Covering Australian Snakes and Lizards, Crocodiles and Turtles



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

TURTLES Tortoises Chelonii Testudines

DRAGON LIZARDS Agamas Agamidae


LEGLESS LIZARDS Pygopodidae Pygopods

MONITOR LIZARDS Goannas Varanids Varanidae


CROCODILES Crocodylia Crocodilia Saltwater freshwater estuarine

Clarence River Snake

Tropidechis carinatus
Highly Venomous - Extremely Dangerous
rough-scaled SnakeTropidechis carinatus
Captive Rough-scaled snake Tropidechis carinatus at Luke's Reptile Kingdom on the Gold Coast, Qld

ough-scaled Snake
Captive Rough-scaled snake Tropidechis carinatus at Luke's Reptile Kingdom on the Gold Coast, Qld


Rough scaled snake - Tropidechis carinata
This Rough-scaled snake Tropidechis carinatus that has recently eaten a large food item was photographed near Coffs Harbour NSW

Rough scaled snake - Tropidechis carinata - map - Reptiles of Australia

Rough-scaled snake Tropidechis carinatus
This Rough-scaled snake Tropidechis carinatus was photographed near Coffs Harbour NSW

Rough-scaled snake Tropidechis carinatus
This Rough-scaled snake Tropidechis carinatus was photographed near Coffs Harbour NSW

The dangerously venomous Rough-scaled snake can be distinguished from the harmless Australian Keelback Tropidonophis mairii by its single anal and subcaudal scales (all divided on the Rough-scaled snake), a straight mouth (slightly up-curved on the Australian Keelback Tropidonophis mairii), and the absence of a loreal scale.

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 Australian Keelback would have an extra scale called the loreal scale between those scales.

Note that Australian Keelbacks Tropidonophis mairii 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.

Rough scaled snake - Tropidechis carinata 
Note that Rough-scaled snake Tropidechis carinatus patterning varies considerably, and sometimes has more distinctive banding than those pictured on this page. Its distribution overlaps that of the Tiger snake Notechis scutatus in some regions and it is often mistaken for that species (which is also extremely dangerous).

Rough scaled snake - Tropidechis carinata
This is a neonate Rough-scaled snake Tropidechis carinatus, locality unknown.

The Rough-scaled snake Tropidechis carinatus is regularly mistaken for the common Freshwater Snake or Australian Keelback Tropidonophis mairii- (a harmless colubrid) and grows to about 1 metre long. Females gives birth to an average of about 10 live young (possibly every second year). It is generally regarded as an aggressive species. Although those I have encountered in the wild have shown no sign of aggression at all!

Rough scaled snake - Tropidechis carinata

Venomous snakes do not always inject venom when biting, however due to the extremely high toxicity of the venom of this species, it is vital that first aid is performed immediately (constrictive bandage etc) and the patient is taken immediately to hospital. Lack of symptoms may not mean that the victim has not been envenomated.

Correct and immediate treatment for this species and other dangerous snakes increase the chance of survival significantly.

Although people are commonly bitten by dangerous snakes in Australia, the actual number of deaths is actually very low, due to antivenines and medical procedures.

Tiger snake Notechis scutatus antivenine is normally used to treat Rough-scaled snake bites.

Do not confuse this species with the Rough Scaled Python Morelia carinata


Click here for a complete list of Australian Elapid snakes

Click here for more information about Australian Elapid snakes

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Updated February 28, 2019