The sun is shining and the temperatures are rising. This heralds the start of an exciting time for snake catchers and environmentalists across the SE Queensland region.
Snake season in the South East of Queensland is about to kick off folks! What does that mean exactly? The first thing is that they rise from their semi-dormant state. Over the colder months, they have been in a very dopey, sleepy state, not dissimilar to hibernation but not as deeply asleep as that. They do this to conserve energy and their fat reserves but as the sun starts to have more heat they come back to full alertness.
Male snakes start sizing up their competition and engage in combat to determine who gets to pass on their genes. I have been lucky enough to watch snakes engage in these rituals and it really is quite a privilege to witness otherwise solitary critters do this.
Should you notice this behavior just admire from a distance and enjoy the spectacular show. It will continue until one submits to the other. Don’t get too close as you can alarm the snakes and you may aggravate them into attack.
There are rules to be followed – no biting, its purely a contest of strength and skill as they wrestle for dominance. If left alone they will soon enough move on once the victor prevails and continue to search.
Normally this wouldn’t begin for another couple of weeks or so. Like last year, everything is starting early. I’ve seen birds collecting nesting material now for over a month. That is a really unusual thing to see in July and early August but none the less it is happening.
I wanted to share with you a recent catch in Dayboro. The caller thought it was an eastern brown snake. It is easy to see how they can be mistaken to non-snake people. This particular snake though is actually a non-venomous and completely harmless Keel-back snake. It’s latin mane is Tropidonophis mairii. Not only are they pretty but they also play an important role as they can tollerate cane toad toxin. They hunt and consume them from tadpole through to juvenile size.
Found throughout moist suburbs or areas where creeks and drainage lines, both natural and unnatural, are found. They can be found in high numbers in suitable localities especially in the vicinity of marsh or dam habitats.
They are a great snake to have around and it is good to hear of so many of them in the Moreton Bay region. If you need some advice or if you have a snake that needs identifying or catching I’m located in Warner and always happy to help.