THE REPTILES OF AUSTRALIA - ELAPIDS

AUSTRALIAN REPTILE PHOTOS AND INFORMATION
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LITTLE WHIP SNAKE
Suta flagellum
(was Parasuta flagellum )

Venomous - normally considered harmless - and although one death has occurred after a bite of this species, there were other complications involved.
However dangerous species may be mistaken for this species!

Little Whip Snake Parasuta flagellum
This Little Whip Snake (Suta flagellum) was found under a small rock at Ballarat, Victoria, where a similar sized baby Brown snake was also hiding. Notice the fat tail often seen on this species.

Little Whip Snake Parasuta flagellum
This Little Whip Snake (Suta flagellum) was photographed near Nairne, South Australia


Little Whip Snake Parasuta flagellum
This Little Whip Snake (Suta flagellum) was photographed near Nairne, South Australia


This Little Whip Snake (Suta flagellum) was photographed near Cherry Gardens, South Australia
This Little Whip Snake (Suta flagellum) was photographed near Cherry Gardens, South Australia
Notice the dark edges on the scales, which are usually seen on this species


LITTLE WHIP SNAKE Parasuta flagellum  
Notice the fat tail often seen on Little Whip Snakes (Suta flagellum)

LITTLE WHIP SNAKE Parasuta flagellum map
Notice that I have not been able to find any records of Little Whip Snakes (Suta flagellum) occurring in Canberra, ACT however they have been found close to the ACT border and are likely to occur there.

LITTLE WHIP SNAKE Parasuta flagellum
Little Whip Snake (Suta flagellum)

This small mildly venomous snake is generally considered to be harmless - note that I have been bitten by little whip snakes a couple of times (with only minor discomfort), however someone did die after a bite from this species once, but apparently the person had other health problems which contributed to his death.

Note that in the Adelaide area this species is easily confused with the Spectacled Hooded Snake (Parasuta spectabilis) which is also found close to the city and looks extremely similar. The Spectacled Snake may have some "brown" markings on the black hood and normally has 15 dorsal scales at midbody

The Little Whip Snake Parasuta flagellum tends to be in the Mt Lofty Ranges and Adelaide Hills particularly south and east of the city whereas the Spectacled Hooded Snake (Parasuta spectabilis) tends to be on the coastal plains and hills to the North West of the City and north of the Adelaide area. The Little Whip Snake (Parasuta flagellum) sometimes has a fat tail (sexual dimorphism?) and appears to have a more consistent head marking and normally has 15-17 dorsal scales at midbody.


SIMILAR SPECIES

 

COMMON NAME (INTERNAL LINK)

SCIENTIFIC NAME
(EXTERNAL LINK)

DISTRIBUTION

Gould's Hooded Snake

Suta (was Parasuta) gouldii

WA, SA

Monk Snake or Hooded Snake

Suta (was Parasuta) monachus

NSW, NT, SA, WA

Mallee Black-backed Snake or Mitchell's Short Tailed Snake (Status uncertain)

Suta (was Parasuta) nigriceps (Status uncertain)

WA, SA?

Spectacled Hooded Snake

Suta (was Parasuta) spectabilis

NSW, Qld, SA, Vic

*Dwyer's Snake
(Status uncertain)

Suta (was Parasuta) dwyeri

NSW, SA, Vic, Qld, ACT




LINKS OF INTEREST


Herpetology2020 - What’s Under the Hood
Phylogeny and Taxonomy of the Snake Genera Parasuta and Suta (Squamata: Elapidae), with A Description of A New Species from the Pilbara, Western Australia
Species New to Science


Click here for more Information about Australian Elapid Snakes

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Contact John Fowler Author of the Australian Herpetology Website, Pythons of the World, BoaSnakes.info, PetGecko.info and Holiday in Kos - Owner of the Adelaide Reptile Forum

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

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Updated September 19, 2021



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