THE REPTILES OF AUSTRALIA - ELAPIDS

AUSTRALIAN REPTILE PHOTOS AND INFORMATION
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ROUGH-SCALED SNAKE
or
Clarence River Snake

Tropidechis carinatus
Highly Venomous - Extremely Dangerous

v
Subadult Rough Scaled Snake (Tropidechis carinatus) photographed in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Qld

Approximate distribution of the Rough Scaled Snake (Tropidechis carinatus) MAP
Approximate distribution of the Rough Scaled Snake (Tropidechis carinatus)


Rough Scaled Snake (Tropidechis carinatus)
Adult Rough Scaled Snake (Tropidechis carinatus) photographed in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Qld.

This species is often mistaken for a Tiger snake (Notechis scutatus)

Rough Scaled Snake (Tropidechis carinatus)
Subadult Rough Scaled Snake (Tropidechis carinatus) photographed in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Qld

Rough Scaled Snake (Tropidechis carinatus)
Adult Rough Scaled Snake (Tropidechis carinatus) photographed in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Qld


Rough Scaled Snake (Tropidechis carinatus)
Adult Rough Scaled Snake (Tropidechis carinatus) photographed in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Qld

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 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 as opposed to a slightly up-curved mouth 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) which is 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
Rough-scaled Snake (Tropidechis carinatus)

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) due to its similar common and scientific names

LINKS OF INTEREST

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Australian Snakes In Captivity (A Guide to) Working with Snakes: A comprehensive information and training manual for professional Australasian snake consultants Kindle Edition

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About John Fowler | About John Hollister | Report Faulty Link | Report an Error

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 5, 2021



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