Reptile Identification Forum: Please read this BEFORE using this forum

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Jun 14, 2006
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1. Please note only sensible posts that are on topic to the related ID thread.

A special note on the Identification of Snakes
The correct identification of a snake can be critical. If providing an ID for legless lizards to a novice, explain the need for future caution with these animals until their ‘lizard status’ is positively established, especially given the existence of “snake mimics’ e.g. young browns and some Delma and Pygopus species.

To those Requesting an ID
take NO chances and treat every unidentified snake, alive or dead, as if it were dangerously venomous. Small size means nothing – ‘little’ snakes have caused fatalities. Even a dead snake can inject venom. The biting reflex remains intact for many hours after the snake has died or a scratch from a fang could introduce venom under the skin.

Do NOT attempt to kill any snake. A significant percentage of fatal snake bites from venomous or unidentified species are the result of just this.

What information you provide will determine the likelihood of a positive ID. Ideally, the following should be provided to enable accurate identification:

  • Clear photos i.e. focused and taken in good light. Include, if possible…
    • whole body view from above, and the side
    • head & neck view from above and the side
    • ventral surface, especially anal and tail in snakes
    • Geckoes are often identified by the arrangement of the scales under the digits. A sheet of glass can be used to obtain a photo.
  • Specific locality
  • Habitat (natural areas nearby)
  • Activity of the animal

NB: Do NOT put yourself in danger while attempting to obtain photos of snakes.Always remain at a safe distance.
If emergency first aid information is needed a link to the Australian Venom Research Unit First Aid Procedures is provided
First Aid | Australian Venom Research Unit
Pressure Immobilisation Bandaging (PIB)**: Applying a pressure immobilisation bandage | Australian Venom Research Unit

To those Providing an ID
Do NOT reply if you have no idea and are wild guessing. Don't post rubbish, stupid comments etc or you will be infracted under General Rule 5: Posts must be meaningful and not waste the time of other site users. We would like this to be a serious and educational forum with no fighting, nastiness or stupid comments.

Stating your competence/confidence is appreciated e.g. “I am quite familiar with the species but only 90% certain…” or “I am still learning but it looks likes…”

Providing reasons for your ID will allow others to learn and assist in picking up any mistakes. Reasons such as head scale descriptions and counts, scale counts and other identification markers should be given to assist others to learn.
Stating it's a "whatever" without any reasons is unacceptable even if the answer is correct. You must state how you arrived at this conclusion in a logical, sensible way.
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