THE REPTILES OF AUSTRALIA

AUSTRALIAN REPTILE PHOTOS, DISTRIBUTION MAPS AND INFORMATION
This site covers Snakes and Lizards, Crocodiles and Turtles, including Colubrid snakes, Pythons, Elapids (called Cobras or Coral Snakes in some countries), Sea Snakes, File Snakes, Blind (or Worm) Snakes, Sea Turtles, Freshwater Turtles (or Tortoises) Dragon Lizards (Agamas), Gecko's, Legless Lizards, Monitor Lizards (often called Goanna's in Australia), Skinks and Crocodilia.

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COLUBRID SNAKES - Colubridae Homalopsidae Mud Snakes

PYTHON SNAKES - Pythonidae

ELAPID SNAKES - Elapidae Cobras Coral Snakes

SEA SNAKES - Hydrophiinae Laticaudidae Sea Kraits

FILE SNAKES - Acrochordidae

BLIND SNAKES - Worm Snakes - Typhlopidae Ramphotyphlops

 

Colubrids & Mud Snakes

Pythons

 

 

Elapid Snakes

 

Sea
Snakes
& Sea
Kraits

File Snakes

 

Blind Snakes

 

TURTLES Tortoises Chelonii Testudines

DRAGON LIZARDS Agamas Agamidae

GECKO LIZARDS Gekkonidae

LEGLESS LIZARDS Pygopodidae Pygopods

MONITOR LIZARDS Goannas Varanids Varanidae

SKINK LIZARDS Scincidae

CROCODILES Crocodylia Crocodilia Saltwater freshwater estuarine

Turtles Tortoises

Dragons Agamas

Geckos

 

Legless Lizards

Monitor Lizards

Skinks

 

Crocodiles

 


AUSTRALIAN KEELBACK

or FRESH WATER SNAKE
Tropidonophis mairii

Harmless - (not venomous)

AUSTRALIAN KEELBACK Tropidonophis mairii
The Australian Keelback Tropidonophis mairii above was photographed at Deagon Wetlands - Qld
Australian Keelback Tropidonophis mairii  map

Australian Keelback Tropidonophis mairii from Cape Tribulation National Park, Qld
This Australian Keelback Tropidonophis mairii from Cape Tribulation National Park, Qld.

Keelback or Freshwater Snake
The Australian Keelback Tropidonophis mairii above was found in Karawatha, (South-east Qld)

AUSTRALIAN KEELBACK or FRESH WATER SNAKE
The Australian Keelback Tropidonophis mairii above was found in Nudgee, (Brisbane) Qld


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This Australian Keelback Tropidonophis mairii is from Northern Territory.


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keelbckb.jpg - 53986 Bytes
This Australian Keelback Tropidonophis mairii is from Northern Territory.

 

This is a very common snake in many areas, however it is often mistaken (and killed) for a Brown snake. This species is believed to be able to tolerate eating small cane toads. It can be distinguished from a Brown snake by its keeled scales.

IMPORTANT WARNING

Note the Australian Keelback is Non Venomous however the similar looking Australian Rough Scaled Snake is an extremely dangerous species with venom comparable to our most venomous species.


If you look at this photo you will notice that there is one large scale in front of the eye (preocular) and in front of that is the nasal scale. However the Keelback would have an extra scale called the loreal scale between those scales.


The harmless Keelback can be distinguished from the dangerously venomous Rough-scaled Snake by its divided anal and subcaudal scales (all single on the Rough-scaled Snake), dark sutures on its lips (patternless on the Rough-scaled Snake), a slightly up-curved mouth (straight on the Rough-scaled Snake), and the presence of a loreal scale.

Note that Keelbacks may have obvious lip markings where the scales meet (sutures) which are normally absent on the Rough-scaled Snake, however this is not a reliable method of differentiating the species.

Also similar looking and closely related species from overseas may be poisonous and or venomous
(Some bites have proved fatal or life threatening).

Of particular note are the Red-necked keelback
and the Tiger keelback (Yamakagashi  or Floral snake)

Serious bites from some overseas species previously believed to be harmless may show misleading symptoms of envenomation, and as the victim gets closer to death they may actually feel like they are recovering.

Also several overseas species have poison glands on their neck, which may contain toxins derived from Toads they have eaten. The thin skin covering the poison glands (not to be confused with venom glands) tears easily expelling the toxin.

Although these species may sometimes be reluctant to bite and were sold in the Australian pet trade in large numbers, extreme care should be taken with snakes resembling Australian Keelbacks.

 

LINKS OF INTEREST

Click here for more information about Australian Colubrids and Mud Snakes

Click here for complete lists of Australian Colubrids and Mud Snakes

Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia 7th Edition.jpg A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia 5th edition Edition

OTHER LINKS

Find_a_Random_Species_of_Australian_Reptile

Visit the Australian Herpetology Website

 

About John Fowler | About John Hollister | Report Faulty Link | Report an Error | Contact John Fowler Author of the Australian Herpetology Website and Holiday in Kos - Owner of the Adelaide Reptile Forum

Contact John Hollister Author of John Hollister Reptile Collection - Herping the Trans-Pecos & Rattlesnake Roundup

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Updated December 8, 2018

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