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24 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Australian Snakes
~160 spp in 7 families
Typhlopidae (blind snakes) 31spp 1 genera, Rhamphotyphlops
Boidae (pythons) 15 spp 5 genera
Elapidae (front fanged- venemous) 83 spp 8 genera
Colubridae (no fang, nor rear-fanged) 9sp 8 genera
Three Families of SEA SNKES
Hydrophiidae 13spp, 12 genera
Laticaudidae (sea kraits) 2spp 1 genus Laticauda
Acrochordidae (file snakes) 2 spp, 1 genera, Acrochordus

Typhlopidae and Hydrophiidae are most diverse in australia than anywhere else
Types of fangs
no hinged front fanged spp
rear fanged, all australian colubrid spp
no fangs, pythons
Family Typhlopidae
*Blind snakes
Center of diversity in OZ- from here?
Worm like
non venomous
subterranean burrowers
reduced eyes- small spots under scales
Scales-smooth, polished, thick--> protection from ant stings
short tail w/tiny spine, anchor when moving in tunnels
Eat-ant/termite larvae and eggs, some eat soil dwelling inverts
Smell bad @ anal glands when threatened
Small headed blind snake
Ramphotyphlops affinis
Grows to 15cm
in E australia (not in victoria)
Rotund blind snake
Ramphotyphlops pinguis
Grows to 35 cm
small disbn' in southern australia
Family Boidae
*Widespread group in tropical and semi-tropical areas
Sub families
Boinae (boas) and Pythoninae (pythons)
only pythons in OZ
-oz origion?
entered via asia ~25mya
15spp, 5 genera
Medium to large bodied snakes
many nocturnal
Predatorts of other verts- mammals and birds detected by heat sensitive pabrial pits in head
Kill by constriction
Oviparous, females brood eggs
when temp decreases below ~28C brooding females "shiver" to increase heat production for eggs
Aspidites ramsayi
Arid regions
Preys on small mammals and reptiles
Grows to 200cm
Green Python
Specialized to capture roosting birds as they sleep @night
Tropical rainforest inhab from N QLD
Juviniles-bright yellow/orange
Grows to 180 cm
Carpet or Diamond python
Morelia spilota
Australia's most common python
Mostly nocturnal
Terrestrial and arboreal
Preys on mammals, birds and lizards
Grows to 250 cm
Family Colubridae
Dominant snake in all continents except australia
Invaded ~10mya via asia
11spp in 8genera (in oz)
2 subfamilies
both venomous, rear-fanged spp
envenomation by chewing not injection
Usually kill by constriction, venom aids in digesiton
Aquatic or tree
Subfamily Colubridae
*common tree snake, brown tree snake and freshwater snake
*all oviparous
Brown Tree Snake
Also found in papua new guinea and indonesia
Mainly nocturnal
Preys on small mammals, birds and their eggs and lizards
Introduced to Guam and destroyed the bird and lizard fauna there
Grows to 200cm
Sub Family Homalopsinae
Water inhabiting
White bellied mangrove snake
Fordonia leucobalia
Inhabits estuarine areas
Eats crabs
Holds crabs in coils and bites off legs and crawls with mouth before swallowing- rare b/c snakes usually swallow prey intact
Grows to 60cm
Family Acrochordidae
File snakes
3spp in world Genus Acrochordus
2spp in OZ- OZ origin?
A. granulatusin marine and
estuarine areas of N Australia and Indo-Pacific
A. arafuraeis found in freshwater swamps of N Australia.
Scales-sharp pints on them
Eat-fish -> rapid strike action, wrap body around and hold w/ pointed scales, swallowed whole head first
Non venomous
Arafura file snake
Freshwater swamps, wet-dry tropics in rivers of Papua New Quinea
Skin loose on body
Grows to 150 cm
Little File snake
Acrochordus granulatus
-Estuarine mangrove areas
well developed salt gland to get rid of salt
In papua new guinea and SE asia
Grows to 120 cm
Family Elapidae
Diverse/widespread in Africa Asia Australia and Americas- tropical and temperate
Greatest div in OZ
origion from asia ~25mya
Venom glands in oral cavity- pair of short hollow fangs in front of mouth,
Venom-prey immobilizing/killing neurotoxins
may have myotoxic coagulant/anticoagulant effects
Eat- mainly vertebrate prey
Oviparous and viviparous spp
viviparous in colder areas
Vermicela annulata
Eats blind snakes
Grows to 50cm
Fierce snake (Western taipan)
Oxyuranus microlepidotus
Feeds on long haired rats
Most toxic venom of any snake in the world
Good vision
Not as aggressive as taipan O. scutellatus
Eastern Tiger Snake
Prefers swamps and stream areas
Common in suburban areas
Highly neurotoxic venom, small fangs
Dinurally active
Eats- frogs, also lizards, small mammals and birds
Viviparous, 10-15 babies
Agresssive if cournered
Grows to 150 cm
Family Hydrophiidae
True sea snakes
Closely related to elapid snakes
50spp worldwide- tropic and subtropical waters
31 in OZ
15 endemic to OZ
Front-fanged snakes
Fish predators, some specialise on fish eggs (lost fangs and venom system)
Family Laticaudidae
Sea Kraits
Closely related to sea snakes and elapids.
Tropical waters of western Pacific and eastern India oceans and feed on fish
Venomous- front fanges
Nocturnal, eat fish when they are sleeping
Partly terrestrial
Oviparous and lay eggs in rock crevices on the sea shore
Yellow Bellied Sea Snake
Cosmopolitan disbn
Pelagic fish feeder