Cold Blooded?



Reptiles >> Types

One snake or seven?

The Kangaroo Island Tiger Snake (Notechis ater niger) can be many colours, pure black with white, grey, red or yellow bellies, green, grey or yellow banded and many shades of brown from dark to copper.

The large colour variation in KI Tiger Snakes caused some confusion as to how many species of snakes naturally occur on KI. Close inspection of voucher specimens at the South Australian Museum revealed that many animals had been mis-identified. What had been mistaken for red belly black snakes, brown snakes and others were all colour variations of one species.

Island Tiger Snakes give live birth. One female was recorded with 30 young. All colour variations known to occur in Tiger Snakes can be found in one litter.

Kangaroo Island Tiger Snakes are distinguished from the island Pigmy Copper Head by the number of scales across the body, by the pattern of head scales and makings on the lower jaw. The Tiger Snake has between 17 to 19 mid body scales. The island Pigmy Copper Head has 15 mid body scales and bar markings on the lower jaw.

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