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Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus) at Wilsons Promontory

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Published on Feb 21, 2013

Tiger Snakes (Notechis scutatus) are the most commonly seen of the three species of snakes which occur on Wilsons Promontory. Most people are familiar with the banded pattern of "typical" Tiger snakes, but even in the one location, these snakes can be seen in a variety of patterns and colours. Many Tiger Snakes have very faint bands or sometimes no bands at all.

The snake shown here was filmed late in the afternoon on a cool spring day. By the slightly milky appearance of it's eyes and overall very dull skin, it would appear to be going to shed (slough) it's skin in the next few days. The snake also appears to be quite old and seems to have a few battle scars. This snake was very dark and appeared to have no banding, but the distinctive head and shape of the scales, as well as general body form give it away as a Tiger Snake. The snake became aware of my presence but didn't move away. I left it basking and passed by again 20 minutes later; the air had cooled even more and the snake had gone.

Only three species of snakes occur on the Prom. In addition to Tiger Snakes, there are Lowland Copperheads (Austrelaps superbus) and White-lipped Snakes (Drysdalia coronoides). There are no Black Snakes (Red-bellied Black Snakes) on the Prom despite the images shown in the visitor centre showing otherwise! Any "black-coloured" snake you see at the Prom is either a Copperhead or a Tiger Snake.

If you see a snake whilst exploring the Prom, stand back a couple of metres and admire it. At this distance they don't pose a threat; indeed snakes don't actually attack people; they only bite when they feel scared or threatened. Having said that, whenever out exploring you should always carry a couple of pressure bandages and know how to treat a snakebite. With the right first aid treatment, death from snakebite in Australia is a very rare event.

You can see a Tiger Snake with some slight banding from the prom on this video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UsdAg...

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