Snakes of Australia and neighboring Pacific Islands

Snakes Of Australia and the Neighboring Pacific Islands

NON-VENOMOUS SNAKES

AUSTRALASIAN PYTHONS
If America is the center for Boa species, then Australasia is definitely the place for python diversity and distribution, with 72% of all known species living there. Several are spread throughout Australo-Papua, while others are less well known and more limited in their distribution. The area is home to some of the rarest and the smallest, pythons known.
CHILDREN’S PYTHONS
Four species of Australian python in the genus Antaresia are distributed throughout the continent except the south and southeast. These are the smallest pythons in Australia, with few specimens reaching 2.0metres in total length. The Anthill or Pigmy Python (A. perthensis) of Western Australia, easily the smallest known python in the world, with a maximum length of 0.7metres. For several years there was confusion over the distribution and Identification of the different populations so all were lumped together in the single species, the Children’s Python. Named in honor of the English naturalist J.G. Children, not because they were small and suitable as pets for children. They have been kept and bred in captivity for several years and the long term confusion has sadly meant many captive lineages are hybrids.
These small pythons are recognizeable by a variety of characteristics besides their small size. They have large dorsal head scales, instead of the fragmented scales common to most other pythons, and several loreal scales between the nasal and preocular scales. Their heat sensing pits are confined to the first supralabials and the last 5-7 posterior infralabials. Also they are reported to possess a relatively large number of teeth compared to other pythons.
Nocturnal and mainly terrestrial, these pythons are very agile and even though they don’t have prehensile tails, they can climb well. They are especially common around termite mounds, hence `Anthill Python’, and rocky outcrops.
WATER PYTHONS
The Water Pythons are found in northern Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland and the Islands of the Torres Strait), southern New Guinea (PNG and West Papua) and the Indonesian Lesser Sunda Islands (Timor, Wetar, Sawa, Semau and Babar). This group of large and small land masses is separated by the Arafura Sea, Timor Sea and the Gulf of Carpentaria, so before being able to understand current opinions about the taxanomic status of the Water Pythons of Australasia it is necessary to understand the biogeographical history of the region over the last 50,000 years or so.
The Torres Strait, between Queensland and New Guinea, is 12m deep, the Gulf of Carpentaria is 70m deep while the Arafura Sill, where the Arafura sea meets the Indian Ocean, is over 53m deep. Australia and New Guinea sit on the shallow water Sahul Shelf that was exposed as a land bridge when sea levels were at least 50m lower than they are now. This happened during the frequent ice-ages, the last of which peaked 18,000-20,000 years ago, when much of the world’s water was locked up in the extensive polar ice-sheets. At the same time what is now the 70m deep central depression in the Gulf of Carpentaria was a huge freshwater paleo-lake into which flowed the Rivers of the region. A wide river is also believed to have flowed westward, out of Lake Carpentaria to the edge of the Arafura Sill and into the Indian Ocean, effectively separating northwestern Australia from New Guinea and preventing gene flow, but a land bridge remained to the east, between Queensland and New Guinea, until 6,000-8,000 years ago when sea levels rose again, the Torres Strait was formed and the link was broken.
Now a wide expanse of ocean separates northern Australia from the Indonesian Lesser Sunda Islands but at times of lowered sea level, when more land would have been exposed to the northwest of Australia, this gap may have been less than 100km, possibly narrow enough to permit rafting, and therefore the gene flow between the populations of northwest Australia and Lesser Sunda archipelago.
Considering the above historical interpretations it may be easier to understand the proposals put forward by Rawlings that the Queensland and New Guinea Water Pythons are closely related, more closely related than the Queensland and Northern Territory specimens, and that the Water Pythons from Northern Territory and the Lesser Sundas may be related.
OLIVE PYTHONS
There are two species of Olive Pythons. The Australian species, Liasis olivaceus, which is considered the sister taxon to the Water Python complex (L. mackloti/fuscus), and the New Guinea species, which was once regarded as a subspecies of the Australian Olive Python, but has now been allocated its own monotypic genus Apodora, which is considered the sister taxa to the genus Liasis. The Olive Pythons are stout-bodied, with tails that are not prehensile, predators of birds, mammals and reptiles and while there are reports of longer scrub pythons in the Morelia amethistina complex (most notably M. kinghorni), they are fairly slim snakes compared to the stout-bodied Olive Pythons.
WHITE-LIPPED PYTHONS
Once a single species, the White-lipped Pythons have a long head, reasonably stout body and non-prehensile tails. Across its widespread range, this species displays a large variation in coloration and size. To anyone who has seen specimens from different parts of New Guinea, one thing seems certain; there is more than one species. Only now is a really detailed study of the genus Leiopython nearing completion. And the Alternative common name of D’Albertis Python now may not be appropriate to be applied to the entire Leiopython complex, because Leiopython albertisii will become just one of several species within the genus. White-lipped Pythons are found throughout New Guinea and on many of the coastal islands. It is belived to be closely related to the Bismarck Ringed Python from New Britain and New Ireland to the east, an archipelago from which the White-lipped Python appears to be absent, and yet it is found again on the remote St Matthias archipelago, New Ireland Province, to the north of Bismarck archipelago. Besides the Northern and Southern White-lipped Pythons, it seems there is also 4 or 5 scattered highland and island populations that also warrant specific status. What has been a single species for so long, could soon become six or seven valid species based on their external morphology and mtDNA analysis.
PAPUAN ARCHIPELAGO PYTHONS
Most New Guinea pythons are mainland species that have spread to the smaller islands off the coast, the islands of the Bismarck Archipelago are sizeable islands in their own right. They are home to a native .
island python which does not inhabit the mainland.
CARPET PYTHONS
Their head is broad allowing a wide mouth gape, a shape emphasized by the distinct narrow neck. The dorsal scales are fragmented with few enlarged scutes remaining, and the heat sensing pits are present on the rostral, anterior supralabials and most of the infralabials. These snakes are highly adapted, predators of mammals and birds, although as juveniles they include a large portion of lizards in their diet. They are agilely arboreal, when they need to be, and have highly prehensile tails.
UNCOMMON AUSTRALIAN PYTHONS
Australia is such a vast continent, but it is still surprising to learn that large snake species like pythons somehow avoided scientific discovery until near the end of the 20th century. Two new species were identified in the sparsely populated Northern Territory and Western Australia, and more may yet be discovered in the outback.
TREE PYTHONS
Most of the pythons of Australia are terrestrial snakes, and although all can climb, only one can truly be called a tree python. It is one of the most attractive snakes in the world, and bears a startling resemblance to an Amazon boa.
SCRUB PYTHONS
Two names have been commonly used for this large Indo-Australian python, the term ‘Scrub Python’ appearing most frequently in the Australian, and sometimes American, literature, is a reference to the semi-arid savannah-woodland inhabited by some of them. The other common name of ‘Amethystine Python’, which is used more often in British literature, and the scientific name Morelia amethistina, are in reference to the iridescent sheen that is visible when sunlight falls upon the body scales. A common feature in nocturnal snakes and often reflected in their common names, like Rainbow Boa, Iridescent Earth Snake, Sunbeam Snake etc, and could be a form of disruptive patterning, breaking up the outline of the coils in daylight, like a hologram, to confuse a foraging predator.
The Scrub Python was considered a single wide spread, Indo-Australian species consisting of the nominate New Guinea-eastern Indonesian subspecies and a Queensland, Australia subspecies, described in 1933, but a recent study of the Scrub Python complex not only elevated the Queensland subspecies to full specific status, but also identified three new species from the island to the west of New Guinea. So what was once a single species is now a five species complex. The authors also suggested that more species may yet be described from the northern and southern New Guinea and Bismarck populations of M. amethistina
The five species within M. amethistina were delineated, in part, by their DNA analysis differences. Luckily for python enthusiasts and fieldworkers, the authors also used morphological characteristics in their species definitions, differences in head scalation and aspects of the patterning, so that it is possible to identify the five species by close physical examination. The scale differences are too complex to go into here. It should be noted that the New Guinea Amethystine Python probably contains three or more as yet undescribed species.
The Scrub Pythons are all large snakes, although some data is lacking on the three new species. They are long with powerful muscular bodies and long heads and prehensile tails. Mainly nocturnal, like all pythons, they are active on the ground but also very good at climbing, their body being perfect for arboreal existence. Therefore, prey can be very diverse and consist of not only large and powerful ground dwelling animals, such as wild pig or wallabies, but also tree dwelling species like cuscus, sugar gliders, tree kangaroos, fruit bats and birds. There are reports of Scrub Pythons frequenting large fruit bat colonies.
MONTANE PYTHONS
Pythons appear to be most common in low-lying habitats, and in parts of coastal Madang, Western or Central Provinces, PNG, you might encounter four or five species in one night. The highlands of New Guinea, how ever, are less populated with pythons, but there is at least one, a truly montane python, found there which does not extend its territory into lowland coastal habitats.
SUNDA ISLAND PYTHONS
The Sunda Islands are a link between the Oriental and Australian regions and habitat to species, including pythons, from both areas like Reticulated Pythons, Python reticulatus, and Water Pythons, Liasis mackloti, respectively. However, there is also some native snakes, with species occurring here and nowhere else.

