A Western Brown Snake is Removed from Behind a TV - Observation of the Week, 10/26/18

Our Observation of the Week is this Western Brown Snake, beautifully photographed by @outstar79 in Australia!

“The glorious thing about being a snake catcher and having friends that are also snake catchers [is that] we not only get to come across our more misunderstood and maligned reptiles, we also get to witness their true behavioural traits and some of the more unusual circumstances we may find them in,” says Australian Adam Brice (@outstar79), when telling the story behind the above photo.

This fella was caught up behind a homeowner's television set that was wall mounted 1.5m high. By using a low cabinet it was able to then reach up and find a safe place to retreat to (albeit unusually high safe place!). The photo itself was taken just before being released away from any potential further human-snake interaction.

Although its common name lacks the standard words we might associate with venomous snake - cobra, viper, rattlesnake, adder, etc. - the Western Brown Snake actually “belongs to a family of snakes responsible for the most snake bite related deaths in Australia,” explains Adam. “However despite this, they are an extremely shy and skittish snake that (like all snakes) just prefer to be left alone.”

Western Brown Snakes are highly variable in color and pattern, and are similar to the Eastern Brown Snake, but have a blue/purple mouth lining rather than the Eastern Brown’s pink one (we don’t encourage you to get close in order to get an ID, however). They can be found in many different dry habitats and enjoy hiding under rocks, logs, human detritus, and apparently behind televisions. Members of the Elapidae family, brown snakes are related to cobras, sea snakes, and coral snakes, and are considered to have the most potent venom of any land snakes aside from Australia’s own Inland Taipan. Unlike vipers, elapids have fixed, rather than hinged, front fangs.

Adam (above, photographing this South-western Carpet Python) was raised in rural Western Australia and says “part of growing up in the country really is you certainly get to experience more of nature as they are literally at your doorstep. Spent many hours hiking through the bushland growing up finding all sorts of critters!” He plans on furthering his education at university and hopes to find something in the wildlife/conservation field that will mesh well with his professional and family life.

Regarding his outstanding reptile and amphibian photography, Adam tells me that he likes to capture some of the animal’s environment in his photos, and that it’s important for him to get down to the same level as the creature. Also, “for many of the subjects I photograph the eyes are just so unique that they need showcasing themselves!”

“iNaturalist has been a great resource so far in seeing the contributions from other ‘iNaturalists’ [and] being able to help with identifications and see reptiles (and other animals) in habitat throughout the varying regions,” says Adam. “I personally use it now to log my observations as it's a great way of keeping track of those species I've ticked off the list (that we all have really) :)”

- by Tony Iwane


- You can see more of Adam’s photos and read his blog here!

- While Australia is home to many of the most venomous snakes on Earth, very few humans actually die from snakebites there. Here’s an article about regions of the world where snakebites are a very significant medical issue, due often to more agrarian lifestyles and reduced access to medical care.  

Posted by tiwane tiwane, October 26, 2018 10:41 PM

Comments

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More power to you, Adam!

Posted by susanhewitt about 2 months ago (Flag)
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Absolutely love your photography, Adam... Cheers to your work!!

Posted by calebcam about 2 months ago (Flag)
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Wonderful photos of a spectacular animal!

Posted by catenatus about 2 months ago (Flag)
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Televisions definitely count as human detritus. :D

Posted by kitty12 about 2 months ago (Flag)
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I like how you get down on the same level as the creatures you photograph. It may be inconvenient and a pain sometimes but well worth it.

Posted by rolandia about 2 months ago (Flag)
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Love the photo, Adam

Posted by bluejay2007 about 1 month ago (Flag)
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Just totally fantastic, what else can I say. Such a deadly snake in a home environment!

Posted by lonnyholmes about 1 month ago (Flag)

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