Hoplocephalus stephensii Stephens’ Banded Snake
Mt. Glorious, Queensland, AustraliaFebruary 18, 2003
Stephens’ Banded Snake (Hoplocephalus stephensii)
I came across two of these snakes on the Mt. Glorious road while cruising for snakes at night. The only black-and-white banded Australian snake I knew about at the time was the non-venomous Bandy-bandy, so I assumed that's what I encountered here. Later I discovered that it was really this dangerously venomous species instead. Fortunately, I was sensible enough to keep my distance since I wasn't completely sure it was a Bandy-bandy.

The Mt. Glorious road was a little too busy to be a good snake-hunting road, at least on this night. Moments after we first saw this snake, a car came racing along and the snake appeared to be flung away from the tire before thrashing about. I was sure the snake had been hit and got out of my car just in order to remove it from the road. However, it was still moving pretty well, and so I thought maybe it had a chance of survival. Then I saw the odd flatness of its head and thought that its head had been run over and the snake was somehow just surviving momentarily on adrenalin. Mind you, I also thought it was a Bandy-bandy so that just shows you how little I knew. In fact, this appearance is normal for this species; the snake must have just missed the car's tire and been thrashing around in a sort of panic response, but it was uninjured. After getting a photo or two from this uncooperative individual, I flung it off the road with an extended tripod leg so it wouldn't suffer the fate I earlier thought it had suffered already.

Here is a complete list of the reptiles and frogs I saw on this trip to Australia.

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