AUSTRALASIAN BLINDSNAKES
Only one family of blindsnakes inhabits the area, however that family demonstrates a large diversity, ranging from lush rainforest to the dry deserts. New species are being found and described frequenly.
This family is thefamily Tylophidae, it is primarily represented by the genus Ramphotyphlops, with approximately 50 species, mainly in Australia but with a few species in New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands, and a native species (R. exocoeti) on Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean. The other two genera present in the area have fewer species. Typhlops, which is strongly represented in the Americas, Africa and Asia has only five species in the Australasian region, four of them in PNG and the other, ranges from West Papua into Maluku. The Melanesian genus Acutotyphlops has only four species, two PNG natives and two that spread eastwards, from PNG to the Solomons.

INDO-AUSTRALIAN BASAL SNAKES
Besides the blindsnakes, the only basal snakes in Australasia are the pipesnakes, these Oriental snakes are represented by only few species in the extreme west of the region.
The Asian pipesnakes or cylindersnakes are mainly found in Southeast Asia, and one species occurrs in Sri Lanka. Currently the genus Cylindrophis consists of one wide-ranging well-documented species, the common Asian Pipesnake, C. ruffus, and nine more localized species, several of which are known from a single specimen only. The main range of genus Cylindrophis is west of the ‘Wallace Line’. Named after the 19th century biogeographer and Darwin prodigy, Alfred Russel Wallace, this is an invisible line through the ocean that separates the Oriental region from the Australasian region, passing through the narrow, but deep, straits between Bali and Lombok, and separating Borneo and the Philippines on the Oriental side from Maluku on the Australasian side. Sulawesi, is the only island that straddles the Wallace Line. Except for the Sri Lankan pipesnake, and a couple of little known, very rare Bornean species, the only Asian pipesnake recognized from Southeast Asia, from Borneo and Bali to Burma and southern China, is the wide-spread C. ruffus. But this species also ranges to the east of the Wallace Line, in Lombok, Flores and Sulawesi, all other populations from the Australasian region have specific status. Six of these species are recorded from Sulawesi and Halmahera; Tanajampea Island; The Lesser Sundas; Timor and Wetar; the Tanimbar Islands; and the Aru Islands. Given the distribution of the species it is strange that no pipesnakes have been reported from Vogelkop of West Papua. Maybe somebody should search there.

PACIFIC BOAS
The Australasian region is the kingdom of the true pythons, while Latin America is dominated by the true boas. There are three true boas (genus Acranthopis and Sanzinia) that also occur on Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, while the remaining five species, in genus Candoia, are found in the equally remote southwestern Pacific.
Boas are not the only ‘American’ reptiles to occur on the wrong side of the Pacific. The Americas are also the centre of diversity for the true iguanas, with 31 species, three species occurring in the Galapagos Islands, 960kms west of Ecuador, and two species inhabiting Fiji and Tonga, 10,500 kms further west. The Fiji-Tonga iguanas are not surprisingly, most closely related, to the Galapagos iguanas, and the ancestral Fiji-Tonga stock was thought to have rafted across the Pacific from the Americas on the Southern Equatorial Current. It was also assumed the Pacific boas followed a similar route, also originating from Caribbean stock, before the formation of the Panamanian isthmus and the closure of the Caribbean-Pacific corridor.
More recent studies suggest an Oriental origin for the Pacific boas, however. And the genus may have been in the Pacific for over 40 million years, more than enough time to evolve to the degree we see today. A clue to their origin may lie in their presence from the eastern Samoan archipelagos, through the Solomons, Bismarck and Admiralty archipelagos and through to northern New Caledonia to as far west as the Maluku archipelagos of eastern Indonesia. They also live as far south as the Loyalty Islands, off New Caledonia, as far north as the Belau archipelago, but they are not recorded from southern New Guinea or Australia. It may not be realized that New Guinea was not a single land mass in the past. The southern half formed part of the northward moving Australian plate, but elements known as ‘terranes’ came in from the northeast and collided with northern New Guinea along its plate boundary to form first the highlands, and then later, the Maluku archipelagos, the north coast of New Guinea and the Admiralty and Bismarck archipelagos. If the ancestors of Candoia were riding on those later terranes they would have reached the length of northern New Guinea but not the south, nor Australia.
PACIFIC ISLAND BOAS
Until 2001 this widespread and physically diverse genus Candoia contained only three species, the ‘A-B-C boas’ C. aspera, C. bibroni and C. carinata, with the slender C. bibroni the most basal or primitive member of the genus, and the stout, terrestrial C. aspera the most derived or advanced. They exhibit a lot of overlap in distribution, with a long-tailed, slender arboreal species and a short-tailed, stout terrestrial species often occurring in the same area.
A recent revision of the C. carinata complex resulted in that single and highly diverse species, being split into three separate species, with ten subspecies between them. So, at this time, the genus Candoia contains five species and fourteen subspecies. The majority of species exhibit sexual dimorphism, the males being much smaller than the females. Males also possess cloacal spurs, but these are greatly reduced, or may even be absent in females.

