The dugite is a species of venomous, potentially lethal, snake native to Western Australia. It is colored grey, green, or brown. The colors vary widely between individuals and are an unreliable means of identifying the species. Black scales are relatively large with a semi-glossy appearance and can be scattered over the body. The most distinguishing characteristic of this snake is the head that can be rather small and indistinct from the neck.
Dugites are found in southern parts of Western Australia and in remote coastal parts of western South Australia. They live in a wide variety of habitats ranging from coastal dunes and heathlands to shrublands and woodlands. They also thrive in heavily degraded habitats such as golf courses, industrial areas, and open agricultural farmlands.
Dugites are solitary and diurnal. On hot days, they are mainly active in the morning, and to a lesser extent in the afternoon. Dugites usually shelter beneath logs, rocks, and in abandoned termite mounds. They also burrow during the winter. These snakes hunt by actively searching for prey which they then kill using both venom and constriction. When disturbed, dugites are typically very shy and often slither away, but they won't hesitate to defend themselves if cornered. They generally avoid biting humans, but risks of encounters increase when they are most active during the mating season through October and November.
The breeding season of dugites normally occurs between early September and late November. They are egg-laying (oviparous) snakes, and typically deposit around 30 eggs and abandon them to self-incubate. The eggs hatch after about 65 days. Under optimal environmental conditions, dugites have been known to lay two clutches during the same season.
Dugites don't face any major threats at present.
According to IUCN, the dugite is locally common and 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 and its numbers today are stable.