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Neonatal Dugite (Pseudonaja affinis) from near Perth, Western Australia


In southern Western Australia large numbers of hatchling dugites occur mid-February through to mid-April. These are 15-35 cm in length and can be brown, green or yellowish in colour, but always hatch with at least part of the head black. Although best treated with caution, the bite from a juvenile is unlikely to cause more than local symptoms in a healthy adult. Potentially dangerous to children and pets.

They may find there way into the house via the drain from the laundry, bathroom and toilet floor - check these to ensure the vermin exclusion flap swings freely and is not fouled with soil or vegetation. If encountered in the house, their small size allows for the safe scooping into a box or similar for relocation elsewhere.

Few hatchlings survive the first few months - spiders, scorpions, centipedes, birds, lizards, cats and people are some of the predators they must contend with.

The dugite is one of nine described species and two subspecies of brownsnake (genus Pseudonaja) found in Australia. The juveniles of all of these are very similar, sharing the dark head-blotch (or blotches). Many individuals are adorned with numerous dark crossbands.

Although nine species of brownsnake are currently recognised, several undescribed taxa that can't be allocated to any described species occur in Western Australia.

Other Brownsnakes:-

Ingram's Brown Snake (Pseudonaja ingrami) - Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia
Peninsula Brown Snake (Pseudonaja inframacula) - South Australia
Speckled Brown Snake (Pseudonaja guttata) - Queensland, Northern Territory and South Australia
Ringed Brown Snake (Pseudonaja modesta) - All states except Tasmania and Victoria
Northern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja nuchalis) - Northwestern Queensland, Tropical Northern Territory and Northeastern Western Australia
Southern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja aspidorhyncha) - South Australia, Western Victoria and Central NSW
Western Brown Snake (Pseudonaja mengdeni) Also called Gwardar in WA - All States except Tasmania
Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis) - All States except Tasmania. In Western Australia, only known from Gordon Downs Station (individual collected by Dr Paul Horner).


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