ROUGH SCALED SNAKE Tropidechis carinatus (Krefft, 1863)
This relatively aggressive and dangerous snake is commonly confused with the Keelback Amphiesma mairii, with which it superficially resembles. The Rough Scaled Snake is found in rainforest areas of Northern NSW from Barrington tops, to Cape York in Queensland, and attains about 75 cm in length. The north Queensland specimens were reclassified in 2003 as a new species "Tropidechis sadlieri". The Author caught a Southern Rough-scaled snake specimen of 1.2 metres at Mt. Nebo, Queensland, near Brisbane.
The scalation is strongly keeled, hence the name 'Rough Scaled Snake, with 23 mid body rows, 160-185 ventrals, single anal, and 50-60 single subcaudals.
This aggressive nocturnal rainforest dweller is occasionally seen active during the day in colder months. Most specimens are caught when crossing roads at night. Where this snake occurs, it is usually very abundant. It feeds on various vertebrates, particularly frogs and lizards, and this species has suffered greatly from the introduced Cane Toad Bufo marinus.
Captive specimens remain highly aggressive, even after several years in captivity. About 5-8 live young are produced.
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.
For photos of the species Tropidechis sadlieri, please click here.
For the 2003 paper on Tropidechis taxonomy.