It’s a pretty well-known fact that Australia is no stranger to frenetic and ferocious creatures such as snakes. In fact, 140 species of land snakes can be found in the country, possessing venom that can quickly knock one out.
Snakes could be lurking in Erldunda, but don’t expect to get bitten to death so easily, since snake bite casualties are pretty rare according to herpetologist and venom export Bryan Fry, adding that “snake bites are very, very rare [in Australia] and often the fault of the person being bitten.” Familiarising yourself is one step forward to safety, so here’s an in-depth at the slithering snakes of Central Australia:
1) Black Whip Snake
Venomous Black Whip Snakes are pretty docile creatures who will not attack unless they’re provoked. Their colours range from black to dark brown combined with paler head and reddish tail and their whole body can be 1.5 metres long.
2) Western Brown
These are the snakes you should stay away from once you catch sight of them. Highly venomous and prone to attacking detected threats, Western Brown snakes can differ in colour, but they all come with a black Y shape on neck.
3) Brown Tree Snake
While not as aggressive as Western Brown Snakes, these slightly venomous snakes can also attack when cornered. They are active during the night and live in trees, so if you’re camping outside, don’t forget to watch out for these snakes in the area.
4) Death Adder
Another highly venomous snake is the short and stubby Death Adder, which grows to 1.2 metres. They have very pronounced broad head with raised ridges just above their eyes.
5) Olive Python
Although they are not venomous, Olive Pythons can look very intimidating, since they can grow up to 6.5 metres long! These terrestrial snakes can be found living in under rocks or logs, so keep an eye out for these pythons when you’re on a bushwalk.
6) Water Python
These pythons are known for their rainbow-like scales with colours ranging from dark olive to black, possessing bright yellow underbelly. Non-venomous, water pythons are semi-aquatic and they can be found mostly in wetland areas such as streams or creeks.
These muscular and gigantic snakes can be found in desert areas of Central Australia. They are non-venomous and nocturnal snakes that can grow up to 2 metres in length.
8) Children’s Python
Don’t get fooled by the name — these non-venomous snakes are known to bite anyone that crosses their way. They can be identified with their brown to reddish brown streaks that are combined with darker blotches along their back and sides.
9) King Brown
The King Brown snakes are enormous snakes that can expand up to 2.5 metres. Also called as Mugla snakes, they possess deadly venom, and can be easily spotted due to their pale brown to reddish-coloured scales.
10) Slaty Grey
Probably the most aggressive snake in our list, Slaty Grey snakes are non-venomous reptiles that can release foul smell as part of their defense mechanism. They possess deep brown to a dark grey or charcoal scale colour, which makes it a bit difficult to spot them at night, where they stay hidden under deep cracks in the soil or debris.
When you encounter any of these snakes, keep calm and carefully avoid them, since panicking might alert them the wrong way. For snake problems, you can call Parks and Wildlife Commission in Alice Springs at 0407 983 276. While waiting for help, don’t even attempt to harm or throw objects at these snakes because they might retaliate, and make sure to maintain your distance as you continue your journey to the centre.