VENOMOUS SNAKES

AUSTRALIAN ELAPIDS
Australia really is the land of the elapids they are the main snake family and more than 90 species are found in all habitats across the continent. Some are extremely dangerous though many are more or less harmless to humans even though they are technically venomous. Elapids are found all over Australia, and the only three snakes in Tasmania being elapids. Despite there being such a high number of dangerous species, snakebites only cause 1-2 deaths , at most each year in Australia.

TAIPANS
There are two Taipan species, the inland Taipan was previously known as the small scaled snake belonging to another genus (Parademansia) until 1981. These days the Aboriginal name Taipan is synonymous with ‘large, highly venomous Australian snake’, but the species was virtually unknown until the late 1940s. In a country learning to deal with the danger posed by deadly tigersnakes, blacksnakes, brownsnakes, copperheads and deathadders in the south and east, and just beginning to develope antivenoms to fight their bites, the finding of an even larger and more venomous snake in the north was an unpleasant discovery. In 1950, Keith Budden, a 20 year old snake catcher, was bitten as he bagged one of collected for venom research. Budden died in hospital before the Taipan arrived at the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories in Victoria and so the Taipan’s fearsome reputation was born.
BLACKSNAKES
Of the six species of blacksnake, only three are entirely black. The most widespread species, the King Brownsnake (or Mulga Snake), is brown, and Butler’s Snake (P. butleri) is black with yellow spots while Collett’s Snake (P. colletti) is an attractive combination of black and red. As a genus they are widespread throughout Australia and New Guinea, except in southern Western Australia and northern New Guinea. Fiveof the species are oviparous but the sixth, the red-bellied blacksnake (P. porphyriacus), the most southern species of the genus from New South Wales and Victoria, keeps its eggs until full term and then lays them with membranous shells that hatch immediately. This sort of reproductive strategy is common in species from extreme latitudes.
TIGERSNAKES
Amongst the best known of Australian venomous snakes and probably the first encountered by European colonists are Tigersnakes. Tigersnakes were responsible for very large numbers of snakebite fatalities, before the advent of antivenom, but since the 1950s deaths have decreased to almost zero. They are temperate snakes from cool dark habitats along the southern and southeastern coastal and highland regions of Australia, which were more widespread when sea levels were lower during glacial times. Rising sea levels isolated the Western Australian population from those of South Australia and Victoria-New South Wales, and also left populations high and dry on Tasmania and the islands of the Bass Straits and Spencer Gulf, South Australia. The island populations have been given subspecific status, but whether they are subspecies of the Eastern Tigersnake or Black Tigersnake, or even whether subspecies status is valid, has been disputed. The main characteristics separating the two species are geography and midbody dorsal scale count, which is usually 17 in the black tigersnake and 19 in the eastern tigersnake, but individuals from both species may possess from 17-21 scale rows.
BROWN SNAKES
The seven species of brown snakes are not always ‘brown’ they are variably patterned.
Found in most habitats, they are diurnal and, they are also probably the most dangerous snakes in Australia, are responsible for almost all of the rare snakebite fatalities. Death from cardiac arrest, renal failure or cerebral haemorrhage. Because there is no local pain and swelling, and fang marks indistinct, bites are often ignored. Headache is a sign of a potentially fatal brownsnake bite. A distinct feature of psuedonaja is that the unique Australo-Papuan elapid ‘temporolabial scale’, a large scale between the 5th and 6th supralabial (upper lip scales) is absent.
DEATH ADDERS
There are no vipers in Australasia, but the biological position for a short, squat, nocturnal, sit and wait ambusher still exists in a variety of habitats throughout most of Australia, New Guinea and the eastern archipelagos of Indonesia. Death Adders may look like vipers but they are truly elapids that have evolved to occupy what is, elsewhere, a viper position. Other viper like characteristics possessed by death adders include weakly or strongly keeled scales, raised horn-like scales over the eyes, which have vertically elliptical pupils, on an angular adder-like head. The fangs are quite long and moveable, for an elapid, the patterning is cryptic and the flattened tail tip is a contrasting yellow or white, and used for caudal luring prey within striking range. Death Adders are the only elapids to adopt this hunting tactic. Also in viper like fashion they are live bearing , although this trait is not rare in Australasian elapids from the higher latitudes and altitudes, despite its rarity in non-Australasian elapids. This is a good example of convergent evolution, where Australasian death adders have evolved along parallel lines to those followed by small terrestrial true vipers and pitvipers in the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia.
The name Death Adder is thought to have derived from the early colonial name ‘deaf adder’ in reference to the fact that while other Australian snakes fled when approached this small squat snake stayed where it was and was presumed to be deaf. The name does not relate to their killing capacities, even though many Death Adder bites ended fatally before the development of antivenom. Today, the effects of death adder post-synaptic neurotoxins can rapidly be reversed by anti venom or even with anticholinesterase drugs. Death Adders were once all included in a single species, now known as the Southern Death Adder (Acanthophis antarticus). Five species are currently recognised, as many as 11 taxa have been suggested by some authors. It is quite likely that more valid species will be described based on DNA analysis as much as their morphological differences.
AUSTRALIAN COPPERHEADS
The name ‘copperhead’ is is usually associated with woodland pitvipers from eastern USA but the copperheads inhabiting southeastern Australia and Tasmania, are elapids, that aremuch larger, much stronger and potentially more dangerous. Australia has no pitvipers.
WHIPSNAKES
The eight species of Australo-Papuan Whipsnakes are a prime example of venomous snakes that look like non-venomous species. In Europe and North America the diurnal, fast moving, large eyed look alike colubrid snakes are harmless predators of lizards and rodents.The similar snakes that are found in Australia and southern New Guinea are highly alert, active, big eyed and fast moving but they are front fanges venomous elapids.
MARSH SNAKES
There are two species of Hemiaspis, and two species of Denisonia, ranging from Queensland to New South Wales they are small, fairly innocuous live-bearing snakes associated with aquatic habitats. Another live bearer the Rough Scaled Snake is also associated with aquatic habitats and it is a much more dangerous species.
BROADHEADED SNAKES
The genus Hoplocephalus contains three arboreal and rock dwelling species inhabiting coastal New South Wales and Queensland. They are slender bodied but muscular and are perfectly adapted to their habitats. Although small, the three species are sufficiently venomous to be considered dangerous, they are also endangered, in particular the Sydney Broadheaded Snake.
SLENDER CROWNED SNAKES
The slender crowned snakes four species of genus Drysdalia and the related short-nosed snake, Elapognathus minor, are small, innocuous species from the southern coastal region of Australia spreading from Perth to Tasmania to Sydney.
SMALL AUSTRALIAN ELAPIDS
Australia has many small elapids that fit in positions associated with colubrids elsewhere in the world.
NAPED SNAKES
There are five species of naped snakes that are small, nocturnal snakes with light cross bands on the nape of the neck that are obscured in some species.
DESERT BURROWERS
Many of the smaller Australian elapids are semi-fossorial, they inhabit leaf litter or shelter under fallen logs or rocks in grassland, woodland or rainforests, for small secretive snakes in the desert and semi-desert there is usually little ground cover. This is most likely why Australia has evolved a wide range of fossorial elapids with small eyes and snouts adapted for burrowing. While the extensive desert regions and other arid habitats are perfect for burrowing species these specialised, often banded, snakes are not confined to arid sandy environments.

