Pseudechis australis — King Brown Snake
Some other names for this species:
This was my first ever sighting of a snake in the family Elapidae, the world-spanning group of highly venomous snakes that includes cobras, coral snakes, and many other notorious serpents. This approximately six-foot-long snake was prowling at night when I came across it on the highway outside of Kings Canyon. (What was I doing on the highway outside of Kings Canyon at night? Why, looking for snakes, of course!) It was a little peeved about me and my flashlight intruding on its evening, and showed its displeasure by flattening its neck in the manner of a cobra and then lunging repeatedly at the flashlight beam. After five or ten minutes of this, with me keeping my distance of course, it settled down long enough for me to adjust my tripod and get a few photos.
Here is a complete list of the reptiles and frogs I saw on this trip to Australia.
- Cogger, H. G. 2000. Reptiles & Amphibians of Australia, Sixth Edition
- Hoser, R. T. 1989. Australian Reptiles & Frogs
- Swan, G. 1995. A Photographic Guide to Snakes & Other Reptiles of Australia
- Wilson, S. K., Knowles, D. 1988. Australia's Reptiles: A Photographic Reference to the Terrestrial Reptiles of Australia