This small brown coloured snake is often mistaken for a Death Adder by local bush walkers and farmers in the Albany area, due to a fat body, broad head and narrow neck. Only growing to 70cm long they make up for their small size by flattening and raising the head, puffing out the mid body area and acting aggressively when disturbed. The south coast Southern Death Adders are only found near Esperance and further east to South Australia, and have narrow bands across their bodies.
This attractive but venomous species could be a risk to pets and small children. It is often encountered during mild weather, particularly overcast humid days, foraging on roads, sandy tracks and walk trails in the late afternoon and early evening, searching for prey. It is at these times that many frog species are also active, hunting crawling and flying insects, and so they provide a meal opportunity for the Bardick. Unfortunately the cryptic camouflage of this snake, which may be light to very dark brown, makes them difficult to see from passing vehicles and many are injured.
Feature writer: M True