New Venomous Snake Species Discovered In Australia
September 14, 2015
Australian herpetologists have discovered a new species of venomous snake in the Kimberley region of north western Australia. The snake, of the genus Acanthophis, is a death adder. Snakes of this genus can be found all over Australia and New Guinea as well as in Indonesia. The researchers describe the species in a paper published in the journal Zootaxa.
The Kimberley death adder (Acanthophis cryptamydros) grows to about two feet in length and sports a diamond shaped head. The researchers say it is a sit and wait predator that feeds on frogs, lizards and small mammals that wander within its striking distance. The snake is an almost orange-brown in coloration with a white belly with brown spots.
According to lead author Simon Maddock of the Natural History Museum and University College London, the Kimberley death adder can be found from Wotjulum in the west to Halls Creek in the south to Kununurra in the east. It lives in basal boulders in savannah woodland and in grassy areas.
John Virata keeps a western hognose snake, a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased for $5. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata