Powered by Bravenet Bravenet Blog

Subscribe to Journal

Tuesday the 11th of March 2014

11:02 PM

Reptile Day

Today in class we had Mr Simon Fearn, an expert in Reptiles. We learned from him the three largest species of skinks in Tasmania and that there are 3 species of snakes here.

The snakes are: Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus), Lowland Copperhead (Austrelaps superbus) and White Lipped Snake (Drysdalia coronoides).

Photo: The frontal shield is characteristic of tiger snakes

Tiger Snake has highly toxic venom which is produced in large amounts. They have glossy scales and their colours range from jet black to yellow/orange. They have highly variable markings or bandings. Adult reaches 1-1.8m in length. They can be found in dry rocky areas, woodlands to wet marshes and grasslands. They feed on mostly mammals and birds under 300g in weight and also lizards, smaller snakes, frogs and sometimes even fish.

Copperhead, closely related to Tiger Snake, is not as dangerous but is equally capable of killing a man if first aid is not applied. They have even solid colour and never have any banding or blotches. Their scales are matt in colour. Adult reaches 1-1.5m in length. They are usually found in wet and open areas with low vegetation. They feed typically on frogs and lizards but will also eat smaller snakes, grasshoppers and occasionally carrion. Copperhead can be differentiated by a row of orange/red scales close to the ground and the head has a lighter colour than the body.

White-lipped snake, mildly venomous, is the smallest of the three species, measuring 25-40cm in length. It is easy to be recognised by the white line bordered above by a narrow black line that runs along the upper lip. They love sun bathing and are generally found in healths, grasslands and open woodlands. They feed on small skinks and occasionally frogs. Juvenile snakes always have a bright orange belly.

The three species in Tasmania all give birth to live young.

Of the 17 species of lizards found in Tasmania, other than Mountain Dragon (Rankinia diemensis), all belong to the family Scincidae, commonly known as skink. The largest skink in Tasmania is Blotched Blue Tongue Lizard (Tiliqua nigrolutea) , second largest Sheoak Skink (Cyclodomorphus casuarinae) and third largest White Skink (Liopholis whitii). 

I am afraid of reptiles and insects. In the class and the field trip, I kept an arm's length with these little friends. When I heard comments saying they are cute, I find it hard to comprehend.
0 Comment(s).

There are no comments to this entry.

Post New Comment

No Smilies More Smilies »