Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Friday, November 09, 2012

Good weather for Copperheads and Skinks

My friend and neighbour, Matt, rang me this morning to say he had a snake near his front steps, and would I like to come and check it out?
Silly question. (In fairness, it was a rhetorical question.)

Slaty-grey back of Highlands Copperhead Snake
(from a previous post of mine)

Here is another more authoritative link
Austrelaps ramsayi
After we had a cuppa on the back verandah,
the Snake had poked its head out
just enough for me to get this quick shot
of the neck and head.
Click on image to enlarge it and read the notes.
Neck shows strong copper colour
Head shows light coloured throat,
dark eye and flat, dull scales on top of head.

While we were discussing the gardening strategies Matt and Cat could undertake, to make their front steps less congenial to a Copperhead, I noticed this foolish Skink hiding beside the rear of the same Daisy bush as the Copperhead. The caption is "Skink living dangerously".
Skink seems not to be aware of the Snake
less than a metre away,
on the other side of the daisy bush.


Dicky Simpson said...

Oh the areas all around Robertson are a haven for snakes, and quite a variety of species too (most of which are considered highly venomous).
I cannot remember the number of times I have come across them since I was a kid. I am glad that I was taught the sense at a young age to not panic and just freeze as soon as you see them and they will happily go on their way.

Flabmeister said...

We have a few Snake repellers (solar powered devices which transmit a vibration into the soil)to make our garden area less attractive to snakes. This is mainly to preserve the small dog. It also means we have snakes tangled - fatally for them - in the netting around the fruit trees.

They seem to work well in that we have less snakes in the garden but the usual number on the rest of the property,

Interestingly they don't seem to deter skinks which bask quite happily on the solar panels!


Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Dicky and Martin.
Seem we are agreed, snakes like a warm sunny morning to "sun" themselves.
Matt also advises me that he will check carefully (with a long handled instrument) before removing the daisy bush.
Good advice Dicky, re kids not being scared of snakes, but to learn about them, and to keep their distance, if the do see one.
After all, most people who report snake bites, were actually bitten when trying to kill the snake.
If they had left well alone, they would most likely never have been bitten.
But good trousers and footwear is also a good idea. Sandals and thongs are just stupid footwear in a town like Robertson. Bare feet - just irresponsible.

Tony Williams said...

I am interested to know if snaked eat skinks?? - we often get snakes outside our kitchen sunbaking on the edge of a small pond. The skinks also like it there but I am not sure that I have ever seen them both there at the same time. Also we have just bought a couple of the electronic snake repelants but haven't unpacked them to charge them up yet. Interested to know how effective they are, and also do they upset the family dog??


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Tony
Yes, snakes are reputed to eat skinks, for breakfast, lunch and supper. Them and Frogs are top of the list.
Re the electronic systems, I have a friend Martin Butterfield, who has a small dog and lots of snakes, and some form of electronic deterrence. Not sure how or what.
I will refer your question to him, privately, and get back to you.

Bertram Lobert said...

Hi Denis,
Your skink looks like a Water Skink (Eulamprus sp) but your garden looks pretty dry. These animals only occur near water down this way (Vic). Any idea which species?

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Bert
Thanks for the comment re the Skink.
Robertson is generally a high rainfall area, but we are not close to a stream just here.
However, although I am not a Skink expert (I do have Field Guides), I have previously identified these Skinks as Eastern Water Skinks.
See this Post.
The apparent dryness of the site where the Skink was located is deceptive. It is on fresh wood chip mulch.