SnakeSense: Conserving Australian Snakes and Lizards through Education

Sharing knowledge, conserving reptiles: snake catching, education, research, conservation.

Big Girls’ Day Out!

Huge female Eastern Brown Snake

Huge female Eastern Brown Snake

It never rains but it pours … and after a snake-catching drought over the past week or two, two frantic calls came in within an hour of each other, for the biggest girls we’ve seen in a long time!

First, near Marysville, lolling about in the ladies room of a country cafe (not making herself popular, I might add), was a heavily pregnant Highland Copperhead, enormous for her species.  Normally delicate, slender little snakes of under 1m, this wonderwoman made up for her inevitable short-length with a fuller figure to rival a sumo wrestler.  Even excluding her state of imminent maternity, she was a very big girl!

Enormous and pregnant Highland Copperhead

Enormous and pregnant Highland Copperhead

Naturally, the owners of the cafe were pleased to have us remove her before her special day arrived.  Highland Copperheads give birth to live young, producing anywhere between 6 and 30 offspring at a time, anywhere between February and May (although in this girl’s case, it was clearly going to be sooner rather than later). 

That would have made the ladies room somewhat crowded, it’s true.

Just as I walked back in the door at home, the second call came in, this time near Buxton, with an apparently large Eastern Brown Snake being harassed by a dog on a woman’s verandah. 

Huge Eastern Brown Snake

Huge Eastern Brown Snake

Now, as the saying goes, snakes look bigger from 30 feet up, so we don’t necessarily take a caller’s word for it when it comes to size.  In this instance, however, there was no exaggeration involved!

This girl was huge!  Over five feet long, and as thick as my arm, she was exceedingly displeased to be removed from her cosy hole in the side of the couple’s nice new garden bed, built up with suitably gappy railway sleepers – a snake’s dream.

Both lovely ladies were of course relocated to more appropriate habitats, where they could rest assured their new families would be undisturbed by humankind. 

We wish them all the best!

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    Scrub PythonThe Scrub Python is Australia’s largest snake, reaching over six metres in length.

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