Re: Snake Info

Subject: Re: Snake Info
From: Terry Pacey <>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2005 16:22:04 +1000
Many thanks to those who answered my call for help. Even those who think they are the only ones who can do scale counts on snakes. My Ranger friend handles snakes giving lessons to tourists and I have been identifying snakes for almost 50 years.

The area where the skin was found is a favourite haunt for Tree Snakes and Keelbacks so they were our first thoughts but the count had us running around in circles.

The reply that settled the point was the following.

"Hello Terry,
I am a herpetologist and your e-mail regarding a snake skin was forwarded onto me in the hope that I might be able to shed a little light on the matter. It sounds as if you have a bit of a conundrum. There is a little more information that might just help guide us- such as where exactly did the snake skin come from? What sort of environment did you find it in? Were the ventral very wide and distinct? Did they have two distinct ridges along either side? Common tree snakes (Dendrelaphis punctulatus) occasionally have a mid-body scale count of 11, and they have an angular edge on the ventral scales which assists them to climb trees, and this sounds like the most likely candidate (if not the only candidate).
Alex Dudley"

I contacted Alex and he sent me further information.

"Don't take my word for the low scale count, it is mentioned on page 386 of "A complete guide to reptiles of Australia" by Steve Wilson and Gerry Swan."

I guess this solves the mystery and I am posting this so we can all learn something new.


Terry Pacey
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