SNAKES OF MELANESIA
Venomous elapid snakes also inhabit the Melanesian Islands, north and northeast of Australia, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, as well as Fiji.

NEW GUINEA NATIVES
Eight northern Australian elapids also inhabit southern New Guinea. The Island of New Guinea and its satellite archipelagos are also occupied by at least 15 endemic elapids. Including the Papuan Blacksnake (Pseudochis papuanus) and New Guinea Death Adder (Acanthophis laevis)which are the New Guinea relatives of the Australian genera. The remaining Melanesian elapids belong to endemic genera confined to New Guinea and the Solomons.

HIGHLAND AND ISLAND RARITIES
Southern New Guinea shows strong relationships with Queensland, Australia, but the highland provinces, northern coast and eastern archipelagos are occupied by secretive, little-studied New Guinea natives. Apart from the small-eyed snake the elapids consist of three species of New Guinea crowned snakes (Aspidomorphus) and more than nine species of forest snakes (Toxicocalamus). The forest snakes are poorly known and extremely rare, two species are known from single specimens, and four species from two, three, five and eight specimens respectively.

SOLOMON ISLAND NATIVES
The Republic of the Solomon Islands an archipelago to the east of New Guinea comprises six large islands and numerous smaller islands and atolls. Bougainville and Buka are politically part of PNG but biogeographically part of the Solomon Islands archipelago. These islands are home to three endemic elapids.

BOUGAINVILLE AND FIJI NATIVES
The Islands of Bougainville, between New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, and the island of Viti Levu, Fiji are each home to one native elapid.

AUSTRALASIAN REAR-FANGED COLUBRIDS
The large family colubridae is poorly represented in this area and most of the rear-fanged colubrids in New Guinea and Australia are small and do not pose a major snakebite risk. The brown treesnake, at home in New Guinea and the Solomons, is not a problem but on a snakeless island like Guam, this accidentally introduced voracious predator is a different matter, regarded as an invasive species.

Snakes of Australia

Elapids

Scientific
Name
Common
Name
Distribution

Acanthophis
antarcticus

Common Death Adder

NSW,NT?,Qld,SA,Vic?,WA

Acanthophis
hawkei ( now A. antarcticus) status uncertain

Barkly Tableland Death Adder

NT,Qld

Acanthophis
rugosus (now A. antarcticus ) status uncertain

 Rough-scaled Death Adder

NT,Qld,WA,
New Guinea

Acanthophis
wellsi

 Pilbara Death Adder

WA,
NT?

Acanthophis
praelongus

Northern Death Adder

NT,Qld,WA

Acanthophis
pyrrhus

Desert Death Adder

NT,Qld,SA,WA

Austrelaps
labialis

Pigmy Copperhead

SA

Austrelaps
ramsayi

Highlands Copperhead

NSW,Vic

Austrelaps
superbus

Lowlands copperhead

NSW,SA,Tas,Vic

Cacophis
churchilli

Northern
Dwarf Crowned Snake

Qld

Cacophis
harriettae

White-Crowned
Snake

NSW,Qld

Cacophis
krefftii

Dwarf Crowned Snake

NSW,Qld

Cacophis
squamulosus

Golden Crowned Snake

NSW,Qld

Demansia
atra

Lesser
Black Whip Snake

NT,Qld,WA

Demansia
calodera

Black-Necked
Whipsnake

WA

Demansia
olivacea

Olive
Whip Snake

NT,Qld,WA

Demansia
papuensis

Greater
Black (Papuan)Whip Snake

NT,Qld,WA

Demansia
psammmophis

Yellow-Faced Whipsnake

NSW,NT,Qld,SA,Vic,WA

Demansia
reticulata

Desert
Whipsnake

SA

Demansia
simplex

Grey
Whip Snake

NT,WA

Demansia
torquata

Collared
Whip Snake

NSW,NT,Qld,SA(?)

Denisonia
devisii

De
Vis Banded Snake

NSW,Qld

Denisonia
maculata

Ornamental
Snake

Qld

Elapognaphus
coronatus (was Drysdalia coronata)

Western
Crowned Snake

WA

Drysdalia
(Elapognaphus) coronoides

White-Lipped Snake

NSW,SA,Tas,Vic

Drysdalia
(Elapognaphus) mastersii

Masters’ Snake

,SA,Vic,WA
NSW(?)

Drysdalia
(Elapognaphus) rhodogaster

Mustard
Bellied Snake

NSW

Paroplocephalus
(Echiopsis) atriceps

Lake
Cronin Snake

WA

Echiopsis
curta

Bardick

NSW,SA,Vic,WA

Elapognathus
minor

Little
Brown Snake

WA

Furina
diadema

Red-naped Snake

NSW,Qld,SA,Vic

Furina
ornata

Orange-naped Snake

NT,Qld,SA,WA

Glyphodon
barnardi

Yellow-naped
Snake

Qld

Glyphodon
dunmalli

Dunmall’s
Snake

Qld

Glyphodon
tristis

Brown-headed
Snake

Qld

Hemiaspis
damelii

Grey Snake

NSW,Qld

Hemiaspis
signata

Black-bellied Swamp or Marsh Snake

NSW,Qld

Hoplocephalus
bitorquatus

Pale-headed
Snake

NSW,Qld

Hoplocephalus
bungaroides

Broad-headed Snake

NSW

Hoplocephalus
stephensii

Stephens’ Banded Snake

NSW,Qld

Notechis
ater ater (or Notechis scutatus sp)

Krefft’s Black Tiger Snake

SA

Notechis
ater humphreysi (or Notechis scutatus sp)

Tasmanian Tiger Snake

Tas

Notechis
ater niger (or Notechis scutatus sp)

Peninsula Black Tiger Snake

SA

Notechis
ater serventyi (or Notechis scutatus sp)

Chappel Island Tiger Snake

Tas
(Offshore Islands)

Notechis
scutatus occidentalis

Western Tiger Snake

WA

Notechis
scutatus scutatus

Eastern or Mainland Tiger Snake

NSW,Qld,SA,Vic

Oxyuranus
microlepidotus

Inland Taipan or Fierce Snake

NSW,
Qld, SA,Vic(?) NT?

Oxyuranus
scutellatus

Coastal Taipan

NSW,NT,Qld,WA

Oxyuranus
temporalis

Western Desert or Central Ranges Taipan

WA,
SA? NT?

Pseudechis
australis

King Brown or Mulga Snake

NSW,NT,Qld,SA,WA

Pseudechis
butleri

Butler’s
Snake

WA

Pseudechis
colletti

Collett’s Snake

Qld

Pseudechis
guttatus

Blue-bellied or Spotted Black Snake

NSW,Qld

Pseudechis
pailsei

False King Brown Snake

Qld,
NT, WA

Pseudechis papuanus

Papuan
Black Snake

Qld
(Saibai Island)

Pseudechis
porphyriacus

Red-bellied Black Snake

NSW,Qld,SA,Vic

Pseudonaja
affinis

Dugite

SA,WA

Pseudonaja
aspidorhyncha

Western Brown Snake (Eastern Species) or
Strap Snouted Brown Snake

SA,
NSW?

