Common Death Adder

Common Death Adder

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Acanthophis antarcticus
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
9 yrs
LENGTH
70-100 cm

The Common death adder is a species of death adder native to Australia. It is one of the most venomous land snakes in Australia and globally. These snakes have a broad flattened, triangular head and a thick body with bands of red, brown and black with a grey, cream or pink belly. Death adders possess the longest fangs of any Australian snake.

No

Nocturnal

Ca

Carnivore

Te

Terrestrial

Am

Ambush predator

Pr

Precocial

Bu

Burrowing

Ve

Venomous

Da

Dangerous

So

Solitary

No

Not a migrant

C

starts with

Distribution

Geography

Common death adders occur over much of eastern and coastal southern Australia - Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. They are more scarce in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and the west parts of South Australia. These snakes are found in forests, woodlands, grasslands, and heaths of the eastern coast of Australia.

Common Death Adder habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Common death adders are solitary and nocturnal creatures. They spend their days burrowed into soft soil or leaf litter. These snakes are masters of camouflage, due to their band stripes, and easily hide beneath loose leaf litter and debris in woodland, shrubland, and grassland. Unlike other snakes, Common death adders lie in wait for its prey (often for many days) until a meal passes. They cover themselves with leaves-making themselves inconspicuous-and lie coiled in ambush, twitching their grub-like tail close to their head as a lure. When an animal approaches to investigate the movement, the death adder quickly strikes, injecting its venom and then waits for the victim to die before eating it. These snakes are not aggressive, yet their ambush hunting technique and reliance on camouflage rather than flight to avoid threats renders them more dangerous to humans who venture into bushland habitats.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Common death adders are carnivores and feed on small mammals, birds, frogs, and small reptiles.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
spring
BABY CARRYING
3-20 young
FEMALE NAME
female
MALE NAME
male
BABY NAME
snakelet

Common death adders mate in spring and unlike most snakes, these snakes produce litters of live young. In the late summer, a female will give birth to a litter of approximately 3-20 young. Females usually become reproductively mature at 3 to 4 years of age while males reach maturity when they are 2 years old.

Population

Population threats

Loss of habitat and the spread of invasive Cane toads in Australia are the main threats to these snakes. The toad eats young death adders and adult death adders that eat the toads are poisoned by the toxic glands on their skin, that is very deadly to Australian reptiles and die.

Population number

According to IUCN, the Common death adder is widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.

References

1. Common Death Adder on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_death_adder
2. Common Death Adder on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/42492756/42492764

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