look seriously at the characteristics of the reptile. And when you get it wrong, I can guarantee you whatever lessons were to be learned will not be forgotten. Don’t worry about ego, just learning! I can guarantee you I have come up looking like a smuck more often than you would believe, but the old trial and error technique is a very powerful one and I have gained far more knowledge and understanding than the amount of ‘face’ lost.

    Some take pleasure in highlighting other’s mistakes. This is something to be ignored. Earlier today there was Delma the OP thought was a juvi brown. So I told him straight out, it definitely looks like a juvi brown – why? because they do. And any pea brained expert who says they look nothing like each other is not looking after those that are learning – a process we are all still going through to a greater or lesser degree. That why pleases me to see you have crack at it. Just don’t stop now.

    Blue
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2013
  2. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    Demansia vestigiata head.JPG RBB head.JPG

    Comparing heads of Demansia vestigiata and Pseudechis porphryiacus.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2013
  3. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    Cream bellied RBB.gif
    An example of a cream-bellied indivividual of a RBB. There is still pink on the lateral scales adjoining the ventrals.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2013
  4. Fuscus

    Fuscus Power Seller Power Seller

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    The head scale pattern scream Red-belly. The head scalation is a very good match though the perietal scales ( big one on the back of the head) are damaged. Also they are becoming very common in the area (the cane toad effect is wearing off), I took one out of a cupboard yesterday and have moved at least six in the past week.
    I also feel obliged to point out that you need to control your dogs even if only to avoid financial pain. A vet will charge $800 for a single vial of anti-venom plus additional costs. And as there is only a 30% chance of the animal pulling through they tend to want payment up front. The cheapest treatment I have heard of is $1400 while one person paid $7500 to save the dog.
     

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  5. -Peter

    -Peter Guest

    There is a tell in the third picture, the 5 or six ventrals above the cloacal flap.
     
  6. Interesting thread - obviously a RBB getting ready to shed, hence the lack of colour. The first response to this thread, where the poster suggests it's a tree snake, shows how a little (or no) knowledge could potentially lead to serious consequences. It looks nothing like a harmless tree snake, it's a potentially dangerous elapid, very obvious in the first two photos.

    Seems that "tree snakes" are the common fallback species when people haven't got a clue what they're looking at, but have to add their bit...

    Jamie
     
  7. eipper

    eipper Very Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    Is this the same Brodie that left collection of reptiles to die in Darwin?
     
  8. Brodie

    Brodie Very Well-Known Member

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    Yes I am that Brodie. Please don't comment on something you know little about. I would be happy to share the story with you Scott, PM me if you like. Infa t anyone who wants to know should PM me. I am just not comfortable posting it on the forum for the world to see. You all deserve to know the story, though.

    Thanks very much Blue!
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
  9. Sezzzzzzzzz

    Sezzzzzzzzz Very Well-Known Member

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    wow, the fact you openly admit that its you (i know nothing of the story) takes balls. i like someone who can admit when they stuffed up!
     
  10. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    Sorry I have been slow in reinstituting this lost post. I have not been well of late...

    The following is a quote from Cogger and I have read and directly heard similar statements: “The lateral scale row on each side adjacent to the ventral scale rows and the outer edges of the ventral scales are bright red or pink...” “Northern specimens usually much paler pink to almost white below.” Combine that with a snake in the process of been soon to shed and you have a RBB with virtually no red.

    The colour of edges of the ventral scales in a RBB extends onto the first row of lateral scales. Both are usually edged behind with black. This can be seen clearly in the first two photos. It is also apparent that the snake is a dark glossy black (rather than dark brown) and lacks the narrow pale ring around the eye that is found on the whip.

    In photo 3 I counted 58 subcaudals (single anteriorly, divided posteriorly). Demansia vestigiata is recorded as 63 – 92, all divided. RBB is recorded as 40-65, single then divided posteriorly (occasionally all single). Note the relative tail lengths. Yet another atypical RBB is the lack of an all black tip to the tail.

    In photo 4, viewing from above, the body is looking a little too robust for D. vestigiata. That aside, the critical attribute for me is the absence of the long, thin and very slowly tapering tail characteristic of whips.

    The animal is (was) definitely a Red-bellied Black (Pseudechis porphyriacus).

    Blue
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2013
  11. Brodie

    Brodie Very Well-Known Member

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    Your posts blow me away blue. I can't wait until I am as good as you!
     
  12. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    There are many people here far more adept at this than I. It is probably more a reflection of the importance I place on education and the fact that I have the time to detail the ‘whys’ and ‘wherefores’.

    If you are serious about improving your ID skills then might I suggest you start keeping notes on each species. Up to date distributions and scale counts (via the ‘Description’ tab) are available via the AROD website, so you don’t have to worry about recording those if you don’t want to. Most reptile species will have something definitive that distinguishes them from others that look very similar and those are the sorts of characteristics that you want to record. A good library of field guides is essential and that can be combined with whatever field knowledge you have personally acquired or has been passed on from others. Because I have a fairly retentative memory for things that interest me, I am often slack in the recording department. That has been my downfall on occasions.

    Taking the time to closely observe specimens in the field and/or cruising the net to look at photos also helps a lot. You will soon find yourself picking out the incorrectly identified specimens on this like Google images, Lol. This type of exercise gives you a feel for range of variation in specific features of particular species. And you will start to pick up features that are not mentioned in field guides. For example, Rough-scaled versus Keelback. The differ in the shape of the head. This produces a difference in the orientation of the eyes to one another. Rough-scaled eyes are in approximately vertical, parallel planes while in Keelbacks the panes are tiled towards each other at the top and the front. So when you view the head of each from directly in front, there is a distinct difference in the positioning and amount of view available of the eyes. Also the patterning in these two snakes varies. The dark bands in Rough-scales, when present, are essentially circular in nature, allowing for the fact that you are not going to get a straight edge due to the scales not being straight edged. In contrast, Keelback bands are invariably somewhat diagonal, even if they zig-zag to give an overall circular effect. Check out the pics and you will see what I mean. That is one characteristic you will definitely not find described in a field guide yet I warrant that many experienced herpers utilise it unknowingly in making an initial field ID.

    Anyway, thanks for the positive feedback and I hope you find the above of some help. Others will no doubt go about it differently, so listen to all and make use of what you can that they have to offer.

    Blue
     
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