Pseudonaja
guttata

Speckled Brown Snake

NT,Qld,SA

Pseudonaja
inframacula

Peninsula
Brown Snake

SA,WA(?)

Pseudonaja
ingrami

Ingram’s
Brown Snake

NT,Qld,WA

Pseudonaja
mengdeni

Gwarder (or Gwardar ) (Western Brown Snake)

SA,WA,NT

Pseudonaja
modesta

Ringed Brown Snake

NSW,NT,Qld,SA,WA

Pseudonaja
nuchalis

Western Brown Snake (Northern Species)

NT,Qld
?

Pseudonaja
textilis

Common or Eastern Brown Snake

NSW,NT,Qld,SA,Vic,WA

Rhinoplocephalus
bicolor

Muller’s
Snake or Square-nosed snake

WA

Cryptophis
(was Rhinoplocephalus) boschmai

Carpentaria Whip Snake

Qld

Cryptophis
(was Rhinoplocephalus) incredibilis

Pink
Snake

Qld

Cryptophis
(was Rhinoplocephalus) nigrescens

Eastern
Small-eyed Snake

NSW,Qld,Vic

Cryptophis
(was Rhinoplocephalus) nigrostriatus

Black-striped
Snake

Qld

Rhinoplocephalus
nullabor

Nullarbor
Hooded Snake

SA,WA

Cryptophis
(was Rhinoplocephalus) pallidiceps

Northern
(Western) Small-eyed Snake

NT,WA

Simoselaps
anomalus

Northern
Desert Banded Snake

NT,SA,WA

Brachyurophis
(was Simoselaps) approximans

North-western
Shovel-nosed Snake

WA

Brachyurophis
(was Simoselaps) australis

Australian Coral Snake

NSW,Qld,SA,Vic

Simoselaps
bertholdi

Desert Banded Snake

NT,SA,WA

Simoselaps
bimaculata

Western
Black-naped Snake

SA,WA

Simoselaps
calonotus

Western Black-striped Snake

WA

Brachyurophis
fasciolatus (was Simoselaps fasciolata)

Narrow-banded Burrowing Snake

NSW,NT,Qld,SA,WA

Brachyurophis
(was Simoselaps) incinctus

Unbanded
Shovel-nosed Snake

NT,Qld

Simoselaps
littoralis

Coastal
Burrowing Snake

WA

Simoselaps
minima

Dampierland
Burrowing Snake

NT

Brachyurophis
morrisi

Arnhem
Shovel-nosed Snake

WA

Simoselaps
semifasciata

Half-girdled
Snake

NT,Qld,SA,WA

Brachyurophis
(was Simoselaps) roperi

Northern
Shovel Nosed Snake

NT,Qld,SA,WA

Brachyurophis
(was Simoselaps) semifasciatus

Half-girdled
Snake

NT,Qld,SA,WA

Antaioserpens
(was Simoselaps) warro

Robust
Burrowing Snake

Qld

Simoselaps
woodjonesii

Cape
York Shovel-nosed Snake

Qld

Suta
(was Denisonia) fasciata

Rosen’s
Snake

WA

Parasuta
(was Suta & Rhinoplocephalus) flagellum

Little Whip Snake

NSW,SA,Vic

Parasuta
(was Suta & Rhinoplocephalus) gouldii

Black-headed
Snake

WA

Parasuta
(was Suta & Rhinoplocephalus) monachus

Hooded Snake

NSW,NT,SA,WA

Parasuta
(was Suta & Rhinoplocephalus) nigriceps

Mallee Black-backed Snake

NSW,SA,Vic,WA

Suta
(was Denisonia) ordensis

Ord
Curl Snake

NT(?),WA

Suta
(was Rhinoplocephalus) punctata

Little
Spotted Snake

NT,Qld,WA

Parasuta
(was Suta & Rhinoplocephalus) spectabilis

Spectacled Hooded Snake

NSW,Qld,SA,Vic,WA

Parasuta
(was Suta & Rhinoplocephalus) dwyeri

Dwyer’s
Snake

NSW,Qld

Suta
(was Denisonia) suta

Myall or Curl Snake

NSW,NT,Qld,SA,Vic,WA

Tropidechis
carinatus

Rough-scaled Snake

NSW,Qld

Vermicella
annulata

Bandy Bandy

NSW,ACT,NT,Qld,SA,Vic

Vermicella
intermedia

Intermediate Bandy Bandy

NT,WA
(Far north of these states)

Vermicella
multifasciata

Northern Bandy Bandy

NT,WA
(Far north of these states)

Vermicella
snelli

Pilbara Bandy Bandy

WA
(Pilbara area)

Vermicella
vermiformis

Centralian Bandy Bandy

NT
(Central Australia)

 

Sea Snakes

Scientific
Name

Common
Name

Distribution

Acalyptophis
peronii

Horned
Sea Snake

NSW(?),NT,Qld,WA

Aipysurus
apraefrontalis

Short-nosed
Sea Snake 

WA

Aipysurus
duboisii

Reef
Shallows or Dubois’s Sea Snake

NT,Qld,WA

Aipysurus
eydouxii

Stagger-banded
or Spine-tailed Sea Snak

NT,Qld,WA

Aipysurus
foliosquama

Leaf-scaled
Sea Snake

WA(Ashmore
and Scott

Aipysurus
fuscus

Dusky
Sea Snake

WA(Ashmore
Reef)

Aipysurus
laevis

Golden
or Olive Sea Snake

NSW(?),NT,Qld,WA

Aipysurus
mosaicus

Mosaic
Sea Snake

NT,Qld,WA

Aipysurus
tenuis

Brown-lined
Sea Snake

WA

Astrotia
stokesii

Stokes’s
Sea Snake

NSW,NT,Qld,WA

Disteira
kingii

Spectacled
Sea Snake

NSW(?),NT,Qld,WA

Disteira
major

Olive-headed
Sea Snake

NSW(?),NT,Qld,WA

Emydocephalus
annulatus

Turtle-headed
Sea Snake

NT,Qld,WA

Enhydrina
schistosa

Beaked
Sea Snake

NT,Qld

Ephalophis
greyi

North-western
Mangrove Sea Snake

NT(?),WA

Hydrelaps
darwiniensis

Black-ringed
Mangrove Sea Snake

NT,Qld,WA

Hydrophis
atriceps

Black-headed
Sea Snake

NT,WA(?)

Hydrophis
belcheri

Sea
Snake

NT(?),Qld(?)

Hydrophis
caerulescens

Dwarf
Sea Snake

Qld

Hydrophis
coggeri

Slender-necked
Sea Snake

WA

Hydrophis
czeblukovi

Fine-spined
Sea Snake

WA

Hydrophis
donaldi

Rough-scaled
Sea Snake

Qld

Hydrophis
elegans

Elegant
Sea Snake

NSW,NT,Qld,WA

Hydrophis
geometricus

Geometrical
Sea Snake

WA

Hydrophis
gracilis

Slender
Sea Snake

Qld

Hydrophis
inornatus

Plain
Sea Snake

NT,WA(?)

Hydrophis
mcdowelli

Small-headed
Sea Snake

NT,Qld,WA

Hydrophis
melanocephalus

Sea
Snake

NT(?),WA

Hydrophis
melanosoma

Black-banded
Robust Sea Snake

NT(?),Qld,WA(?)

Hydrophis
ornatus

Sea
Snake

NSW,NT,Tas,Qld,WA

Hydrophis
pacificus

Large-headed
Sea Snake

NT,Qld

Hydrophis
vorisi

Sea
Snake

Qld(Torres
Strait)

Lapemis
hardwickii

Spine-bellied
Sea Snake

NT,Qld,WA

Parahydrophis
mertoni

Norther
Mangrove Sea Snake

NT,Qld

Pelamis
platurus

Yellow-bellied
Sea Snake

NSW,NT,Qld,Tas,Vic,WA

Laticauda
colubrina

Wide-faced
or Yellow Lipped Sea Krait

NSW,Qld

Laticauda
laticaudata

Large
Scaled Sea Krait

NSW,Qld

 

Colubrids

Scientific
Name

Common
Name

Distribution

Boiga
irregularis (= Boiga fusca (or fuscus)      
   

Brown Tree Snake, Night Tiger Snake

NSW,NT,Qld,WA

Dendrelaphis
calligaster

Northern Tree Snake

Qld

Dendrelaphis
punctulata (=punctulatus)

Common or Green (or Golden) Tree Snake

NSW,NT,Qld,WA

Stegonotus
cucullata

Slatey-Grey Snake

NT,Qld

Stegonotus
parvus

Slate-Brown Snake

Qld
(Murray Island)

Tropidonophis
mairii

Keelback or Freshwater Snake

NSW,NT,Qld,WA

Lycodon capucinus

Common
Wolf Snake

CI
,South East Asia

 

Mud Snakes

Scientific
Name

Common
Name

Distribution

Cerberus
rhynchops or australis

Bockadam or Dog-faced Water Snake

NT,Qld,WA
(also Asia)

Pseudoferania
(was Enhydris) polylepis

Macleay’s Water Snake

NT,Qld

Fordonia
leucobalia

White-Bellied Mangrove Snake

NT,Qld,WA

Myron
resetari (split from richardsonii)

Resetar’s Mangrove Snake

WA

Myron
richardsonii

Richardson’s Mangrove Snake

NT,Qld,WA

 

Pythons

Scientific
Name

Common
Name

Distribution

Antaresia
childreni

Children’s Python

NT,Qld,WA

Antaresia
maculosa

Spotted Python

NT,Qld,WA

Antaresia
perthensis

 Pygmy Python

WA

Antaresia
stimsoni

Stimson’s Python

NSW,NT,Qld,SA,WA

Aspidites
melanocephalus

Black-headed Python

NT,Qld,WA

Aspidites
ramsayi

Woma

NSW,NT,Qld,SA,WA

Leiopython
albertisii

 White Lipped Python D’Alberti’s
Python

Qld (Torres Strait Islands )?

*Liasis
mackloti fuscus

Water Python

NT,Qld,WA

Liasis
olivaceus olivaceus

Olive Python

NT,Qld,WA

Liasis
olivaceus baroni

Pilbara Olive Python

WA

Morelia
carinata

Rough-scaled Python

WA

*Morelia
(may change to Simalia) kinghorni

(previously M.
amethistina kinghorni)

Australian Scrub (Amethystine) Python

Qld

*Morelia
(may change to Simalia) oenpelliensis

Oenpelli Rock Python

NT

*Morelia
spilota bredli (was Morelia bredli)

Centralian Carpet Python

NT

Morelia
spilota cheynei

Jungle Carpet python

Qld

Morelia
spilota imbricata

Southwestern Carpet Python

WA

Morelia
spilota mcdowelli

Coastal Carpet Python

NSW,Qld

Morelia
spilota metcalfei

Inland Carpet Python

NSW,NT,Qld,SA,Vic

Morelia
spilota spilota

Diamond Python

NSW,Vic

Morelia
spilota variegata

Northwestern Carpet Python or Darwin Carpet
Python

NT,Qld,WA

Morelia
viridis

Green Tree Python

Qld

 

File snakes

Scientific
Name

Common
Name

Distribution

Acrochordus
arafurae

Arafura File Snake

NT,Qld

Arochordus
granulatus

Little File Snake

NT,Qld,WA

 

Blind snakes

Scientific
Name
Common
Name
Distribution

Ramphotyphlops
affinis

Small-headed 
Blind Snake

NSW,Qld

Ramphotyphlops
australis (see R.bicolor)

Southern Blind Snake

WA

Ramphotyphlops
batillus

Batillus
Blind Snake

NSW

Ramphotyphlops
bicolor (Split from R. australis)

Dark Spined Blind Snake

NSW,SA,Vic,WA

Ramphotyphlops
bituberculatus

Prong-snouted Blind Snake

NSW,NT,Qld,SA,Vic,WA

Ramphotyphlops
braminus

Flowerpot Blind Snake or Brahminy blind snake

CI,CKI,NT,
(Introduced to Australia) S.E. Asia , Pacific Islands

Ramphotyphlops
broomi

Faint-striped
Blind Snake

NSW,NT,Qld,SA,

Ramphotyphlops
centralis

Centralian
Blind Snake

NT

Ramphotyphlops
chamodracaena

Cape
York Striped Blind Snake

Qld

Ramphotyphlops
diversus

Northern
Blind Snake

NT,Qld,WA

Ramphotyphlops
endoterus

Interior
Blind Snake

NSW,NT,Qld,SA,WA

Ramphotyphlops
exocoeti

Christmas
Island Blind Snake

CI

Ramphotyphlops
grypus

Long-beaked
Blind Snake

NT,Qld,WA

Ramphotyphlops
guentheri

Top
End Blind Snake

NT,WA

Ramphotyphlops
hamatus

Pale-headed
Blind Snake

WA

Ramphotyphlops
howi

Kimberly
Deep-soil Blind Snake

WA

Ramphotyphlops
kimberley

Kimberley
Shallow-soil Blind Snake

WA

Ramphotyphlops
leptosoma

Murchison
Blind Snake

WA

Ramphotyphlops
leucoproctus

Cape
York Blind Snake

Qld

Ramphotyphlops
ligatus

Robust
Blind Snake

NSW,NT,Qld,SA,Vic,WA

Ramphotyphlops
margaretae

Buff-snouted 
Blind Snake

WA

Ramphotyphlops
micromma

Small-eyed
Blind Snake

WA

Ramphotyphlops
minimus

Groote
Dwarf Blind Snake

NT(Groote
Island)

Ramphotyphlops
nigrescens

Blackish Blind Snake

NSW,Qld,Vic

Ramphotyphlops
pinguis

Rotund
Blind Snake

SA,Vic,WA

Ramphotyphlops
polygrammicus

North-eastern
Blind Snake

Qld

Ramphotyphlops
proximus

Proximus
Blind Snake

NSW,Qld,SA,Vic

Ramphotyphlops
silvia

Cooloola
Blind Snake

Qld

Ramphotyphlops
tovelli

Darwin
Blind Snake

NT

Ramphotyphlops
troglodytes

Sandamara
Blind Snake

WA

Ramphotyphlops
unguirostris

Claw-snouted
Blind Snake

NSW,NT,Qld,SA,WA

Ramphotyphlops waitii

Beaked
Blind Snake

WA

Ramphotyphlops
wiedii

Brown-snouted
Blind Snake

QLD

Ramphotyphlops
yampiensis

Yampi
Blind Snake

WA

Ramphotyphlops
yirrikalae

Yirrkala
Blind Snake

NT

 

Distribution
key

CI
= Christmas
Island

CKI
= Cocos (Keeling) Island

NSW
= New
South Wales

NT
= Northern
Territory

Qld
= Queensland

SA
= South
Australia

Tas
= Tasmania

Vic
= Victoria

WA
= Western
Australia

NI
= Norfolk
Island

LHI
= Lord
Howe Island

Papuan area snakes
Snakes of Papua

There are over 80 species of snake in Papua New Guinea, excluding sea snakes. There still remain many parts of the country unstudied by researchers : given time, there will be undoubtedly be further discoveries of new species. More remarkable than the species count is the diversity of colour, form and habits. Some of these are also present on other Pacific Islands and Australia..

Acrochordidae
Acrochordus arafurae McDowell, 1979 Arafura file snake
Acrochordus granulatus (Schneider, 1799) Marine File Snake

Boidae
Candoia aspera (Günther, 1877) Viper Boa
Candoia bibroni (Duméril & Bibron, 1844) Pacific Boa
Candoia carinata (Schneider, 1801) Pacific Ground Boa
Candoia paulsoni (Stull, 1956) Solomon Island Ground boa

Colubridae
Boiga irregularis (Merrem, 1802) Brown tree snake
Brachyorrhos albus (Linnaeus, 1758) Seram Short-tailed Snake
Brachyorrhos jobiensis (Meyer, 1875) Yapen Island Stout-tailed Snake
Cantoria annulata de Jong, 1927 Annulated Water Snake
Cerberus rynchops (Schneider, 1799) Dog-faced Watersnake
Dendrelaphis calligastra (Günther, 1867) Northern Tree Snake
Dendrelaphis gastrostictus (Boulenger, 1894) Montane treesnake
Dendrelaphis lorentzi (van Lidth de Jeude, 1911) Lorentz River treesnake
Dendrelaphis papuensis Boulenger, 1895 Papuan treesnake
Dendrelaphis pictus (Gmelin, 1789) Painted Bronzeback
Dendrelaphis punctulatus (Gray, 1827) Green Tree Snake
Dendrelaphis salomonis (Günther, 1867) Solomon Treesnake
Enhydris polylepis (Fischer, 1886) Macleays Mud Snake
Fordonia leucobalia (Schlegel, 1837) Crab-eating (Water) Snake, White-bellied mangrove snake
Heurnia ventromaculata de Jong, 1926 Mamberano Mud Snake
Myron richardsoni Gray, 1849 Richardson’s Mangrove Snake
Stegonotus cucullatus (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854) Slatey-grey snake
Stegonotus diehli Lindholm, 1905 Diehl’s little ground snake
Stegonotus guentheri Boulenger, 1895 Milne Bay ground snake
Stegonotus heterurus Boulenger, 1893 Bismarck ground snake
Stegonotus modestus (Schlegel, 1837) Northern New Guinea ground snake
Stegonotus parvus (Meyer, 1875) common ground snake, slatey-grey snake
Tropidonophis aenigmaticus Malnate & Underwood, 1988 East Papuan keelback
Tropidonophis dahlii (Werner, 1899) New Britain Keelback
Tropidonophis dolasii Kraus & Allison, 2004
Tropidonophis doriae (Boulenger, 1897) Barred keelback
Tropidonophis elongatus (Jan, 1865) Moluccan keelback
Tropidonophis hypomelas (Günther, 1877) Bismarck keelback
Tropidonophis mairii (Gray, 1841) Mair’s keelback
Tropidonophis mcdowelli Malnate & Underwood, 1988 Northern New Guinea keelback
Tropidonophis montanus (van Lidth de Jeude, 1911) North Irian montane keelback
Tropidonophis multiscutellatus (Brongersma, 1948) Many-scaled keelback
Tropidonophis novaeguineae (van Lidth de Jeude, 1911) New Guinea keelback
Tropidonophis parkeri Malnate & Underwood, 1988 Highland keelback
Tropidonophis picturatus (Schlegel, 1837) Painted keelback
Tropidonophis statisticus Malnate & Underwood, 1988 PNG montane keelback
Tropidonophis truncatus (Peters, 1863)

