PAILSUS OR FALSE KING BROWN SNAKE Pailsus pailsei Hoser, 1998
For many years this species was confused with the King Brown Snake Pseudechis australis and to a lesser extent snakes of the genus Pseudonaja. The genus Pailsus is quite unlike both in several ways.
These snakes rarely exceed 1.3 metres in length.
Pailsus pailsei can be separated from King Brown snakes by their smaller adult size, lighter build and subcaudal scalation. In the areas that this species occurs, King Brown Snakes usually have about 50/50 paired and single subcaudals. Under normal circumstances Pailsus pailsei has most or all of its subcaudals single.
As of early 2002, Pailsus pailsei is only known definitively from the Mount Isa area of Queensland (from just five specimens), the last of which was caught in 1987. The unconfirmed reports of the species (or cogeners) from Groote Eylandt, NT turned out to be aberrant King Brown/Mulga Snakes (Cannia australis). A similar species, Pailsus weigeli is known from a single specimen found in the Kimberley Region of WA. Further studies may possibly find this to be a widespread genus that is distributed throughout hilly parts of tropical Australia.
Long-term captives fed on mice and laid eggs.
In late 2000 a similar species (Pailsus rossignollii) was described from Irian Jaya.
There is a record of a wild specimen laying ten eggs in September.
Pailsus Taxonomy (as of 2001).
The above was from the book Australian Reptiles and Frogs by Raymond Hoser and now available on a fantastic CD-Rom along with a vast amount of other information, papers and the like on reptiles, frogs and other wildlife.