Cylindrophiidae
Cylindrophis aruensis Boulenger, 1920 Aru cylinder snake

Elapidae
Acalyptophis peronii (Duméril, 1853) Peron’s sea snake, or the horned sea snake
Acanthophis laevis Macleay, 1877 PNG Death Adder
Acanthophis rugosus Loveridge, 1948 Rough-scaled Death Adder
Aipysurus duboisii Bavay, 1869 Dubois’ sea snake Reef shallows seasnake
Aipysurus eydouxii (Gray, 1849) beaded sea snake, marbled seasnake, or spine-tailed seasnake
Aipysurus laevis Lacépède, 1804 Olive-brown seasnake pooleorum: Shark Bay Seasnake
Aspidomorphus lineaticollis (Werner, 1903) Striped crown snake
Aspidomorphus muelleri (Schlegel, 1837) Muller’s Crowned Snake
Aspidomorphus schlegelii (Günther, 1872) Schlegel’s crown snake
Astrotia stokesii (Gray, 1846) Stokes’ seasnake
Cryptophis boschmai (Brongersma & Knaap van Meeuven, 1961) Carpentaria whip snake
Cryptophis nigrostriatus (Krefft, 1864) Black-striped snake
Demansia vestigiata (de Vis, 1884) Black whip snake
Disteira kingii (Boulenger, 1896) Spectacled Seasnake
Emydocephalus annulatus Krefft, 1869 Turtle-Headed Sea Snake
Enhydrina schistosa (Daudin, 1803) beaked sea snake, hook-nosed sea snake, common sea snake, or the Valakadyn sea snake
Enhydrina zweifeli Kharin, 1985 Sepik or Zweifel’s beaked seasnake
Furina tristis (Günther, 1858) Brown-headed or grey-naped snake
Hydrelaps darwiniensis Boulenger, 1896 Port Darwin seasnake
Hydrophis atriceps Günther, 1864 Black-headed seasnake
Hydrophis belcheri (Gray, 1849) Faint-banded sea snake or Belcher’s sea snake
Hydrophis cyanocinctus Daudin, 1803 annulated sea snake or the blue-banded sea snake
Hydrophis elegans (Gray, 1842) Bar-bellied sea snake
Hydrophis gracilis (Shaw, 1802) Graceful Small-headed Sea Snake or Slender Sea Snake
Hydrophis macdowelli Kharin, 1983 Small-headed or McDowell’s seasnake
Hydrophis major (Shaw, 1802) Common Sea Snake, Greater Sea Snake, Olive headed sea snake,
Hydrophis melanosoma Günther, 1864 Black-banded or robust seasnake
Hydrophis ornatus (Gray, 1842) ornate reef sea snake
Hydrophis pacificus Boulenger, 1896 Pacific seasnake
Hydrophis vorisi Kharin, 1984 Estuarine seasnake
Lapemis hardwickii Gray, 1834 Hardwicke’s spine-bellied seasnake
Laticauda colubrina (Schneider, 1799) colubrine sea krait, banded sea krait or yellow-lipped sea krait
Laticauda crockeri Slevin, 1934 Crocker’s sea snake
Laticauda guineae Heatwole, Busack & Cogger, 2005 Guinea’s sea krait
Laticauda laticaudata (Linnaeus, 1758) Common or blue-lipped sea krait.
Loveridgelaps elapoides (Boulenger, 1890) Solomon’s small-eyed snake
Micropechis ikaheka (Lesson, 1826) New Guinea small-eyed snake or Ikaheka snake
Oxyuranus scutellatus (Peters, 1867) Coastal Taipan
Parahydrophis mertoni (Roux, 1910) Arafura smooth or northern mangrove seasnake.
Parapistocalamus hedigeri Roux, 1934 Bougainville or Hediger’s coral snake
Pelamis platurus (Linnaeus, 1766) Yellowbellied sea snake
Pseudechis papuanus Peters & Doria, 1878 Papuan black snake
Pseudechis rossignolii (Hoser, 2000) Papuan Dwarf King Brown
Pseudonaja textilis (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854) Eastern or Common Brown Snake.
Salomonelaps par (Boulenger, 1884) Solomons Red Krait
Toxicocalamus buergersi (Sternfeld, 1913) Buerger’s forest snake
Toxicocalamus grandis (Boulenger, 1914) Setekwa River forest snake
Toxicocalamus holopelturus McDowell, 1969 Setakwa River snake;
Toxicocalamus longissimus Boulenger, 1896 Woodlark or Fergusson Island forest snake
Toxicocalamus loriae (Boulenger, 1898) Loria forest snake
Toxicocalamus mintoni Kraus 2010
Toxicocalamus misimae McDowell, 1969 Misima Island forest snake
Toxicocalamus pachysomus Kraus 2010
Toxicocalamus preussi (Sternfeld, 1913) Preuss’s forest snake
Toxicocalamus spilolepidotus McDowell, 1969 Spotted forest snake
Toxicocalamus stanleyanus Boulenger, 1903 Owen Stanley Range forest snake

Pythonidae
Antaresia maculosa (Peters, 1873) Spotted Python
Apodora papuana (Peters & Doria, 1878) Papuan Olive Python
Bothrochilus boa (Schlegel, 1837) Bismarck ringed python
Leiopython albertisii (Peters & Doria, 1878) D’Albertis python, Northern White-lipped Python
Leiopython bennetti Hoser, 2000 Png Brown White-Lipped Python
Leiopython biakensis Schleip, 2008 Biak whitelip python
Leiopython fredparkeri Schleip, 2008 Karimui Basin whitelip python
Leiopython hoserae Hoser, 2000 Southern whitelip python
Leiopython huonensis Schleip, 2008 Huon Peninsula whitelip python
Liasis fuscus Peters, 1873 Brown Water python
Morelia amethistina (Schneider, 1801) Scrob or Amethystine python
Morelia boeleni (Brongersma, 1953) Boelen’s python
Morelia spilota (Lacépède, 1804) Carpet Python
Morelia viridis (Schlegel, 1872) Green Tree Python

Typhlopidae
Acutotyphlops infralabialis (Waite, 1918) Red Blind Snake
Acutotyphlops kunuaensis Wallach, 1995 Kunua Blind Snake
Acutotyphlops solomonis (Parker, 1939)
Acutotyphlops subocularis (Waite, 1897) Bismarck sharp-nosed blindsnake
Ramphotyphlops angusticeps (Peters, 1878) Arboreal Blind Snake
Ramphotyphlops becki (Tanner, 1948) Beck’s Blind Snake
Ramphotyphlops braminus (Daudin, 1803) Brahminy blind snake
Ramphotyphlops depressus (Peters, 1880)
Ramphotyphlops erycinus (Werner, 1901) Northern New Guinea blindsnake
Ramphotyphlops flaviventer (W. Peters, 1865) Yellowbellied blindsnake
Ramphotyphlops leucoproctus (Boulenger, 1889) Cape York Blind Snake
Ramphotyphlops mansuetus (Barbour, 1921) Small-headed Blind Snake
Ramphotyphlops multilineatus (Schlegel, 1839) Hook-nosed blindsnake
Ramphotyphlops olivaceus (Gray, 1845) Olive Blind Snake
Ramphotyphlops polygrammicus (Schlegel, 1839) North-eastern blind snake
Ramphotyphlops similis (Brongersma, 1934) Manukwari Blind Snake
Ramphotyphlops supranasalis (Brongersma, 1934)
Typhlops ater Schlegel, 1839 Black blindsnake
Typhlops depressiceps Sternfeld, 1913 Lowland beaked blindsnake
Typhlops diardii Schlegel, 1839 Diard’s blindsnake
Typhlops fredparkeri Wallach, 1996
Typhlops hades Kraus, 2005
Typhlops inornatus Boulenger, 1888 Montane blindsnake.
Typhlops mcdowelli Wallach, 1996

The Pacific Islands

Snakes are rare inhabitants of Pacific islands, and land-living snakes are inconspicuous. Terrestrial species are modestly diverse, representing five families of snakes: blindsnakes, boas, colubrids, elapids, and homalopsids. All but one of the Pacific terrestrial snakes are nonvenomous, and the venomous one, the Bola (Elapidae) of Fiji, is small and not inclined to bite; however, a word of caution: seakraits spend considerable time ashore and often are abundant in the above-tide in some coastal areas. The Pacific Ocean surrounding these islands does contain several species of sea snakes as listed above. The most common land snake in the pacific islands is the Pacific or Fiji Boa. Many of the species found in and around these Islands and their seas are listed above, here are some of the others.

Palau
Candoia superciliosa Palau Bevelnosed Boa
Cerberus dunsoni Palau Dog-faced Mud Snake
Ramphotyphlops acuticaudus Palau Blindsnake

Fiji
Ogmodon vitianus Bolo

Solomon Islands
Laticauda crockeri (Squamata Serpentes – Elapidae) Lake Tenggano Krait
Loveridgelaps elapoides (Squamata Serpentes – Elapidae) Solomon Small-eyed Snake
Ramphotyphlops angusticeps (Squamata Serpentes – Typhlopidae) Arboreal Blind Snake
Ramphotyphlops becki (Squamata Serpentes – Typhlopidae) Beck’s Blind Snake

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